"Ofqual can ask for review, Boards can ask, and Ministers can decide.”
"I find myself both surprised and unsurprised by all this. Surprised that something so important is not subject to regular systematic review; unsurprised because it illustrates the small-c conservative nature of government processes. Is this review process an elaborate one with multiple stakeholders (beyond regulators and exam boards) contributing, or is it a quicker in-house job?
"Your surprise is well placed. Not many people are interested in these seemingly arcane aspects of qualifications policy, but they are very important.
In addition to GCSE changes, A level reform has also been proposed along the same timetable. Like GCSEs, these would become a linear qualification. AS levels would be classified as a separate qualification and no longer required for an A level. As part of these changes, Ofqual is beginning reviews of the subject criteria. With implementation of new qualifications intended for 2015, there’s a tight timeline ahead.
Much confusion and uncertainty remains around the process of review for A-levels making it difficult to report accurately what is expected to happen. However, the learned societies are expected to have opportunities to comment on subject content, assessment and practical aspects of biology qualifications.