24 July 2018

The Independent reports that the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB), the organisation which represents exam boards, has initiated legal action against the Department for Education over the introduction of the government’s controversial new T-Level qualifications.

The Independent reports that the Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB), the organisation which represents exam boards, has initiated legal action against the Department for Education over the introduction of the government’s controversial new T-Level qualifications. The objections raised have centred around the timescale for the procurement process and the proposals for a single awarding body to be adopted for each qualification.

Read The Independent report

Grade four students should sit Foundation tier GCSEs advise Ofqual

A report in Schools Week states that Ofqual advises students aiming for a grade four at GCSE, which is the equivalent of a C grade in the reformed qualifications, should only be entered to sit foundation tier qualifications. Stephen Tierney, chief executive of the Blessed Edward Bamber Catholic Multi Academy Trust, comments that making the decision on which tier paper to enter a pupil for “really is a challenge” – particularly when the exams are still so new.

“You have nothing, literally nothing, to fall back on about what a level four might look like in these new exams, you are shooting in the dark,” he states.

Read the Schools Week report

Welsh Baccalaureate causes narrowing of the curriculum

The BBC shares news of a report on the introduction of the Welsh Baccalaureate by education body Estyn. The report states that whilst schools have adapted well to new GCSEs in English, Welsh and maths, there has been a narrowing of the curriculum with fewer options for pupils because of the focus on core subjects.

Read The BBC report

Bright but disadvantaged students fail to meet potential

Almost half of clever but disadvantaged students fail to secure the top GCSE grades, according to a new study from social mobility charity, The Sutton Trust reports the Independent. The report notes that action should be taken to ensure disadvantaged students who perform well in primary school continue to do so throughout secondary school.

Read The Independent report

Headteacher prepares students for failure ahead of exam results

The Telegraph reports that a leading Headteacher, Claire Hewitt from Manchester High School for Girls, is preparing pupils for how to deal with failure ahead of GCSE and A Level results day in August. Many pupils will receive results from the reformed qualifications.

Mrs Hewitt states:

“I think it’s vital that schools become savvier about how they go about developing resilience – or grit or gumption or whatever you want to call it – in their students.”

Read The Telegraph report

OET candidate numbers soar

A huge increase in candidates taking Occupational English Test (OET) has been seen in recent months, reports Nursing Times. The test, specifically designed to test language skills in a healthcare context, is being provided as an alternative to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) which was deemed to be hindering recruitment from overseas.

Cambridge Boxhill Language Assessment, which runs OET, said of the test: “The majority of candidates are doing it for nursing and large numbers are going to the UK.”

Read the Nursing Times report