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ASSESSMENTS

Ofqual confirms details on submitting evidence for exam grading Ofqual has confirmed details of how data and evidence of a student’s grades will be submitted in this summer’s exam grade awarding. Once student grades are submitted by schools and colleges (centres), they will be asked to provide samples of student work, as described in Ofqual’s recent blog, so exam boards can check teacher assessed grades. Centres should retain the work and records of marking or grading judgements as exam boards will request samples after 18 June. It will also be needed if a student wishes to appeal their result. Interim Chief Regulator Simon Lebus said: “This year we are awarding grades without exams taking place. The arrangements we have put in place offer the fairest way forward and it is important that students, parents and the wider public have confidence in these results.

“We have asked all schools and colleges to send in samples of students’ work so that exam boards have evidence from every centre available as they carry out quality assurance after 18 June. It will also avoid the need for exam boards to contact centres after the end of term when teachers should be taking a

much-needed rest during the summer holidays. “We are very conscious of teacher workload. The sample is relatively small and should not take too long for exams officers to submit.” CLICK TO READ MORE

COVID-RECOVERY

COVID RECOVERY

Study launched to track pandemic’s effect on student life chances

Bids for summer school catch-up funding opens

A new study will be launched to follow the outcomes of year 11 students across England to find out how the pandemic has affected them. It will investigate how the COVID-19 pandemic affects educational attainment and well-being, longer-term educational and career outcomes, and socioeconomic inequalities in life chances. The study, called the COVID Social Mobility and Opportunities (COSMO) Study, will receive £4.6 million from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It will be led by researchers from the UCL Centre for Education Policy & Equalising Opportunities and the Sutton Trust. It will recruit a representative cohort of young people who are in year 11 in the academic year 2020-21. The Sutton Trust has commissioned an additional sample of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who showed academic potential before the pandemic, to look in more depth at the impact on their chances for social mobility. Dr Jake Anders, from the UCL Centre for Education Policy & Equalising Opportunities, who is leading the study, said: “COVID-19 and its aftermath are a generation-defining

challenge – the disruption to education will have long-lasting effects on young people’s life chances, with the most disadvantaged children facing the largest effects. The COSMO Study will provide vital new evidence on these unfair consequences, allowing us to plan how best to respond to this challenge.” The team will study how young people’s outcomes have been affected by disruption to their schooling, particularly how students from less well-off backgrounds have been more likely to experience difficulties with home learning, such as lack of access to computers and internet for online learning, gaps in confidence, and less parental support. Young people and their families will be invited to take part by letter in September 2021. They will be asked to complete questionnaires and interviews about their experiences and attitudes towards home-schooling and cancelled examinations, attitudes to the pandemic, health and wellbeing impacts in the home, and future educational and career hopes. The young person’s school will also be contacted to find out about the school’s experience of the pandemic and lockdowns, including the challenges faced and the services they were able to offer. The study is funded to follow up the young people over at least two years, with aims to continue collecting data from the participants into their adult lives. From September 2022, the first step in this will be to re-contact the young people to track their progress through apprenticeships, employment, Further Education and A Levels. CLICK TO READ MORE

Schools can now bid for a share of £200 million in government funding to design summer schools for students who have experienced the most disruption to their learning during the pandemic. Summer schools will include a variety of activities from group activities such as sports to mental health support and academic catch up such as maths and English lessons. A longer-term plan to help all students recover from the impact of the pandemic is currently under development, led by Education Recovery Commissioner Sir Kevan Collins. Schools can sign up via an online form on GOV.uk to confirm their plans, with flexibility for schools to target funding at other groups of students dependent on their local circumstances. Parents should expect to hear from their schools over the course of May and June as they progress with their planning, but it remains at the discretion of schools which students they target their summer school offer towards. Incoming Year 7 students will predominantly be encouraged to get involved, to help them navigate the important transition between primary and secondary school following a year of disrupted learning. The government anticipates that a two week summer school will give students an opportunity to make up some lost academic ground before they start a new school. Summer schools should also offer an opportunity for schools to support students’ wellbeing, and schools should include activities such as team games, music, drama or sports activities, in their plans. Schools will need to determine how best to use the funding and staff the scheme to ensure that the extra time is used effectively. CLICK TO READ MORE

Issue 26.3 | EDUCATION BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Profile for PSI  Media

Education Business 26.3  

Business Information for Education Decision Makers

Education Business 26.3  

Business Information for Education Decision Makers

Profile for psi-media

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