Commenting on the resignation of Sally Collier, Chief Regulator of Ofqual, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

"Someone had to take responsibility for the exams fiasco, but the issues run far deeper than the actions of one chief executive. 

"Sally Collier had no option but to follow through Michael Gove's reforms of GCSEs and A-Levels, which set up many of the problems of 2020. We have no sure way of knowing where the balance of fault lies, but we can be quite certain that Gavin Williamson gave direction to Ofqual that there should not be grade inflation and all candidates should get a fair grade. He must have known that both those directions are incompatible.  

"There are now two former Conservative education secretaries, Kenneth Baker and Justine Greening, who agree with us that the way in which we assess qualifications is not fit for purpose. 

"Our letter to Gavin Williamson last week called for a reduction in content assessed in exams next summer, collaboration with the profession to develop a robust national system of moderated centre-assessed grades in case of further outbreaks of Covid-19, and a thorough independent review into assessment methods along the lines announced for Scotland. (1) 

"At the same time we launched a matching petition, which now exceeds 45,000 signatures. (2) 

"Ofqual already had an image problem amongst teachers and heads, but the parachuting in of Amanda Spielman from Ofsted makes an absolute mockery of Ofqual's purported independence."

ENDS 

Editor’s Note 

Letter, 19 August 2020: https://neu.org.uk/press-releases/bigger-changes-needed-2021 

Petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/fairness-for-students-taking-a-levels-and-gcses-in-2021  

2020-111-NEU

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