14 Aug '14

News It is still early days for the effects of Michael Gove's changes

From 2015 there will be much deeper changes to secondary education, writes professor Alan Smithers, an education researcher at the University of BuckinghamThese A-level results are the quiet before the storm. In coming years, major Govian reforms will kick in. But so far only the move to end-of-course exams has taken effect. This seems to have contributed to pass rates at most grades drifting downwards, although any effect will have been ameliorated by the exams watchdog Ofqual's "ethical commitment" to keeping results consistent from year to year. It seems odd that reforms that aim to distinguish better between candidates should be blunted by lowering grade boundaries.The interesting question that stands out from the results is why was did the percentage of A*s go up when for all the other grades it went down? One explanation is that the brightest candidates were less affected by the removal of the modules, and indeed may have benefited from the freedom to study uncluttered by assessments. Weaker candidates, on the other hand, used to clocking up credit as they went along and resitting where necessary, probably struggled more. Continue reading...

Read the full story in Guardian Education
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