KCSP E-Bulletin: 19 July 2021 Updates and related information
It hardly seems possible that this is the last update of the academic year, especially as the government seems intent on publishing lots of new guidance on an almost daily basis! This is a bumper edition just to keep you going over the summer when you get bored. We wish you the best of holidays whatever you are doing and fingers crossed that the sun shines for us all.
- The DfE has published statutory guidance for schools on careers, ‘Careers guidance and access for education and training providers’.
- Following this, Gatsby has published the following ‘Government strengthens commitment to the Gatsby Benchmarks for good career guidance’.
- Following a consultation that closed in January of this year, the government has published what it will do to reform level 3 qualifications: ‘Review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 in England Policy Statement’.
- Also published is additional guidance for Post-16 providers: ‘Review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 in England Additional guidance for providers’.
- The government has also set out some proposals around exams and assessments next summer, ‘Proposals set out for exams and assessments in 2022’.
Last week, the Reading Framework was published. There have been a number of summaries of this published which are quite helpful:
- Marc Hayes has put together a useful infographic summary which can be downloaded as a pdf.
- The TES has also published a summary, ‘The DfE's reading framework: All teachers need to know’.
- The Writing for Pleasure Centre has written an interesting review of the Reading Framework. While welcoming some of its recommendations, it takes issue with others: ‘The DfE’s Reading Framework: Our Review And Implications For Teaching Writing’.
GCSE, AS and A level 2022 consultation:
- The joint DfE/Ofqual consultation on 2022 general exams is now live, closing on 1 August. The starting position is that exams will go ahead this coming year, though with adaptations to reflect the impact of the pandemic on candidates’ learning. The Government and Ofqual’s proposal is to extend the adaptations that had been discussed for this summer’s series, had it gone ahead, to next year’s series.
- The key proposals are:
- Topic-level optionality in GCSE English literature, history and ancient history; and choice of content in GCSE geography.
- Advanced notice of content on the exams in the spring term for most other GCSEs, AS and A levels.
- Changes to practical assessment in science subjects and art and design.
- Exam aides / support materials in maths, physics and combined science exams.
- The consultation does not cover contingency planning in case exams cannot go ahead. Instead, contingency planning will be informed by Ofqual’s survey into the TAG process this year.
VTQ 2022 consultation:
- Alongside the GQ consultation, a joint DfE/Ofqual consultation on assessment and awarding of vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) and other general qualifications for 2021-22 was released on 12 July with a two-week response window, closing on 26 July.
- The consultation, which was released separately to the consultation on academic qualifications, sets out the government's policy of "exams and assessments as normal" in 2021-22 and a move away from teacher assessed grades (TAG) arrangements. VTQ exams and assessments may still be subject to adaptations agreed by awarding organisations (AOs), where necessary as a result of Covid-related disruptions to teaching and learning, but exams and assessments will, however, be governed by proposed amendments to the statutory Vocational Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF).
- Under the DfE/Ofqual's proposed changes to the assessment and awarding of VTQ qualifications in 2021-22, those qualifications which come under the designation of category B will now be moved to category A regulations, meaning that no TAG grades can be awarded.
- The consultation is not about the DfE policy which removes TAG awarded grades in 2021-22; this decision is not under review. It is a consultation about the proposed changes to the VCRF to ensure adaptations by AOs can still take place, if required.
- The consultation seeks responses on equality impact, the decision to withdraw the qualification designation of category B and move all to category A, the proposed changes to the guidance on adaptations and the revised VCRF, the proposed arrangements for appeals, the proposed changes to invigilation and the introduction of guidance on remote assessment, the factors to consider in contingency planning, the activities which respondents expect to carry out as a result of the proposed changes and the additional costs, savings and benefits of the proposed changes.
Ofsted has published two more curriculum research reviews:
- Last week, Ofqual published five blogs on learning loss, which you can read here.
- They consider the context for assessment this summer, measuring lost time, measuring lost learning, the UK evidence, and the international evidence.
- Ofqual’s overall conclusion is that learning loss is incredibly complex, nuanced and individual, and that general statements about learning loss are unlikely to be accurate.
- EEF has produced an evidence summary on the impact of cognitive science approaches when applied in the classroom, ‘Cognitive science approaches in the classroom: a review of the evidence’.
- In response, the TES has published an article considering the report entitled, ‘Cognitive science classroom impact evidence 'limited'’.
- Secondary School Leader, SENCo and EEF learning behaviours specialist Kirsten Mould explains in this blog how schools might tackle the implementation challenge of building effective learning behaviours, ‘Three keys to unlocking positive learning behaviours’.
- Kirsten also introduces EEF’s new case studies which exemplify how three schools have approached using diagnostic assessment to identify and address their pupils' learning needs. ‘Making effective use of diagnostic assessment’.
- The EEF has published the fifth episode of its podcast, ‘Evidence into Action’, focusing on developing oral language. In this instalment, hosts Alex Quigley and, EEF programme manager, Sarah Tillotson, are joined by guests including programme developers, speech therapists and school practitioners, to discuss oral language interventions and how to successfully implement them schools.
- Literacy specialist Caroline Bilton has published a blog about reading, ‘Phonics - mastering the basics of reading’.
- A new monthly series of blogs supports teachers and maths leads in implementing the evidence from the EEF’s Improving mathematics in Key Stages 2 and 3 guidance report. The sixth in the series of seven focuses on problem solving, ‘Integrating evidence into mathematics teaching – Guiding problem solving’. Secondary maths teacher Simon Cox introduces new resources designed to support teachers and maths leads in improving their pupils’ mathematical problem solving.
International Early Learning Study (IELS):
The DfE has published a thematic report from the IELS: ‘Young children’s development and deprivation in England Research report’.
- Seneca Learning is running a mini-conference on Planning and Modelling the Curriculum. It is a free event happening on the 29th July, from 16.00 to 17.30. The speakers are Mary Myatt (@MaryMyatt) and Nimish Lad (@NLad84).
- The link to the broadcast is here.
- Please register here on EventBrite so you receive full information about the conference.