NSN Director: Ofqual’s commitment to test standardisation models is welcome, but reliance on historical data is likely to disadvantage free schools | newschoolsnetwork.org

NSN Director: Ofqual's reliance on historical data is likely to disadvantage free schools

Wednesday, June 10, 2020
This morning, the Education Select Committee questioned Ofqual on the arrangements for assessments and grading in 2020. Responding to the session, NSN Director Unity Howard said:
"This morning, the Education Select Committee questioned Ofqual representatives on 2020 assessments, with reference to NSN’s work to ensure that free schools with limited historical data are treated fairly.
 
"We welcome Ofqual’s commitment to test standardisation models to ensure their approach is fair for different school types, including free schools. However, we fear that the continued emphasis on historical data is likely to disadvantage newer provision. This issue is yet to be addressed. Over 60% of free schools lack the track record identified by Ofqual, and at least 21 free schools have no externally assessed results at all. Our concern is that these arrangements will affect a whole generation of children, and most likely those that follow.
 
"We hope Ofqual will release the outcomes of their testing, to reassure free schools that their students will not face detrimental treatment by the arrangements this year. We continue to speak to free school leaders, Ofqual and other stakeholders to seek certainty that all students will receive the most accurate grades."