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Curriculum and assessment

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NAHT is working to ensure that the curriculum supports the learning, progress and success of all pupils. NAHT supports the principle that a broad and balanced curriculum promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

NAHT is campaigning to: 

Support schools to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for their pupils

  • Challenge the government policy, including EBacc, which may narrow the curriculum
  • Enable and support schools to successfully deliver statutory Relationships, Sex and Health Education
  • Lobby for improvements to government policy which supports schools to deliver inclusive education and fulfil their responsibilities under the public sector equality duty
  • Support schools to deliver effective careers education for all pupils
  • Support schools to deliver high-quality Religious Education to all pupils
  • Provide guidance, materials and information to support schools in educating pupils about environmental issues.

Ensure a valid and proportionate approach to statutory assessment in primary schools

  • Lobby the government to reconsider the introduction of the multiplication tables check
  • Lobby the government to ensure changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage and Early Learning Goals are appropriate and relevant for the early years sector
  • Influence the development and implementation of the reception baseline assessment
  • Support members to implement the new statutory assessment for pupils with SEND
  • Identify and challenge the STA over any impact on members of the contract change to deliver statutory assessment in the primary phase
  • Engage with the STA to influence changes and improvements to statutory assessment including moderation and maladministration
  • Campaign for KS2 SPAG to be made non-statutory and oppose any additional statutory testing in the primary phase

Ensure the KS4 and KS5 qualification framework and examination system is fit for purpose

  • Press the government, Ofqual and exam boards to ensure that reformed qualifications, both academic and vocational, meet the needs of all pupils and schools
  • Explore the issue of grade reliability, identifying solutions and improvements which are supported by members and pressing the government and Ofqual for appropriate action
  • Inform members of the latest developments in secondary assessment through engagement with Ofqual, JCQ and awarding organisations. 

Qualification fees: CCEA Regulation, Ofqual and Qualifications Wales take action to improve transparency on exam fees

CCEA Regulation, Ofqual and Qualifications Wales have published the decisions of their joint consultation into changes to the rules that regulated awarding organisations must follow in each jurisdiction.

The regulators have all adopted three substantive changes to their rules following a detailed analysis of the consultation responses:

1. All regulated awarding organisations must publish on their website fee information about their qualifications in a standard format that is easily accessible to potential purchasers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Ofqual will retain its existing requirement that awarding organisations must provide fee information to purchasers in markets outside England upon request. 

2. All regulated awarding organisations must publish a policy that makes clear to users of qualifications whether or not they recognise prior learning. Each awarding organisation will have the flexibility to determine its own approach to producing its policy. The proposed rule has been amended to make clear that there is no necessity for awarding organisations to recognise prior learning.

3. The introduction of an explicit new rule that the regulators can use to instruct awarding organisations not to issue results. This change will make sure the regulators can act quickly in the rare cases where it is necessary to secure a delay in the issuing of results. They do not expect or intend to intervene more often as a result of this change.

The first two changes will be introduced on 1 October 2020, to align with the need for awarding organisations to state compliance with each regulators' rules on an annual basis. The third change will take effect in early March 2020, as it does not impose any proactive requirements on awarding organisations.

Today's decisions follow a joint consultation that ran from 2 August to 25 October 2019 which was in response to a  call for evidence into fee information, purchasing decisions and securing value for money

NAHT responded to this call for evidence on behalf of members. In our response we said:

'Ofqual regulations offer significant flexibility to awarding organisations about how they make their fee information available. This could cause inconsistency between awarding organisations, which in turn impacts on the accessibility and comparability of that pricing information for schools.

If schools are to be able to make informed decisions about qualifications effectively, then there must be a clear and simple way for them to compare 'like with like'.  A more uniform approach would be beneficial, particularly for vocational qualifications.

Timely provision of qualification pricing information is also necessary.  Updated pricing for the 2018/19 academic year was not available at the end of August 2018 from some of the main awarding organisations. This lack of up to date information makes it extremely difficult for schools to plan their upcoming expenditure, which at a time of funding crisis, is critical.'

We are therefore pleased that the regulators have recognised this issue and taken action to improve fee transparency for our members.

First published 28 February 2020

First published 28 February 2020