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Ofqual announces its decision on teacher involvement in the development of confidential assessment materials

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At the end of last year, Ofqual announced a review of the risks and benefits of having teachers who write or contribute to exam papers also teach the qualification. This included reviewing the effectiveness of the safeguards used to reduce the risk of a teacher who has this dual role disclosing or otherwise misusing information about confidential assessments. 

In March 2018, Ofqual confirmed that teachers will continue to write assessments and have access to confidential materials; but outlined proposals to strengthen its regulation of awarding organisations' involvement of teachers in the development of confidential assessment materials.

On 11 May 2018, Ofqual has confirmed that it will:

  • make it an explicit requirement that awarding organisations (AOs) must establish and maintain an up-to-date register of all conflicts of interest which relate to them
  • be left to individual AOs to decide whether or not to publish information about the people who are involved in developing and delivering their confidential assessment materials
  • make it explicit in the guidance that AOs need to manage the risks of teachers disclosing confidential assessment information
  • Create a new section of statutory guidance which makes it clear the types of safeguards which Ofqual would expect an AO to apply to different types of qualifications. 

Ofqual has confirmed changes to its rules with respect to the safeguards awarding organisations must have in place to support the continued involvement of teachers in the development of confidential assessment materials. They have also confirmed additional guidance to help awarding organisations comply with these rules, following a public consultation on the guidance, back in the spring term.

The revised conditions and guidance will take effect on 6 August 2018, and will apply to both vocational and technical qualifications and awarding organisations, as well as general qualifications. You can access the full details here

Ofqual recognises that work for 2019 is already underway and some of the proposals may take awarding organisations some time to implement, and as such, they have made it clear that they will take this into account when considering any regulatory action.

NAHT will continue to press Ofqual and the awarding organisations that the cost of any strengthening of safeguards must not result in schools having to spend more money on public examinations and their administration.

You can access Ofqual's full response here.

First published 14 May 2018