Results from this year’s ISA Annual Survey formed the basis of an article in The Daily Telegraph this weekend (19th Oct).
The poll shows that the majority of ISA Heads oppose key strands of the Government’s GCSE reform plan, including the removal of tiering and coursework.
Only 8% of Heads questioned felt that the cut back in tiering – where candidates are divided into ability groups, and only able to attain certain grades – was a good thing. And over 60% were against moves to abolish controlled assessment or coursework.
Neil Roskilly, CEO of the Independent Schools Association said:
“Schools across both sectors are rightly concerned about the removal of tiered exam papers, which help to ensure that the exam system is accessible to all.”
“We support the call for more rigour in coursework and controlled assessments. However limiting assessment purely to a linear examination will favour pupils who can easily memorise facts and limit the range of skills that can be examined.”
“There is compelling evidence to suggest that girls in particular may be affected by the changes – as research suggests that boys perform more confidently when assessed by exams alone.”
The poll of 120 independent school heads also revealed little support for some post 16 reforms, with just 13% of respondents backing plans to make AS levels a freestanding qualification.
The Daily Telegraph article can be read here.