Odd Coupling – KS5 Curriculum


I had the pleasure to attend The Key conference today on ‘Assessment After National Curriculum Levels‘. There was a great presentation by assessment guru, Tim Oates. He was followed by a presentation from Chief of OFQUAL, Glenys Stacey; before an afternoon with schools presenting their new assessment models, including our own at Huntington School.

Glenys Stacey raised one point of particular note that is worthy of a mention, especially for schools and colleges currently grappling with changes to the curriculum at key stage 5. Schools and colleges are currently mired in the rather confusing muddle of decoupling AS and A2 examinations, whilst seeing out our existing model. Teachers in the classroom, and school leaders, are faced with some confusing conundrums as they select the best model for students.

Glenys revealed a rather telling point of information. OFQUAL are currently dealing with the potential that KS5 qualifications could be imminently recoupled, depending upon the results of the general election next summer. She noted that OFQUAL will advise the government, whoever that transpires to be, that any recoupling will take two years to occur. This would mean that there is the potential for more imminent changes to KS5. The odd coupling continues!

An intriguing alternative Stacey posed was that there is the potential to keep the current key stage 5 qualifications (despite preparations being already undertaken in schools and colleges for the new quals) and instead hastily create new assessments for them, based on the newly more stringent requirements of OFQUAL.

So there are two ways decoupling could quickly be recoupled. Clear yet? Probably not!

The prospect of more change is only hypothetical at this stage, but the mere suggestion raises the question why our education system is so inextricably tied to the electoral cycle. Another example of an odd couple!

3 thoughts on “Odd Coupling – KS5 Curriculum”

  1. Meanwhile, I was at a Curriculum design conference where we discussed how the Education R&D community could help policy makers in designing sustainable systems – discussion panel included a former Education minister, a high ranking DfE civil servant, a senior officer from an awarding body and the leader of an education faculty in a university.
    I think there was general agreement was that we need to plan for longer than a 5 year term of office!

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