The future of assessment and GCSEs

The Exam House blog was at the Conservative conference in Manchester some excellent guide on the value and future of 16 year old assessments. Including gcse changes. Robert Halfont MP discusses his views.

The future of assessment – time for a rethink?

The Title was: With two years of exams cancelled from the pandemic, the world quickly adapted and we found new ways of assessing. Surely now must be the time to consider fundamental reform of our assessment system? Join us to explore what the future of assessment might look like.

Flick Drummond MP

Member of ParliamentAB

Alice Barnard

Chief ExecutiveSB

Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Professor of PsychologyPA

Philip Avery

Director of EducationJN

Jonathan Noakes

Head of Teaching & Learning

Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP

Member of Parliament

THe transcript is below.

Mean, Minister said on Sunday on the Andrew Marr Show, he said when people voted for change in 2019, I quote they want to mend the broken model of the UK economy that relied on low wages and low skills.

It's right that we do everything we can to fix the system and to support people to gain those skills. And so that's what the prime minister is saying. We will only do that if we if we change the, you know, build a skills and apprenticeship. And if you just take some other sort of horrific statistics over what's called low skills, qualifications and sort of use here and literacy for those upper secondary level.

The Europe, the UK ranked 2032 OECD nations based in the UK in the third quarter and intermediate level we ranked 25th out of urgency. Two nations in the UK, well below the recent EU averages and other countries are ahead of this. Japan, Slovenia, Switzerland, Poland, Korea, Israel, Australia the list, the list goes, goes on.

We are the only country where the oldest age group also has high proficiency in both literacy and numeracy and the youngest aged or nine million adults in our country without literacy new skills. I

'm hoping that the one more minute Oh, I better get on. We have to get on. So I'll give you some of the some of the key statistics I've told you how we are way behind. So what's the answer to this or GCSEs were introduced, as I mentioned by Lord Baker, what I would like to see is a change in the system of from GCSE and A-levels at least have a debate about it, which is to build a international baccalaureate, which includes academic, absolutely traditional education, but also has vocational and technical education in work as well.

And we know that many other countries are countries doing 154 other countries doing more than developed countries around the world. It's offered in more than 5000 schools in 150 150 countries. So that way we marry knowledge and skills.

Together we teach people, as I mentioned, how are the names of fish, but we teach them, we teach them how to fish as well. So let's least have this debate. Let's not try and close it down, which some people want to do. We now have an enormous opportunity to transform our education system, have a real debate about what the curriculum is to prepare us for the work and make sure that we have an employer, employer led education system.

So we get young people on that ladder of opportunity right to the top to get the job security and prosper.

Note, there was not a discussion on the rise of Private Candidates. Which we think is an important part of the future of exam taking.