Ofqual Chief Regulator responds to article in TES, 2 October 2015

Dear Editor

Your article (Experts fear 'race to the bottom' after Ofqual drops extra science GCSE checks, 2 October 2015) implies that our GCSE Science research results will not be part of the accreditation process for the science GCSEs, and that the process had gone wrong. In fact the results did feed into accreditation.

Yes, the correlation between judged question difficulty and actual student performance was lower than in our earlier GCSE maths study. We were always aware of that possibility, given that science papers typically have a much wider range of question types than maths papers. The research is valuable: As well as results being used in the accreditation process, it has prompted further discussion about the holistic judgements made in accreditation, and we will now analyse the research findings further, to help us hone the approach for future studies.

Readers can be reassured that we do research using well-established and respected methods, and then we interpret the results intelligently.

Yours sincerely

Glenys Stacey
Chief Regulator, Ofqual

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