| Ofqual |
|Type||Non-ministerial government department|
The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests in England and, until May 2016, vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland. Colloquially and publicly, Ofqual is often referred to as the exam "watchdog".
Ofqual was established in interim form on 8 April 2008 as part of Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), taking over the regulatory functions that had previously been undertaken by the QCA directly through its regulation and standards division. It was always intended that Ofqual would be an entirely separate body from the QCA. This was achieved on 1 April 2010 when Ofqual was established as a non-ministerial government department under the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009.
In August 2020, Ofqual was involved in a GCSE and A-Level grading controversy during the COVID-19/Pandemic. As a result, Sally Collier, the chief regulator and Ofqual chief executive since April 2016, resigned. Collier had overseen the development of the flawed exams algorithm that was scrapped after it downgraded nearly 40% of A-level results. The algorithm was created after ministers insisted on avoiding grade inflation.
Ofqual said Sally Collier would be replaced temporarily by her predecessor, Dame Glenys Stacey, with additional support from the Ofsted chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, who previously chaired Ofqual. Roger Taylor, chair of Ofqual, remains in post.
|Document:The schools scandal||Article||19 August 2020||Lewis Goodall||How a government led by technocrats nearly destroyed a generation of social mobility|