Fake it to make it better

13th December 2013 at 00:00

In Trevor Fisher's letter ("Reform by trial and error is a big mistake", 29 November), he is inaccurate and alarmist in what he says about the management of A level and GCSE reforms.

The key lessons from the Tomlinson reports into the Curriculum 2000 reforms are that attention needs to be paid to standard setting and to delivery systems. At Ofqual, the exams regulator for England, we absolutely agree. We will shortly be setting out for consultation how we propose to set standards in new GCSEs.

Mr Fisher's suggestion that new qualifications should be "flight tested" before implementation is beguiling, but in reality it is extremely difficult to pilot GCSEs meaningfully. It is possible, however, to undertake flight simulation (to use his analogy). We can and will research, test and model aspects of the qualifications' design and standard setting. That is our approach.

Glenys Stacey, Chief regulator, Ofqual.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today