How resilient is England’s qualification system?

16th February 2023 : 12:50 - 13:55

Category: Seminar

Speaker: Michelle Meadows, Jo-Anne Baird, Thomas Godfrey-Faussett & Neil Stringer

Location: Seminar Room B & Microsoft Teams - This event is part of the Qualitative Research Methods Hub Series

Convener: Victoria Elliott

Audience: Department Staff and Students

Crises, failures and storms in teacups. What can be done?

The problematic awarding of GCSEs and A levels during the pandemic has caused government to reflect on the resilience of England’s qualification system. Indeed, crises and failures of one kind or another are a recurrent feature. This Ofqual-funded project spans the whole of the qualification market, including many thousands of vocational and technical qualifications. It looks to the resilience literature from other complex systems to devise a definition of qualification system resilience. It investigates resilience and threats to resilience through: desk-based analysis of published evidence (including how other qualification systems in other countries responded to the pandemic); an analysis of previous examination crises and failures spanning decades; and interviews with over twenty senior industry insiders and commentators. It makes a series of policy recommendations for Ofqual and wider government but also questions the usefulness of the concept of resilience.