Ofqual budget gets £4m boost to cope with exam reform

The TES is reporting that ministers have had to provide Ofqual with millions in additional funding so it can oversee their exam reforms…

The exams regulator says its annual budget needed to be increased by more than a quarter to help it introduce new A-levels and GCSEs and a national reference test.

But headteachers say they are “staggered” that the money is being spent on the reformed exams at a time when school budgets and front-line services are being cut.

Ofqual had originally been given a £15.7 million budget for 2014-15. But the watchdog’s latest corporate plan shows that the government’s exam changes mean this is no longer enough.

“The introduction of GCSE, AS and A-level reform programmes and the development of a national reference test now require us to do significantly more than envisaged in our settlements,” it says.

“To fund this work, our resources have been increased by up to £4 million in 2014-15 and further resources will also be available in 2015-16.”

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “That is a staggering cost at a time when school budgets are reducing so substantially and front-line budgets are having to be cut back, raising big questions about whether these reforms are affordable.”…

Professor Alan Smithers, from the University of Buckingham, said that Ofqual had been given a “very tough ask” of introducing “changes everywhere on a very short timescale”…

More at: Ofqual budget gets £4m boost to cope with exam reform

 

Is it inevitable that with the extra demands being placed on them Ofqual need sufficient resources to cope… or do you share Brian Lightman’s concerns that this is money that could be better spent elsewhere? Overall, do you think Ofqual provides value for money? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter and take part in our poll…

 

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Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove If Ofqual had a performance related pay system like the rest of education then the budget would drop immensely!

  2. Janet2

    Gove was warned that introducing simultaneous exam ‘reforms’ would result in chaos.  Now billions are being thrown at a problem which could have been averted.

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