The Guardian is reporting that Ofqual will press ahead with plans to detach experiments from A-level science grades despite protests from Nicky Morgan and leading scientific research institutions…
The chief regulator, Glenys Stacey, said critics who claimed that practical lab work would be downgraded as a result of the changes “could not be further from the truth”, arguing that the reformed exam structure would expand the range of practical work that pupils could undertake and had won strong backing from science teachers.
“We appreciate that what we are proposing seems radical at first, but we are pleased to see that teachers see real opportunities to reinvigorate science teaching, and learning,” Stacey said, in an article published on the Guardian’s website.
“We will certainly not be ending practical science in the classroom. What we will be doing is ripping up the tired, old script, creating opportunities for improvisation, and looking to help teachers inspire the next generation of scientists.”
…Although welcomed by science teachers, the moves have been opposed by universities and research establishments, including the Wellcome Trust, the largest private funding body of science in the UK.
Last week Morgan issued unusually public criticism of Ofqual’s move, saying: “I fear that such a move could inadvertently downgrade the importance of these practical skills – leaving a generation of chemists, physicists and biologists who leave schools with excellent theoretical knowledge, but unable to perform key practical experiments which form the basis of a future research career…”
Read Glenys Stacey’s article in full at the Guardian: A radical experiment to end science practicals? That’s just not true
Interesting that Ofqual has stood form – are they right to do so? Should they do the same with GCSEs? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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