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At a seminar on A Level reform today with representatives from Ofqual, the DfE, and schools and universities, OCR Director of Programmes Paul Steer outlined the involvement of universities and took part in a panel discussion on the development and structure of new A Levels.
Following the end of Ofqual’s A Level reform consultation in mid-September, awarding bodies are expecting the regulator to report in early November.
OCR’s Paul Steer said: "The biggest challenge is identifying a workable model for university ‘sign off’ for everyone involved in the next generation of A Levels. OCR already involves universities in the design of our A Levels. As part of Cambridge Assessment – the assessment arm of the University of Cambridge – we are uniquely placed to engage with higher education. We have worked very hard to secure real and on-going engagement with the whole higher education community, along with other key stakeholders such as teachers, employers and students. A bureaucratic but ultimately superficial sign off process is no substitute for real engagement."
OCR has over 140 representatives from higher education institutions around the country on its forums, an on-going research programme conducted by Cambridge Assessment, and numerous initiatives such as a pilot in which university academics review past A/AS exam papers. Teachers also inform the views of OCR on A Level via its subject forums. Over 800 teachers contributed feedback on A Level reform via an online survey we set up in partnership with the TES.
In its response to Ofqual’s A Level reform consultation, OCR concluded that:
The original timescale for A Level re-development means that A Levels in key subjects are scheduled to be in schools for first teaching from September 2014.