ASE response to two recent proposals from Ofqual and OCR

As a membership organisation, one of the key roles of the Association for Science Education is to advocate with policy makers and implementors on behalf of our members, providing a critical conduit through which science educators can have their professional opinions heard by those in power.

We often do this through providing Association responses to government consultations, often at the specific request of the relevant authority. A recent example, revolved around the assessment process that Ofqual proposed in light of the cancellation of summer exams enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our responses are always guided by a principle of collectivity - with membership views being canvassed both generally, and through the specific member-led committees that represent the relevant interested parties.

The process of pulling together our submissions was led by ASE Director of Curriculum Innovation Marianne Cutler, in consultation both with our standing ASE committees and the wider membership.

Our first submission is in response to the changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A Levels in 2021 proposed by Ofqual. Our response addresses the short and long term effects of the proposed changes and calls for an approach to managing the effects of potential further pandemics and disruptive events. Take a look at the response below:

Our second submission is in response to the proposal of a Natural History GCSE qualification by OCR, which addresses the proposed definition of Natural History as well as the overall purpose of the qualification. Take a look at response below:

As an organisation, we're fully aware of how important these issues are to many of our members , particularly those in the 11-19 sector, so we hope that you'll find yourself in agreement with most of the additional points we have raised.