Ofqual quizzed on accessibility of exams

Post date: 
Friday, 15 March 2019
Education campaigning
Image shows students sitting an exam.

This week the Education Select Committee quizzed Ofqual – the exam regulator – on how they are making sure that exams are accessible for children and young people with vision impairment.  

Working as part of the Young Vision Alliance – an alliance of parents, young people and major sight loss organisations campaigning for better support for blind and partially sighted children – RNIB has been briefing and speaking to MPs, including those on the Education Select Committee, about issues facing children and young people in education. This follows the launch of our campaign report ‘Our Futures Matter’ in November 2018.

A key recommendation of the report is that all young people with vision impairment must be able to access exams and past papers in the right format and without errors.

So, we were delighted to see that the Committee had taken on board our concerns this week. The Chair of the Select Committee Robert Halfon MP referred to RNIB research, which found errors in modified GCSE exam papers. He used it to press Sally Collier (Chief Regulator) and Roger Taylor (Chair) from Ofqual about what they were doing to tackle this and improve the quality of modified exam papers. He also asked what Ofqual were doing to improve the availability of modified past papers which students need for revision. Ofqual agreed these issues need to be addressed, and said they would be investigating and raising these issues with exam boards. RNIB are pleased that we will be providing our expertise to inform part of this investigation. We’ll also be following up with the MPs on the Committee.

Watch the Committee question Ofqual on the parliamentlive.tv website.

Read the ‘Our Futures Matter’ report from the Young Vision Alliance.

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