Exams poll — February 2022
Our poll* of a sample of parents indicates an appetite for assessment reform.
- 70% of parents say the announcement in relation to advanced information about the content of GCSE exams is too late and does not give teachers and students enough time to adapt their plans for learning and revision.
- Most parents disagree that setting the grade distribution partway between 2019 and 2021 results is a fair decision for students sitting exams this year. 36% of patents strongly agree it is unfair compared to 9% who strongly agree the decision is fair.
- Most parents are confident that exams will go ahead this year but would have preferred teacher assessed grades (76%).
Long term, parents support changing the way children are assessed echoing much of the recently published report from the Independent Assessment Commission — Qualifications for a New Era: Equitable, Reliable Assessment.
Most of the polled parents said it would be a good idea to change how we assess children’s performance in future.
Our Parent Voice Report 2021** shows that parent believe the role of education is more than just academic attainment. 88% of parents believe that a good education for their child goes beyond exam results. Parents prioritise the following important skills and capabilities to leave secondary school with:
- Self-confidence – 53%
- Being prepared for further education and /or the workplace – 41%
- Resilience and the ability to cope with setbacks – 40%
- Problem solving – 36%
- Good knowledge of key subjects – 36%
These findings suggest parent priorities for education rest firmly with equipping pupils to become well-rounded individuals, prepared to adapt and adjust to their future via transferable and varied personal and practical life skills, rather than adopting a narrow academic focus.
There is an awareness among many parents that the current GCSE assessment system is failing too many young people. These findings build on the growing picture of concern among parents since the pandemic about the fitness for purpose of GCSEs and A Levels.
Parents are very concerned about the negative impact on children’s mental health created by the current education system. Parentkind’s Parent Voice Report 2021 revealed that the top children’s mental health concern among parents is exam stress.