This website is no longer being updated, but all our publications and documents are still available to read. Please visit our own websites for up-to-date news about our science education policy activities.

Association for Science Education
Institute of Physics
Royal Society
Royal Society of Biology
Royal Society of Chemistry

2014 news

December 2014

SCORE has responded to the Department for Education consultation on new performance descriptors for key stages 1 and 2. Read the response here.

November 2014

The Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee Andrew Miller MP has sent a "video letter" to the Minister for School Reform, Nick Gibb MP, asking him to rethink changes to the assessment of practical work in the sciences at A-level and encourage Ofqual to be more ambitious for practical science in schools. It is available to watch here

Following the publication of this video letter, SCORE (Science Community Representing Education) said:

We are pleased the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has reminded the minister about the detrimental impact the reforms are likely to have on biology, chemistry and physics education in England. These changes mean achievement in practical work would be reported as a pass or fail, separate from the A-level examination grade. Practical work is integral to the sciences, but these changes run the risk of devaluing practical work, and may mean students are denied the rich and challenging learning experience they deserve in these subjects.

SCORE fears that many universities will not include the practical work endorsement as part of their admissions criteria, particularly for entry to non-science subjects. This would send a strong message to schools and colleges that practical work is no longer a valued element of the A-levels, and some teachers may choose to reduce to a minimum the time spent in this area. Practical work is not an optional add-on to science - it is an essential component.

The science and education communities have been united in their opposition to this reform, and their warnings of the impact it will have. Despite this consensus Ofqual has so far refused to listen to these warnings. We hope that Nick Gibb will take account of the important message in this video letter. SCORE agrees that the current arrangement for assessing practical work is not fit for purpose, but the proposed change does not necessarily solve the problems it is supposed to address. More time for robust research into alternative models is urgently needed.

October 2014 

In October 2014 SCORE held a seminar to discuss changes to the assessment of practical science at A-level. More information can be found here

September 2014

SCORE responded to the Department for Education consultation on initial teacher training

July 2014

SCORE responded to the Department for Education consultation on the draft Key Stage 4 Programme of Study

SCORE responded to the Ofqual consultation on completing GCSE, AS and A-Level reform 

June 2014

SCORE responded to the Ofqual consultation on Setting the Grade Standards of new GCSEs in England

May 2014

SCORE responded to the UCAS consultation on introducing a new tariff

SCORE responded to the Ofqual consultation on Regulating Endorsement and Examiner-Author Conflicts

March and April 2014 - news on A-level reform in the sciences

Read the SCORE press release in response to Ofqual's announcement on A-level assessment changes in the sciences  9 April 2014

In ongoing discussion with Ofqual SCORE has reiterated the concerns surrounding negative consequences to students and schools in separating the mark for practical work in the sciences from an overall A-level grade.

Read most recent correspondence with Ofqual Chief Regulator (March 2014)

SCORE letter to The Times urges Ofqual not to separate practical marks from core A-level grades. Read the full statement from SCORE. Wednesday 26 March 2014

SCORE responded to the Ofqual consultation on A-level regulatory requirements. The consultation is intended to be read in conjunction with the SCORE response to the Department for Education consultation on A-level subject content in biology, chemistry and physics (below). In December 2013, SCORE joined other partners in the science education community to express deep concerns surrounding the proposals presented in the Ofqual and Department for Education consultations.