Teacher involvement in the cycle of assessment in international jurisdictions

Friday 17 Dec 2021

Qualifications Wales has today published a research report which describes how teachers are involved in assessment systems in different contexts around the globe.

The regulator commissioned a report by AlphaPlus to provide different perspectives on national assessment systems for us to consider as we reimagine GCSEs in response to Curriculum for Wales.

The report contains information about assessment systems in 12 jurisdictions, with four of them - Estonia, Ontario in Canada, Queensland in Australia and New Zealand - selected for more in-depth investigation.

These four jurisdictions all have a reputation for substantial involvement of teachers in the assessment system and have other aspects that are of interest to us in Wales, including experience of recent or ongoing reform.

“The report provides a useful overview of a number of international assessment systems that operate quite differently to GCSEs in Wales and, indeed, to one another,” said Chief Executive Philip Blaker.

We know it is important for us to think about the role of teachers in qualification assessment as we develop requirements for new GCSEs, considering impact on the job role of teachers.

To remain valid and fit for purpose, it’s clear that qualification assessment systems must reflect the society in which they operate. But the report also notes that changes to qualifications can be time-consuming and contentious, including when changes impact on the role of the teaching profession.”

Tom Anderson, Head of Research and Statistics, said:

“This report helps us to think about qualification system design and how it relates to wider considerations in the education sector and society.

As well as describing how other assessment systems are designed, the report highlights that policy makers should avoid simply ‘copying and pasting’ from other jurisdictions. While we can certainly take inspiration from assessment design in other countries, we need to carefully evaluate what changes would work here in Wales now and in the future.

It seems clear that most international assessment systems – including the current GCSEs – use a variety of types of assessment. We want to consider how to strike the right balance as we reimagine GCSEs.  We also want to consider how to strike the right balance with different forms of assessment assessing 15 and 16-year-olds”.