Qualifications Reform Symposium

To support the Review of GCSEs and A levels in Northern Ireland, CCEA Accreditation in conjunction with Queen's University Belfast School of Education, hosted a Symposium for school leaders and those interested in educational reform.

At the event on 2 May 2013 at Riddel Hall, QUB, seven speakers from across England, Wales, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland presented on qualifications reform and policy implications from their different perspectives. Attendees had the opportunity to question speakers and discuss issues relating to the reform of qualifications.

Qualifications Reform Symposium
Pictured above L–R: Majella Corrigan, CCEA; Roger McCune, CCEA; Prof. Louise Hayward, The University of Glasgow; Dr Michelle Meadows, CERP AQA; Denise Kelly, Education Officer at NCCA; Janet Holloway, Head of Reform at Ofqual; Prof. Jannette Elwood, Queen's University Belfast; Gareth Pierce, CEO at WJEC; and Prof. Jo-Anne Baird, University of Oxford

Speakers’ Biographies

Jannette Elwood
Jannette is Professor of Education and Director of the Doctoral Research Centre in the School of Education at Queen’s University Belfast. She has worked in educational assessment research, teaching and policy in a variety of organisations. Her main research interests are in gender and achievement and the social constructions and consequences of examinations and assessment practices. Recent publications include: Elwood J and Lundy L (2010) Revisioning assessment through a children's rights approach: implications for policy, process and practice, Research Papers in Education, 25: 3, 335–353, Elwood J (2012) Qualifications, examinations and assessment: views and perspectives of students in the 14–19 phase on policy and practice, Cambridge Journal of Education, 42: 4, 497–512 and Elwood J (2013) Educational assessment policy and practice – a matter of ethics, Assessment in Education, 20:2, 205–220.

Jo-Anne Baird
Jo-Anne is the Pearson Professor of Educational Assessment and Director of the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment. Before coming to OUCEA, Jo-Anne worked at the University of Bristol and previously held the position of Head of Research at AQA, where she managed the research programme and was responsible for the standard-setting systems for public examinations. She was also a Lecturer at the Institute of Education in London. Jo-Anne is a Visiting Professor at Queen's University, Belfast. Her research interests include examination standards, policy and systemic aspects of assessment, e-assessment and human judgement in assessment. She is President of the Association of Educational Assessment – Europe and Lead Editor of the international research journal Assessment in Education: Principles, policy and practice.

Michelle Meadows
Michelle is a member of AQA’s Executive Board, ensuring that AQA’s strategy, products and policies are grounded in a robust research evidence base. She is also responsible for research that supports the development of education policy, particularly in relation to high stakes assessment; successful delivery of reliable and valid public examinations; qualification design that stimulates high quality teaching and learning; and setting and maintaining examination standards. Michelle is a member of Ofqual's Standards Advisory group created in 2012, has published work in academic books and journals, and has presented at national and international conferences. Michelle is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Department for Education at the University of Oxford. She has a PhD in psychology from the University of Manchester.

Janet Holloway
Janet is Head of Reform in Ofqual and leads on work to bring together expertise and evidence to support and deliver the implementation of reform strategies for qualifications and assessments. Janet taught chemistry and other sciences in comprehensive schools and colleges in England and abroad before joining one of AQA's predecessor organisations, the North West Regional Examinations Board, offering CSE examinations. She has had several senior roles managing the development of new qualifications and their delivery to centres. Her most recent post before joining Ofqual involved overarching responsibility for the majority of AQA's qualifications including GCSE, GCE, Diploma, Functional Skills and the AQA Baccalaureate.

Denise Kelly
Denise is the Education Officer in the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment working on the new junior cycle. The NCCA advise the Minister for Education and Skills on curriculum and assessment from early childhood to the end of second level. Denise is a seconded Principal of a DEIS school (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools, the Action Plan for Educational Inclusion, was launched in May 2005 to address educational disadvantage). She has worked as a Deputy Head and Head teacher in Ireland and Spain, where she also facilitated CPD for teachers. Previous to her time in Spain she worked as National Co-ordinator of the Transition Year Support Service and has taught in primary and post-primary classrooms.

Gareth Pierce
Gareth joined WJEC as chief executive in 2004, having previously worked there in a research role. He takes a strong interest in curriculum and assessment innovation, as well as providing an overall strategic management steer for WJEC. In the early stages of his career Gareth worked as a statistician in housing and health sectors, and as head of mathematics in a comprehensive school. He was subsequently a senior lecturer at the University of Glamorgan Business School, head of education policy for the Welsh Local Government Association, and a senior manager at Trinity College, Carmarthen. He is an Associate Lecturer in Statistics with the Open University and has fulfilled governance roles within the primary, secondary and higher education sectors.

Louise Hayward
Louise is Professor in Educational Assessment and Innovation in the University of Glasgow where she leads the Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment Research and Teaching Cluster. Since the 1990s she has worked with policy makers and practitioners to improve assessment systems in Scotland and Internationally. Her recent research projects include Assessment at Transition, funded by Scottish Government, Engineering the Future, funded by EPSRC and Scottish Government and the EU funded FP7 Fibonacci project. Louise was a member of the Assessment Reform Group from 20062010 and is now a member of the Curriculum, Assessment and Pedagogy research group for Educational Reform. She is Editor of The Curriculum Journal and has published extensively on issues related to assessment and social justice.


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