Ofqual sounds the death knell for UK science education

In light of Ofqual’s decision to go ahead with plans to separate practical exam marks from A-level science grades, The Physiological Society has expressed its disappointment and concern.

Chief Executive, Dr Philip Wright, said, “We are deeply disappointed that Ofqual has decided to go ahead with these proposals and the very real impact that these changes will have on the practical capabilities of our students. Practical skills are a core element of the biomedical and many other sciences and it is difficult to understand the reasons for this change.”

Ofqual has, despite significant concerns being raised by The Physiological Society and several other leading scientific societies, downgraded the importance of practical science in schools, which will inevitably diminish students’ scientific capabilities. 

Worryingly, universities will also be given an incomplete reflection of students’ skills in the sciences, as they may assume practical work will still be included in the A-level grade. Practical work is absolutely integral to the sciences and therefore should be reflected in the final grade. It is vital for the future of science in the UK that we recognise the importance of developing young scientists with the full range of practical skills and competencies they will need to succeed.



To arrange an interview with Physiological Society Chief Executive, Philip Wright, please call +44 (0) 207 269 5727 or email Lucy Holmes on pressoffice@physoc.org 

The Physiological Society was founded in 1876 and is active in contributing to science education policy. The Physiological Society is a learned society with over 3000 Members from over 60 countries.www.physoc.org

Ofqual press release 9 April: http://ofqual.gov.uk/news/gcse-a-level-as-qualification-updates-ofqual/