Westminster Education Forum

England’s exam system - the impact of reform, addressing malpractice, and improving accessibility, fairness and use of technology

Morning, Monday, 27th April 2020

Central London


This conference will examine the future for England’s exam system.

It will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss key issues - and further options for the system going forward - following a period of considerable reform.

Areas for discussion at this conference include:

  • The impact of GCSE and A Level reform;
  • Next steps for tackling malpractice;
  • Cost and accessibility;
  • Improving public confidence in the exam system;
  • Developing a fair, high quality exam system - accessibility, reducing costs and ensuring a rounded assessment of students’ skill set; and
  • Opportunities for utilising technology to improve the exam system.


There will be keynote contributions from:

  • Jill Duffy, Chief Executive, OCR; and
  • Dr Philip Wright, Director General, Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).

Further confirmed speakers include: Dale Bassett, AQA; Andrew Harland, Ability 2 Access; Professor Sandra McNally, London School of Economics; Derek Richardson, Pearson; Dr Mary Richardson, UCL Institute of Education; and Matt Wingfield, The e-Assessment Association.

The agenda

  • General qualification reform - an overview;
  • The impact of reform so far and options going forward;
  • Next steps for implementing the recommendations of the malpractice review;
  • Improving fairness and  quality in the exam system - accessibility, costs and safeguarding the validity of assessments;
  • Next steps for England’s exam system - options for alternative assessment models, use of technology, and ensuring qualifications equip young people with skills to succeed post-16.

Keynote Speakers

Jill Duffy

Chief Executive, OCR

Dr Philip Wright

Director General, Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ)


Derek Richardson

Vice President and Responsible Officer, Pearson

Dr Mary Richardson

Senior Lecturer (Assessment) and Associate Professor of Education, UCL Institute of Education

Professor Sandra McNally

Director of Education and Skills Programme, Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) and Director of Centre for Vocational Education Research (CVER), London School of Economics

Dale Bassett

Director, International and Curriculum Strategy, AQA

Andrew Harland

Trustee, Ability 2 Access

Matt Wingfield

Chair, The e-Assessment Association

Senior speaker confirmed from Pearson