Our Final Response to the DfE GCSE D&T Consultation

Following our recent posts about the DfE and Ofqual D&T GCSE consultations, this post provides links to our final response to the DfE consultation, which concerns the subject content of the revised GCSE in Design & Technology for first teaching in 2017.

The response provided is simply a copy of our response to the DfE with just the personal details removed, as a Word Document or as a PDF.

Note that the consultation deadline is today!

We hope colleagues will find this document useful in formulating their own responses. We are very happy, if you agree with our points, for you to simply use our text, or for you to use it as a starting point for your own comments.

You can respond in any of the ways described below.

How to respond 

The consultation website is here.

Completed responses should be sent to the address shown below by 5:00pm , today 26th August 2015

Send by post to:

Alex Smith
Department for Education, Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT

Send by e-mail to: GCSEDesignTech.CONSULTATION@education.gsi.gov.uk

The online response form for this consultation can be found here:

 

Our Final Response to the Ofqual GCSE D&T Consultation

Following our recent posts about the DfE and Ofqual D&T GCSE consultations, this post provides links to our final response to the Ofqual consultation, which concerns the assessment of the revised GCSE in Design & Technology for first teaching in 2017.

Our response, available as a Word document or as a PDF, is extracted from the full Ofqual response form. The question numbers are as in the original.

Note that the consultation deadline is today!

We hope colleagues will find this document useful in formulating their own responses. We are very happy, if you agree with our points, for you to simply use our text, or for you to use it as a starting point for your own comments.

You can respond in any of the ways described below.

How to respond 

The consultation website is here.

Respond online

Or email to: consultations@ofqual.gov.uk

Or write to:

GCSE design and technology consultation, Ofqual, Spring Place, Herald Avenue, Coventry, CV5 6UB

And now for something completely different! Human workers and robots

Last week the New York Times reported on alleged poor working conditions and even poorer worker treatment at Amazon distribution centers in the USA. In a follow up a piece on Tuesday 18th August the Times of London reported that it had contacted the GMB union to discuss conditions in such centers in the UK where more than 7000 people are employed. A center may be as large as several football fields. Some of the work is done by robots which find items that have been ordered. It is the job of the human workers to pack these items ready for dispatch. Their task involves walking many miles a day guided by handheld satellite devices to pack orders quickly. Managers closely monitor the efficiency of employee’s work. The union contends that the constant stress of being monitored and never being able to drop below a certain level of performance is harsh and reports that some human workers had begun to suffer from musculoskeletal problems, stress and anxiety but that Amazon had refused to discuss worker health issues with the union. Amazon has declined to comment.

Amazon Warehouse Robots

Amazon Warehouse Robots

The collaboration between robots and humans at Amazon as described by the union is in complete contrast to that described by workers at the Rodon Group in the USA which use the robot Baxter which has been specifically designed to work alongside humans. Senior managers appreciate the ease of use that allows Baxter to be adopted quickly and easily among its production staff. “The learning experience we’ve seen with Baxter was a shock. They couldn’t believe how easy it is.” And as far as losing jobs is concerned Jason Miller,
Vision & Automation Technician, sees the bigger picture of what Baxter represents. “The general sense is that nobody feels it’s threatening their jobs,” he says. “They think he’s really bringing jobs back for us. There are several jobs that might be in China if not for a technology like Baxter.”

Human and robot workers in harmony?

Human and robot workers in harmony?

Here we have two very different views of the impact of robots on the human condition in the workplace. In teaching students robotics in D&T would these ‘true stories’ make a good case study?

D&T GCSE entries down yet again

219,931 in 2013, 213,629 in 2014 and 204,788 this year!

The DfE are trumpeting GCSE entry rises in the STEM subjects: mathematics (up 3.4%), computer science (up 111.1%), science (up 5.5%), engineering (up 37.4% but still very low absolute numbers) but remain silent about the fate of D&T – not even a mention. In line with the trend over the past many years the number of D&T entries has fallen yet again. So why is it that D&T is significantly on the wane? One reason must be its change in statutory status. In 2004 D&T ceased to be a compulsory subject at KS4. Schools were obliged to offer the subject to pupils but they were not required to take the subject. However more recently there have been other factors at work. Many claim that it is pressure from the EBacc accountability measure that is a contributory factor but other subjects have not suffered a decline. RE almost 300,000 entries, the highest level since 2002, art & design subjects up by 1.7% to almost 200,000 and music up by 2.2% to almost 50,000. So this won’t do as an explanation. Why isn’t the government concerned that D&T numbers are down given that organisations such as the Royal Academy of Engineers and the James Dyson Foundation see the subject as a key part of the STEM family of subjects? I think the perception of SLT and parents is a key factor. What are they to make of the highly fragmented nature of the subject with its focused area based GCSEs – food, textiles, graphic products, resistant materials, product design, electronic products, system and control etc. Just what is the subject about – cooking, dressmaking, engineering, designing? When SLT are deciding what to offer pupils in the option system and parents are judging the worth of possible GCSEs for their children it’s easy to see this uncertainty as a cause for concern and a reason for marginalizing the subject. This must be compounded by the patchy nature of the KS3 curriculum that many pupils experience – a circus arrangement with the short sections of study being little more than a pitch for the KS4 course teachers hopes to teach. Hence there is little overall coherence across year 7 to 9. Is there any light at the end of the tunnel?

The newly proposed single title GCSE for D&T points to a possible solution. It provides the opportunity to lose the fragmented focus area bases of the current offerings. If it is to be successful it will need to:

  • Embrace the requirements of being a STEM subject which means significant use of mathematics and science within the subject.
  • Pupils’ designing will need to informed by a clearly defined, taught and examined knowledge base. Remember the Expert Panel was highly critical of the lack of an agreed knowledge base for the subject.

This will require significant changes to both the content of the course and the way it is taught. We need to see the secondary school learning journey to GCSE D&T as a 5 year coherent course of study starting at the beginning of year 7. A BIG ask but one that we should not shy away from. Maintaining the current situation will surely only lead to a lingering demise.

Response to Ofqual consultation on D&T GCSE assessment (part 2)

Part 1 of this pair of posts covered questions 1-4 in the Ofqual consultation. This post details our response to question 5, an ‘open’ question, where we discuss both the non-examined and the examined aspects of D&T assessment at GCSE.


Question 5: Do you have any further comments relating to the assessment of this subject?


5.1 The need for minimally invasive assessment of procedural competence

There is nothing in the proposals about how pupils will provide evidence for non-examined assessments. We fear that, without external push, the AOs will default to what they know; death by portfolio.

Nick Givens (writing as long ago as 1998 in response to a consultation on Creativity and Cultural Education) clarifies the problem:

Our [the teacher’s] problem always has been, and remains, that of finding efficient painless ways of generating EVIDENCE that don’t stifle the creativity. So the ritualisation of designing, the conversion of the design folio into a product and the inflexible narrow interpretation of what constitutes design, represent a major problem. There needs to be scope for pupils to model and record their thinking in a variety of ways AND orders. We can’t carry on letting a narrow view of what constitutes EVIDENCE-of-design dictate the NATURE of design.

The work carried out by Richard Kimbell and his colleagues at TERU in the e-scape project provides an interesting approach to assessing capability in D&T. It involves using structured testing materials over two half-day blocks under examination conditions. This is a huge step forward compared to the stranglehold that the coursework portfolio has over pupil assessment in design & technology. However despite the undoubted achievement of this project we have significant reservations about this one-size fits all timed test as the best way for pupils to reveal their capability. It does not meet Nick Givens requirement for pupils to have the scope to record their thinking in a variety of ways AND orders.

We think it is important that any NEA should be minimally invasive, i.e. the way the pupil’s work is assessed will be such that it will not distort their educative experience in tackling their designing and making task. We suggest that the way pupils can be given appropriate freedom to decide on their own designing and making pathway is for the teacher to support them in the use of job bags.

The criteria for the contents of job bags are simple. The pupil’s work, be it in the form of written notes, annotated sketches, 3D models, working drawings, patterns, recipes, plans, schedules, still photos, video recordings, audio recordings, questionnaire data or calculations, must have utility. It must be present only because at the time it was produced it was done to help move the designing and making task forward. Such a miscellany would be personal to the pupil and it is likely that there would be considerable variation in content of such job bags even amongst pupils tackling identical design and make tasks. However, the job bag would not be the primary source of assessment evidence. It would be the evidence that the pupil called upon to reveal and justify their decisions. And it is the revelation and justification of the design decisions demonstrated at three points during a designing and making task that provides the bulk of the assessment evidence for the pupil’s designerly activity.

The first point is reached when a pupil has explored the context and developed his or her first ideas for a product in response to the context. A pupil will be asked to consider whether the developed proposals meet the revelations of the context and requirements of the brief and to clarify and justify the design decisions made so far. The pupil will also be required to review these decisions and consider whether what s/he is proposing is likely to be achievable in relation to resources of time, materials, equipment and personal skills.

The second point is reached when most of a pupil’s design decisions have been made through sketching, 3D modelling, and experimenting. This will be at the point where making is imminent or has just started. Again, the pupil will be asked to clarify and justify the design decisions made so far and then review these decisions and consider whether the design arrived at fully meets the requirements of the brief and whether the plans for making are achievable.

The third point will be reached when the product is complete and will include an evaluation against the brief and the specification.

The emphasis at these points of reflection will be on revealing a pupil’s response to the emerging demands of the task in terms of the decisions made and the extent to which they are realistic.

Note that it is the contents of the pupil’s job bag that is the source of the information the pupil needs to make the necessary reflection and it is the contents of this reflection that provides the assessment evidence.

This approach to assessment is discussed in more detail here but we think this approach is worth exploring further by the Awarding Organisations as an alternative to current practices.

5.2 The need for a rigorous written paper to assess the Knowledge Base of Design & Technology

Rigorous assessment of the knowledge base of design & technology in a written paper will be new territory for the Awarding Organisations as this has not been well explored in previous GCSE written examinations..

Here is an initial consideration about possible questions.

  • Some questions will need to probe specifics, others should be synoptic, requiring candidates to draw on knowledge and understanding from a range of specifics.
  • Most, if not all, questions should require the use of knowledge to show understanding as opposed to simply being able to recall particular pieces of knowledge.
  • We see many questions as requiring candidates to respond to/resolve different sorts of designerly dilemmas.
  • Some questions can require explanatory writing; in some cases quite extended writing. How such answers can be marked will be a challenge. However English and History examiners have that expertise and the AOs should look to them for advice and guidance.
  • The majority of questions should be structured into parts that scaffold the candidate in developing a solution to a problem.
  • Some questions will require quantitative as well as qualitative reasoning.
  • Some questions can be multiple-choice.

One type of multiple-choice question that might be interesting to explore is the ‘assertion reason’ question. The overall form is
“Statement A” because “Statement B”
The two statements can each be either true or false and, in any case, Statement B might or might not be an explanation of Statement A.
An example assertion might be “Cows eat grass because the sky is blue”. “Cows eat grass” is true, “The sky is blue” is true, but the sky being blue is NOT an explanation of why cows eat grass. The question offers various possible answers that candidates can select from, these are permutations of the truth or falsity of the initial statements and the assertion.
These questions are demanding to write but really probing in terms of knowledge and understanding.

  • Some questions will be like none of the above as we work out different sorts of questions for our purposes.

Developing such questions will be a challenge but it is one to which the subject can and must rise.

Response to Ofqual consultation on D&T GCSE assessment (part 1)

Following four posts detailing our draft response to the DfE consultation on the proposed content of the new GCSE in D&T, in this post and the next we’re going to share our draft response to the Ofqual consultation on assessment in the new GCSE.

As we have said, our aim is to promote discussion, which might influence our response, and also to provide colleagues who may have less time to craft a response with text that they can use to base their own responses on – and we’re pleased to say that our posts on the DfE consultation have already prompted emails suggesting ways in which our response can be improved.

Our aim is to publish here our proposed final responses at the end of this week giving us and others plenty of time to submit responses by the deadline of next Wednesday 26th August.

As ever, it’s critically important for members of the D&T community, and their friends, to respond as this reform will likely set the tone for GCSE D&T for many years – so please do circulate this as widely as you can.

In this first part of our response to Ofqual we cover questions 1-4 in the Ofqual consultation.


Question 1: To what extent do you agree or disagree that for GCSEs in design and technology, based on the proposed subject content, 50 per cent of the available marks should be allocated to exams, and 50 per cent to non-exam assessment?


We think that this distribution provides a reasonable balance between the need to probe technical knowledge and understanding in more robust ways than current GCSEs in D&T manage and the equally important need to validly assess designing and making capability.

We say more on how the relationship between these two aspects of D&T assessment relate later.


Question 2: To what extent do you agree or disagree that GCSEs in design and technology should not be tiered?


We consider that the lack of tiering is definitely to be welcomed. We know from other subjects, such as Science, that tiering is proving a real problem when it comes to question setting.


Question 3: To what extent do you agree or disagree that the proposed assessment objectives are appropriate for GCSEs in design and technology?


We have strong reservations about the proposed assessment objectives as explained below

3.1 The importance of assessing a clearly stated knowledge base

The Expert Panel set up by the then Minister for Education, Michael Gove, made a substantial criticism of the school subject Design & Technology (D&T). They claimed it had ‘weak epistemological roots’ i.e. there was uncertainty and ambiguity about the underpinning knowledge base. The development of a new National Curriculum Programme of Study for the subject addressed this issue and it is important that the proposed GCSE continues in the same vein. The problem for D&T is that assessment needs to assess both candidates’ grasp of the underpinning knowledge base AND their ability to use it. This is further complicated by the fact that in using the knowledge base candidates are likely to use only part of that base and will almost certainly have to extend those parts that they do use. To be seen as a rigorous subject D&T needs an unambiguous knowledge base that describes what a young person needs to know and understand if he/she is to be seen as educated in that subject. Hence we think it is important to separate out the assessment of the knowledge base from the assessment of using the knowledge base. This has severe implications for the proposed assessment objectives.

3.2 Do not confuse knowledge and understanding with procedural competence

The DfE Consultation document defines two content areas: Designing and making principles and Technical Knowledge and Understanding It is necessary to clarify the educational intention of each within the overall subject to avoid confusing the assessment of knowledge and understanding with assessing procedural competence. We argue that the Designing and making principles are included in the content because they encapsulate the idea of design & technological ‘capability’. This was defined well by David Layton in the Interim Report;

To intervene effectively and creatively in the made world. The goal is competence in the indeterminate zone of practice.

Department for Education and Science and Welsh Office(1988) National Curriculum Design and Technology Working Group Interim Report. London: Department for Education and Science and Welsh Office, page 3.

Donald Schön articulated the significance the “indeterminate zone of practice” as follows:

… uncertainty, uniqueness, and value conflict – escape the canons of technical rationality. . . . [I]t is just these indeterminate zones of practice, however, that practitioners and critical observers of the professionals have come to see with increasingly clarity over the past two decades as central to professional practice.

Schön D A (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: how professionals think in action London: Temple Smith, p. 6

Intervention requires knowledge and the Technical knowledge and understanding section of the consultation document identifies that knowledge but this needs interpreting from two perspectives. The first perspective is the knowledge base underpinning the subject. The second perspective is that some of this knowledge base will provide what the young person needs to begin to tackle the Contextual Challenge. But it must be acknowledge that this is unlikely to be a sufficient knowledge base. As the candidate responds to the Contextual Challenge there will be significant amounts of ‘new’ knowledge that needs to be acquired and deployed. This knowledge can be divided into two parts. Firstly, is knowledge of the problem. This will be dependent on the nature of the Contextual Challenge. It can only be acquired by exploring the context. Secondly is knowledge for the solution. This will to some extent be based on what the young person has already learned as the knowledge base of the subject design & technology. However this is likely to be insufficient and the young person will need to extend this knowledge in order to have at his/her disposal the knowledge that needs to be deployed in order to meet the Contextual Challenge. However it will be dependent on the nature of the Contextual Challenge and differ from candidate to candidate according to both the nature of the Contextual Challenge and which particular aspects he/she decides to respond to. Hence it would be inappropriate to assess the knowledge used in responding to the Conceptual Challenge through a written paper. However it would be appropriate to assess the knowledge base underpinning the subject through a written paper providing such a knowledge base can be defined.

3.3 Defining the knowledge base to be assessed

We believe that the nature of the subject D&T enables an underpinning knowledge base to be defined. D&T is concerned with intervening in the made world. This immediately identifies an understanding of materials and the structures made up of materials as an essential facet of the knowledge base. The outcomes of intervention will need to work well and to achieve this there must be an understanding of the ways such things might be powered and controlled. Hence an understanding of function emerges as another essential facet. And finally any intervention inevitably involves the prospect of impacts beyond intended benefits and the way to engage with this is through critique. So here we have a third essential facet. We have shown in our response to the DfE consultation on content that the Technical knowledge and understanding content can be organised according to the three categories: materials and structure, function and critique. Hence we argue strongly here that this content can be used as the basis of the knowledge base to be assessed in the written paper.

3.4 Assessing the knowledge base

Having argued that the Technical knowledge and understanding content organised into three components can stand as a suitable knowledge base for the subject we now argue that these should be used as the basis for the Assessment Objectives for the written paper in the subject. They are presented in the table below.

Assessment Objectives for the Knowledge Base of Design & Technology
AO1 Concerning materials and structure Recall, select and apply their knowledge of materials and structures in solving design and technology problems
AO2 Concerning achieving function Recall, select and apply their knowledge of achieving function in solving design and technology problems
AO3 Concerning critique Recall, select and apply their knowledge of critique in considering issues in design & technology

3.5 Defining the procedural competence to be assessed

It is generally agreed that the processes followed to ‘intervene in the made world’ can to a large extent be encapsulated as aspects of designing. The Designing and making principles content in the DfE consultation document cover this area fully. We have suggested that the statements would benefit from being organised in a more coherent way according to the following four categories Generating design ideas, Developing and communicating design ideas, Making design ideas and Appraising the final prototype or product. We argue strongly for these categories to be used as the basis for the Assessment Objectives to assess candidates’ procedural competence through their performance in the NEA.

3.6 Assessing the procedural competence

Having argued that the Designing and making principles content organized into four components can stand as a sound description of the procedural competence required for the subject we now argue that these should be used as the basis for the Assessment Objectives for the NEA in the subject. They are presented in the table below.

Assessment Objectives for Procedural Competence in Design & Technology
AO1 Concerning Generating design ideas Generate design possibilities to meet identified needs and solve problems
AO2 Concerning Developing and communicating design ideas Develop and communicate design possibilities to become makeable products/prototypes
AO3 Concerning Making design ideas Make products / prototypes that meet and solve the identified needs and problems
AO4 Concerning Appraising the final prototype or product Analyse and evaluate products / prototypes they have made themselves

Question 4: To what extent do you agree or disagree that the proposed weightings of the assessment objectives are appropriate for GCSEs in design and technology?


We think that both the proposed Assessment Objectives and their weightings are completely inappropriate. We have identified Assessment objectives we think more appropriate above and here we provide appropriate Assessment Objectives weightings

4.1 Maintaining the 50/50 split between the written paper and the NEA

Given the significance of knowledge and understanding in defining a subject we argue that the 50/50 split between the written paper and the NEA should be maintained in the reconfigured Assessment Objectives we are suggesting. To give the knowledge and understanding a greater than 50% weighting would devalue procedural competence. To give procedural competence greater than 50% would devalue knowledge and understanding. Both should be valued equally.

4.2 Weightings for the written paper

Assessment Objectives for the Knowledge Base of Design & Technology
To be used for the written paper and comprising 50% of the marks available for assessment
Weighting
AO1 Concerning materials and structure Recall, select and apply their knowledge of materials and structures in solving design and technology problems 18
AO2 Concerning achieving function Recall, select and apply their knowledge of achieving function in solving design and technology problems 18
AO3 Concerning critique Recall, select and apply their knowledge of critique in considering issues in design & technology 14
Total 50%

Note that for each AO above it would be possible to write questions parts of which require the application of mathematics and science.

4.3 Weightings for the NEA

Assessment Objectives for Procedural Competence in Design & Technology
To be used for the NEA and comprising 50% of the marks available for assessment
Weighting
AO1 Concerning Generating design ideas Generate design possibilities to meet identified needs and solve problems 10
AO2 Concerning Developing and communicating design ideas Develop and communicate design possibilities to become makeable products/prototypes 15
AO3 Concerning Making design ideas Make products / prototypes that meet and solve the identified needs and problems 15
AO4 Concerning Appraising the final prototype or product Analyse and evaluate products / prototypes they have made themselves 10
Total 50%

Note that for each AO above it would be possible to write assessment criteria that reward the application of mathematics and science.

Part 2 of this pair of posts details our response to question 5, an ‘open’ question, where we discuss both the non-examined and the examined aspects of D&T assessment at GCSE.

Response to DfE consultation on D&T GCSE content (part 4)

Part 1 of this series of posts focused on the general questions at the beginning of the consultation document and then on the content of the Technical Knowledge and Understanding section of the content. Part 2 examined the Designing and making principles section of the content. Part 3 looked at the first appendix in the consultation which outlines Links to Mathematics and Science. This fourth and last post considers the second consultation Appendix which describes the proposed Contextual Challenges that will form the basis of the non-examined Assessment (NEA).

We’ll be putting up a further post to share our views on the linked Ofqual consultation about how the new D&T GCSE should be examined.


  1. Is the revised GCSE content in design and technology appropriate? Please consider:
  • Whether the amount of content in the qualification is appropriate and, if not, whether you have any suggestions for removing or adding content

CONCERNING CONTEXTUAL CHALLENGES (Appendix 2)

We have two concerns. The first is that the number of contextual challenges to be offered in a specification is limited to three whereas eight possible challenges are listed in Appendix 2. We think it is important that schools have as wide a range to choose from as possible even though it is likely that any one school will only make a selection (say three or four) available to its students. This will allow schools to match the contextual challenges chosen to the ethos of the school, the concerns of its community, including industry partners and the expertise of its staff. Further we would want Awarding Organisations to have, over time, the freedom to extend the list of contextual challenges.

Our second concern is that there is insufficient explanation of the nature of the individual challenges – they are presented as little more than titles. We suggest that some indication of possible outcomes is given, as indicated below:

Extending human capacity. Possible outcomes could include: exploration, such as remotely controlled devices to visit, record data and/or take samples from a range of hostile/distant environments; to enable human beings to perform beyond their current capacity both physically and cognitively;

Responding to the unexpected. Possible outcomes could include: the provision of short/medium term shelter, clean drinking water and communication with the outside world;

Improving living and working spaces (environments and objects). Possible outcomes could include: models for elements of intelligent sustainable living, working, social, leisure and civic spaces; objects (products and systems) to improve or enhance the functional, emotional or aesthetic experience, physical comfort in a variety of situations or emotional security in times of stress; inclusive design;

Securing the future. Possible outcomes could include: safe disposal of objects or substances; minimising waste; utilization of waste; elimination of waste; systems to help individuals, small communities and/or business to reduce their carbon footprint;

Protecting people and products. Possible outcomes could include: individual protection for people in different situations (leisure pursuits, different occupations, travelling); protecting possessions from theft; keeping individuals or groups free from harm; tamper proof packaging; personal protective equipment and clothing;

Promoting health and wellbeing. Possible outcomes could include: systems and devices to be used in the wild, in rural areas, in urban areas, and be concerned with individuals, groups and/or communities; sports or fitness aids; improving the health and hygiene of individuals and communities; to include as many people as reasonably possible, in the design of products and systems (e.g. consider visual, cognitive, motor impairment, etc.);

Expressing personal and social identity. Possible outcomes could include: apparel, adornments, accessories and/or cosmetics in the context of occasion, culture or personal intent; artefacts linked to social and cultural events;

Developing communities. Possible outcomes could include: facilitating disadvantaged communities to develop; encourage self-help and sustainable solutions to real-life problems; develop social and community cohesion; encourage and support leisure and tourism; inclusive design;

We feel these added descriptors are helpful in guiding Awarding Bodies about the nature of the kinds of task that candidates might undertake and they emphasise that any of the contextual challenges can be approached from any of the traditional D&T material areas as well as, we hope increasingly, by combining materials from these areas.

There is a further section of the consultation that asks:


Equalities Impact

In accordance with the Equality Act 2010, public bodies must have “due regard”, when making decisions, to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation; advance equality of opportunity; and foster good relations, in relation to relevant protected characteristics. It would therefore be very helpful to understand if, in your view, there is any potential for the subject content to have a disproportionate impact upon any student with relevant protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. It would be particularly helpful to understand if any respondents have evidence to support concerns they may have about such impacts.

  1. Do you think that the proposal has the potential to have a disproportionate impact, positive or negative, on specific students, in particular those with ‘relevant protected characteristics’? (The relevant protected characteristics are disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.) Please provide evidence to support your response.
  1. How could any adverse impact be reduced and how could the subject content of the GCSE be altered to better advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a protected characteristic and those who do not share it? Please provide evidence to support your response.

We don’t have any comment to make on these questions, but will be interested to hear if colleagues feel that there are any disproportionate impacts of the kind described – and, if so, how these might be reduced.