Annual Reviews & Reports
Our Annual Review provides an interesting snapshot of activity across the Cambridge Assessment Group and each year Cambridge Assessment presents its formal Annual Report and accounts to the Council of the University of Cambridge.
Against a backdrop of increased scrutiny from Government, the English exams regulator and the media, we continued to play a leading role in developing and delivering educational assessment in over 160 countries around the world.
The momentum for educational reform has been building for some time and in the UK we experienced significant policy change related to qualifications, from new specifications for GCSEs and vocational qualifications to the potential redesign of A Levels.
There was also the added pressure of changes to the regulatory system and the market generally. The English exams regulator was given powers to fine exam
boards up to 10 per cent of their annual turnover. The desire to be able to fine boards arose, at least in part, from widespread concerns about errors in all boards’ question papers in June 2011 and the need to find a proportionate penalty.
Changes to school performance measures had a huge impact upon vocational qualification design. For inclusion in 14–16 performance tables from 2014 onwards in the UK, vocational qualifications will need to be at least the size of a GCSE. The changes we are undertaking are in line with the recommendations from Professor Alison Wolf’s review of vocational education in which she identified the need to reduce the number of qualifications that count as equivalent to a GCSE; increase the level of external assessment; reduce the number of small qualifications; and concentrate on the delivery of those which could evidence strong progression. This is and continues to be a major focus of our UK exam board.
A similar shift in policy was set out for 17–19 learners where again Wolf’s recommendations are driving the policy agenda. There is much to welcome in the proposals to move funding by learner rather than qualifications, emphasising the importance of English and Maths and the need to deliver high quality work experience and measure destinations and progression rather than the number of qualifications achieved. Ofqual’s strategy became clearer over the last year and four principles are evident: a focus on standards; a heavy sourcing of international benchmarking evidence; a finessing of regulatory powers; and a strengthening of public confidence.
Internationally, the impact of UK policy changes, regulation and the media furore is being felt. We continue to support international educational reform initiatives with national partner bodies which have a broad focus, including the development of new curricula, assessments and professional development programmes for teachers and schools’ leaders. This enables students to be successful within their own national education context and gain qualifications that are recognised, accepted and valued regionally and internationally.
We strengthened our presence in Asia Pacific and continued our work with education ministries around the world to develop national assessment programmes, bringing to bear our global expertise and knowledge.
The capacity to adapt to change is essential in education. Our experience of developing and delivering educational assessment both in the UK and 160 countries worldwide can help to deliver whatever reforms come our way.
Group Chief Executive
Annual Review 2011-2012 (1.6 Mb)
Annual Review 2010-2011 (1.8 Mb)
Annual Review 2009 2010 (2 Mb)
Annual Review 2008-2009 (1.4 Mb)
Annual Review 2007-2008 (1.5 Mb)
Annual Review 2006-2007 (1.5 Mb)
Annual Review 2005-2006 (1.1 Mb)
Annual Review 2004-2005 (3.9 Mb)