Celebrating the voice of students in the exam system
On 15th January 2020, Ellen Blacker (Year 13) attended a Parliamentary Reception at the House of Commons to launch the AQA Student Advisory Group, of which she has been selected as Chair.
The reception was sponsored by the Rt Hon Robert Goodwill, current MP for Scarborough and Whitby and former Minister of State for Education (2017-2018).
The occasion provided Ellen and other student members of the panel the chance to meet one another, and also Elizabeth Kitcatt – AQA Trustee and current headteacher, who is facilitating the group.
Ellen reported back that the reception was incredible, the panel of students were diverse from across the UK and all were engaging and proactive. Ellen was able to network and speak to three MPs, including Robert Goodwill MP. She spoke to the key AQA examiner, who is looking to make AQA exams as “socially neutral” as possible, with regards to background and ethnicity. She was able to put forward a clear case, using Clyst Vale as an example, for better representation of rural schools in the education system.
There were key educational influencers there, including Humanists UK, who fight for better education. Ellen spoke passionately to Andrew Copson, their Chief Executive, who then tweeted about their conversation (see picture!) Ellen has also been offered the opportunity to work with Humanists UK on an internship when she starts her philosophy degree next year. This has led to further meeting requests from Prof Francesca Stavrakopoulou, biblical scholar and broadcaster, at Exeter University!
Ellen was thrilled to have had the opportunity to speak about Clyst Vale at the House of Commons and to engage with so many people to promote the school and education.
Ellen commented: “Tonight’s event was a fantastic way to launch the Student Advisory Group and it’s great that AQA have taken this step to engage students. I can’t wait to start working with the other members of the group and with AQA, to help shape the future of exams.”
Clyst Vale is very proud of Ellen’s success in being selected as Chair of this important group, and are sure that she will make a very positive difference to students across the UK as she represents their views at this strategic level. Well done, Ellen!
Related articles and information:
AQA website article on Student Advisory Group: https://www.aqa.org.uk/news/AQA-launches-Student-Advisory-Group-at-parliamentary-reception
TES article on the AQA Student Advisory Group: https://www.tes.com/news/pupils-advise-aqa-gcse-and-level-exam-papers
The Rt Hon Robert Goodwill MP: https://members.parliament.uk/member/1562/contact
Humanists UK: https://humanism.org.uk/
Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou: https://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/theology/staff/stavrakopoulou/