AQA starts search for new student advisors

Tuesday 6 Oct 2020

We’re looking for five students to join our successful Student Advisory Group and help make important decisions about the future of exams.

We launched the group last year to provide our Board of Trustees with a young person’s perspective on exams and assessment, such as the use of technology in assessment and the design of question papers.

The group has immediately impressed the trustees with the range of views and strength of feeling they’ve brought to these topics and many more besides. We’ve listened to their opinions and ideas on how we can make exams more accessible, what revision materials, advice and guidance we can provide for students, how our website is used, and how we engage with students.

We’re now seeking five new students to replace some of our outgoing members. The students selected will attend a series of meetings, where they’ll provide AQA with a student perspective on key topics to help inform important decisions, and transform our relationship with students - as well as developing valuable skills that will help them in their future careers.

A million students take GCSEs and A-levels with AQA every year – more than any other UK exam board. Around 60% of all GCSEs are currently taken with us.

We’re keen to hear from students who have taken AQA GCSEs since 2019, as well as from those taking AQA AS and A-levels and any of our non-general qualifications (which include functional skills, ELC, FCSE, Tech levels, Tech Awards and Applied Generals).

You can apply to be part of the Student Advisory Group via the AQA website, the application window closes at 6pm on Tuesday 20 October.

The successful candidates will join the group for one year, with the option to extend for a further year.

Elizabeth Kitcatt, from AQA’s Board of Trustees, said:

“Students are at the heart of what AQA does and during the time since the Advisory Group was established, the Trustees have taken a keen interest in hearing students' unique and valuable insights.

“As a Head teacher I know how insightful young people are about their education, and AQA's Board of Trustees has proved itself genuinely keen to include young people’s views in their decisions.

“The advisory group has provided trustees with a student perspective, and it will be able to make a real, lasting difference to the board’s understanding of students’ lived experience of all aspects of the examination system. I very much look forward to our continuing work with current members of the group and to welcoming new members shortly.”

Chair of the inaugural group, Ellen Blacker, said:

“I originally came into this position with a strong conviction that there was a need for young people to have a say in their education, as they are the ones who will be deeply affected by any changes.

“Furthermore, despite all of the change that has happened to the examination system this year, AQA has successfully enabled us to maintain our input on upcoming changes. I have personally also found that AQA has ensured that the benefits of being part of a student advisory group like this have continued.

“It has meant a lot to me to be part of an organisation that values the opinions of young people like me, as well as one that is so committed to supporting young people in realising their own potential.”