Exam re-marks could get tougher, suggests Ofqual executive director

“Genuine errors” could become the main focus of exam re-marks, in what seems to be a narrowing of grounds for appeal.

Ian Stockford, executive director for Ofqual, told a conference that a “misleading impression” about the number of marking errors and the quality of marking is given due to grades being changed based on differences in opinions between examiners.

The Guardian reports that in the wake of a surge in appeals over GCSE and A-level results (which have doubled since 2011) Ofqual will host a public consultation on marking quality later this year.

Mr Stockford said: “We found evidence that, in the current system, exam boards rightly correct genuine marking errors, but that they can also sometimes change legitimate marks. This can give a misleading impression about the number of marking errors.”

He added: “a student might legitimately be given a different mark by two different markers marking the same answer, who are equally capable and experienced. That would not necessarily mean that either mark is wrong.”

Ofqual is also working on new ways to measure the quality of marking, to avoid relying on the appeals and inquiries statistics.

Ian Stockford commented: “Rather than using the inquiries system as a source of data of marking quality it is more important to consider the effectiveness of that process in delivering what it is intended to do: address instances of marking errors.”

Tomorrow SCHOOLS NorthEast and Head Teachers in the region will be meeting with Ofqual Chair Amanda Spielman to discuss concerns at volatility in exam assessment in summer 2015. More on this to follow in next week’s newsletter, but keep an eye on our Twitter account for live updates: @SCHOOLSNE



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