Ofqual is today (10 December) launching a consultation on three inter-related sets of proposals, covering:
- the review and appeal systems used by exam boards in England for addressing concerns about a candidate’s GCSE, AS or A level marks;
- updating the rules that give effect to exam boards’ review appeal systems; and
- new rules for how exam boards should set grade boundaries for new and legacy GCSEs, AS and A levels.
SCHOOLS North East Head Teachers met with Ofqual Chair Amanda Spielman last month to discuss their concerns with irregularities in exam marking. The exam board regulator is keen to hear from school leaders in our region again and invites you to complete a response form for the consultation. More information, as well as an online response form and contact details, is available here.
Today’s proposals for changing the review and appeals systems stem from the results of a year-long study into the quality of marking that Ofqual published last year and extended conversations with school representatives. The regulator is encouraging anybody with an interest in GCSEs, AS and A levels to read its proposals and respond by 11 March 2016.
Glenys Stacey, Chief Regulator, said: “This year we have seen another increase in appeals. Schools want to do the best for their students which is understandable given the importance of GCSE, AS and A level grades on their future prospects, but it also reflects teachers’ increasing lack of confidence in marking and the current appeals system. We believe the evidence-based proposals put forward today will improve transparency and fairness. But most importantly, these changes will reduce the disappointment and frustration that too many students and teachers currently encounter when navigating exam boards’ appeal systems.”
Ian Stockford, Executive Director for General Qualifications, said: “We want a system that corrects marking errors but does not give candidates who challenge their marks an unfair advantage over those who do not. In other words, we want a system that is fair. This is about making sure students get the right results, boosting schools’ confidence in the system.”
SCHOOLS NorthEast will continue to press for change in the exam board system. If you are responding directly to the consultation, please copy your response to our Director, Mike Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org as we will be submitting a response on behalf of the network also.