Exams row ‘will impact on perceptions of fairness’
THE problems surrounding the grading of GCSEs in England has had a “serious impact on perceptions of fairness”, the exams regulator has said.
Ofqual said it recognised the significance of the issues faced, but its boss, Glenys Stacey, said she would have forced one of England’s biggest exam boards, Edexcel, to alter its GCSE English boundaries to avoid grade inflation had it not done so itself.
Teachers have complained children were marked too harshly after top results fell for the first time in the exams’ history. School staff have complained that exam boards increased grade boundaries, leaving pupils with lower results than expected, as part of an effort to stop the “dumbing down” of the exams.
Appearing before the Commons education select committee yesterday, Ms Stacey was asked what Ofqual would have done if Edexcel had stuck to its first response to the regulator, and insisted that its proposed grade boundaries were fair.
“If they had done so, then the legislation provides that the regulator can direct grade boundary changes,” Ms Stacey said.
Pushed on whether Ofqual would have done this, she added: “We would have done, yes.”
Leaked letters have shown that Ofqual urged Edexcel to alter its GCSE English grade boundaries just two weeks before the results were published.
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