Ofqual rejects call for one exam board

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The Independent Online

Demands to establish a single GCSE and A-level board in the wake of claims that examiners tipped off teachers about questions were rejected yesterday by the regulator Ofqual.

A single exam board for the country was "not necessarily the solution" to what MPs called a crisis of confidence in existing boards, Glenys Stacey, Ofqual chief executive, told the Commons Education Select Committee.

Following The Daily Telegraph's allegations that examiners primed teachers about next year's papers at a series of seminars, there were calls from pressure groups – backed by Labour – to introduce a single examining body.

It was argued it would relieve boards of any pressure to woo schools by making papers easy and passing on tips.

But Ms Stacey said there had to be a market place "to incentivise a race to the top" and improve exam standards.

The committee of MPs also heard from three examiners who had been suspended following the furore. Two examiners apologised for their "inappropriate" comments but all three insisted that they did not reveal details of forthcoming questions.