Ofqual rejects call for one exam board
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Friday 16 December 2011
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.
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