Chalk Talk: Paperless exams: why we won't be holding our breath

There was a whiff of revolution in the air when Isabel Nesbit delivered her parting shot as chief executive of Ofqual, the exams regulator. The day of the paperless exam was heralded, with a massive move towards online sitting and marking of exams in the future.

Now it looks as though her successor, Glenys Stacey, appears to be adopting a far more cautious approach. Speaking at a seminar in London, she warned that spending on IT was not always a protected area of a school's budget. "My interests are in a level playing field," she said.

In other words, if a school has faulty computers, its pupils might be at a disadvantage to the well-heeled private school down the road as they frantically try to get the computer to work.

Her concerns were echoed by Jack Lewars, representing the English School Students' Association – ie, those who actually sit the exams. He was worried that – in the minds of many people – IT was inextricably linked with sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. As a result, the use of IT in exams would be seen as a "dumbing down" of academic standards in comparison with the hand-crafted essay.

For whatever reason, then, any change is likely to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

Good news from a poll of six to 15-year-olds on what they want to be when they grow up: the most popular job is teaching – chosen by 31 per cent. Only a couple of years ago, it was reported that most of them aspired to be "celebrities" when they grew up. Only four per cent this time wanted to be reality TV stars.

Come to think of it, there are so many reality TV shows nowadays that it might be a realistic ambition for such a small number!

Interesting footnote: more youngsters wanted to be lorry drivers (three per cent) than bankers (two per cent).

The poll was carried out to coincide with a new film, That's What I Am, which features a 1960s teacher as its inspirational hero. But don't tell Sir Chris Woodhead, Michael Gove and assorted other traditionalists from the world of education that.

Interesting to note that almost half of all proposals to set up new free schools come from state school teachers, according to research published at the weekend. Apparently most of them plan to become the headteacher of their new school. I doubt whether Education Secretary Michael Gove ever saw his flagship scheme as a route to the top job for teachers.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Trainee Teacher - Maths

£18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organization is the larges...

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

Reach Volunteering: Would you like to volunteer your expertise as Chair of Governors for Livability?

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor