The Tes reports there are calls for the exams watchdog to expedite the publication of data showing the proportion of challenges leading to grade changes, to address widespread concerns over the quality of marking.
Schools are reporting that a higher proportion of pupils’ results in the new GCSEs – especially in English – have improved significantly after re-marks this year.
Ofqual normally publishes the national figures on re-marks just before the Christmas holidays – around four months after results day – but Anne Heavey, education policy adviser of the NEU teaching union, said that accelerating this would enable “more transparency” in the exam system.
Last month, the Grammar School Heads’ Association (GSHA) met to discuss these concerns. Jim Skinner, chief executive of the GSHA, said the picture being painted around GCSE English “underlies the problems that were there in the initial marking.”
A working group on building the capacity of examiners said in January that an extra 7,000 teachers would be needed as examiners to cope with the pressures created by exam reforms.
The group, made up of exam boards and headteachers’ associations, said in its report that teachers’ participation was a “prerequisite” to the system delivering the right results.
But Tes has learned that the group has met only once since January – despite the introduction of major exam reforms – and one of their recommendations for encouraging teachers to become examiners has been dropped because it was unpopular with unions.
Tes understands that a proposed award – which would have rewarded schools and colleges that promoted examining to their staff – was quietly dropped behind the scenes months after the launch.
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