The Telegraph reports that children are having their careers blighted because over a third of exam grades in certain subjects are “inaccurate”, a leading headteacher has warned.
Chris King, chairman of the Headmasters’ & Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) has urged school leaders to rise up and tackle the issue. Addressing heads of the world’s leading independent schools at HMC’s annual conference in Belfast, Mr King said that there is “great uncertainty” that students are receiving an accurate grade in their GCSEs and A-levels.
“True to its word, Ofqual has begun to tackle this too,” he said. “But the size of the problem is unnerving and cannot be condoned by school leaders through silence.
Mr King, who is headmaster of Leicester Grammar School, said that school leaders have long suspected inaccuracies in exam grading, but until recently they have only had their own anecdotal experience to base this on.
This summer, Ofqual published research about marking consistency, where they looked at a sample of GCSE and A-level exam papers in a range of subjects over the past four years.
They found that the grades awarded to around 30 per cent of English and Geography students were inconsistently awarded – meaning that the grade awarded by ordinary examiners deviated from the “definitive” grade as determined by a group of senior examiners.
The research, published in a presentation titled Quality of marking – confidence and consistency, found that up to 40 per cent of History paper grades were inconsistently awarded, while for Religious Studies it was between 30 and 40 per cent.
Have you had to question your pupils exam marks? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link
We now have a Facebook page - pls click to like!