Exam boards on ‘final warning’ as GCSE results day looms

The TES is reporting warnings from a government source that exam boards are on their “final warning” and must prove that they have “upped their game” to prevent a radical overhaul. 

In an escalation of the row between awarding bodies and the Department for Education, it has emerged that any significant difficulties with this month’s A-level and GCSE results will lead to certain reform…

Ministers’ concerns cut across “all aspects” of the role of exam boards, the source added, and any difficulties over the next year would trigger major changes.

But assessment experts and independent schools are warning that the reforms under consideration would reduce choice and could spell “disaster”.

Jo-Anne Baird, director of the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment, questioned whether the government would be “capable of setting up an exam board with the expertise and capacity to run these high-volume, high-stakes exams”…

More at: Exam boards on ‘final warning’ as GCSE results day looms


So according to this report, the exam boards really are in the last chance saloon. 

Do you think the threats are serious and the government actually would move ahead to set up their own board?

Please let us know why/why not in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Policy and Secondary.


  1. mcallister1

    SchoolsImprove I think by now they know the work is done and it is most unlikely there will be problems. An empty threat.

  2. PrincesBold

    SchoolsImprove Further Reform? Better off closing all of them than let this Govt continue to experiment with our children. Young futures?

  3. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove One could suggest constant political interference has hindered exam boards’ ability to do their job efficiently. #justsaying

  4. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Whilst a single exam board sounds a reasonable idea in theory, it would be run by the DfE and subject to political whims

  5. Mark_Edmundson

    andylutwyche Bedtonman SchoolsImprove For a govt that professes to be small state, the control freakery is truly a sight to behold.

  6. little_mavis

    andylutwyche Bedtonman SchoolsImprove You get no marks for this maths q! I know you got the correct answer , BUT YOU DIDN’T DO IT MY WAY

  7. andylutwyche

    “Bedtonman: andylutwyche SchoolsImprove it is Pearson leaning on international Governments” You obviously know more than me!

  8. PutneyDebates

    andylutwyche Bedtonman SchoolsImprove Though private companies competing for examinees was itself a political whim.

  9. andylutwyche

    PutneyDebates Bedtonman SchoolsImprove I suppose so, but I’d suggest that a DfE run exam board would be more detrimental over this…

  10. andrew_1910

    leonardjamesuk Bedtonman andylutwyche SchoolsImprove In other news,ministers are thinking of breaking Pearson ND/HND monopoly. L/R hand?

  11. DerwynWilliams1

    SchoolsImprove I hope the DfE means it. I don’t know of a teacher who has trust in the exam boards’ marking.

  12. DerwynWilliams1 SchoolsImprove And would they have more trust in a Government exam board setting each syllabus, the questions and the marking scheme?  As andylutwyche says, a single exam board sounds reasonable but a Gov’t exam board is a dangerous suggestion.

  13. andylutwyche Bedtonman andylutwyche SchoolsImprove To companies like Pearson, education is a commodity to be bought and sold.  Such companies have a vested interest in promoting GERM – Global Education Reform Movement which promotes market forces in education, ‘choice’ etc.  http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2015/04/education-is-a-right-not-a-commodity-message-to-pearsons-agm-today/

Let us know what you think...