The TES is reporting that the government’s GCSE reform programme has been hit as sample papers for the new qualifications have been rejected in several key subjects “amid concerns that they are too easy.”
Ofqual has turned down specimen papers for reformed GCSEs in history and geography from all four exam boards involved in setting the new qualifications. Some modern foreign language papers have also been rejected, TES understands.
Ministers were already concerned that their desire for explicitly tougher GCSEs, to be phased in from next month in England, was being thwarted by a new “race to the bottom” after problems with standards in sample maths papers.
Now they are said to be considering asking Ofqual to introduce fines for exam boards that have to resubmit their sample assessment materials to the regulator too many times.
Ofqual and the four boards are playing down the latest concerns. An Ofqual spokesman said the papers had been rejected because they “failed to comply” with requirements…
All of which, in turn, could mean delays in getting the new specifications to schools.
Are ministers and Ofqual being too picky here, or is this a further indication of why the government is said to be considering a switch to a single exam boards?
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