Exam seminars staged to help teachers boost pupils’ GCSE and A-level results face being routinely videoed under new rules designed to stamp out abuses of the system, it has emerged. This is from the Telegraph…
Ofqual, the qualifications regulator, warned that examiners would be required to abide by tough new guidelines after concluding that the practice posed “unacceptable risks” to the integrity of test standards.
Guidance states that exam boards should ensure that the “confidentiality” of exam papers is being safeguarded at all times and must launch urgent investigations into any allegation that the system has been breached.
It suggests that exam chiefs could meet the new requirements by recording “all face-to-face teacher training events” – including teleconferences – to make sure sensitive information is not being passed to schools.
The document also recommends that presentations and written materials used at seminars are made routinely available on exam board websites to boost transparency.
The move comes after the Daily Telegraph filmed senior examiners advising teachers at £230-a-day seminars about the exact wording that pupils should use and which questions they could expect.
One examiner told teachers how to “hammer exam technique” rather than teach the entire subject curriculum, adding: “We’re cheating… Probably the regulator will tell us off.”
An undercover reporter posing as a teacher was told by an official from a separate exam board that “you don’t have to teach a lot” to get good marks.
In response, Ofqual announced an all-out ban on training seminars related to existing qualifications from 2013.
The only permitted events will be those staged to prepare teachers to set GCSE coursework and seminars relating to brand new qualifications.
On Friday, the watchdog published new plans to regulate these remaining training sessions.