The Telegraph is reporting that record numbers of schools are attempting to inflate pupils’ marks in GCSEs and A-levels amid warnings from the qualifications watchdog over “rising pressure” to hit targets…
In a major report, Ofqual found that the number of requests for “special consideration” in exams – extra marks for illnesses and injury – had increased by a fifth in the last year.
It was revealed that demands for “access arrangements”, such as 25 per cent additional time at the end of the test, had also soared by 10 per cent this summer.
In a further disclosure, the number of teachers – or entire schools and colleges – caught attempting to cheat the exams system increased by 40 per cent in 2014.
Most penalties related to staff giving “inappropriate assistance” given to pupils during exams but others concerned the early opening of test papers, breaches of security and allowing teenagers to take exams at the wrong time.
Ofqual said the rising numbers of requests for legitimate special help was “difficult to explain”, but suggested it could be “a sign of the rising pressure on schools” caused by recent reforms to the exams system.
The regulator added that increases in penalties for cheating “also concern us” and announced it would be launching a fresh investigation into alleged malpractice.
The conclusions were made in a wide-ranging report into marking in this summer’s exams in England…
Thoughts and reactions to these figures? If schools are playing the system and/or cheating, are there any realistic steps that could be taken to reduce the likelihood of it happening? Please give us your suggestions in the comments or via Twitter…
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