Quarter of a billion spent on exam entries a year, expert claims

TES is reporting that an assessment expert has claimed that over a quarter of a billion pounds is spent on entering students for exams in England.

Professor Robert Coe, of Durham University’s Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, has revealed that approximately £272 million a year is spent on entering students for GCSEs, AS and A levels in England.

Speaking yesterday at the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), in Stratford-upon-Avon, Professor Coe questioned whether schools could get something better for the “colossal” investment.  

He asked whether the money could be better spent establishing whether summative assessments and long answers for students actually work well. Professor Coe, director of CEM, said: “They may require a little bit more assessment…we may have to collect more evidence from individual students. That may be the cost we have to pay.”

“But I think the main barriers to this are cost, and that’s why the quarter of a billion is important. There ought to be quite a lot of money floating around to address this with.”

In his speech at the HMC conference, Professor Coe also called for more teachers to be trained to understand the examinations and assessment system. “The gap between what I think teachers know and what many teachers do know is so big that I think we need to be alarmed about that,” he added.

More at: Quarter of a billion spent on exam entries a year, expert claims

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via Twitter. ~ Meena

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  1. Pupils in England take too many exams at 16+.  They should be reduced in number and only used to decide post-16 progression.  Graduation at 18 via multiple routes.  These would include exams and tests taken before 18, plus activities such as work experience, enterprise, participation in creative pursuits and sport, charitable activities, extended in-depth projects.  These would give potential employers and higher education providers more accurate assessment of young people’s achievement and motivation than a small number of exams.

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