School whistleblowers call for naming and shaming

The Guardian is reporting calls for an end to teachers found guilty of coursework and exam cheating being ‘protected by a wall of silence’…

Jan Davidson (not her real name) was shocked when, in 2013, she discovered that teachers in her school had been falsely passing students’ coursework that didn’t deserve it. She thought long and hard before finally making a complaint to Edexcel, the exam board responsible for the qualification. But now, having risked her job to do the right thing and report it, she feels angry with the regulatory authorities because of the total secrecy around the outcomes.

“It’s appalling,” she says. “Everything is swept under the carpet. Serious irregularities were found and yet nothing is made public, so individuals can be free to continue what they have been doing, and the school can basically carry on as if nothing has happened. It’s shocking – and unacceptable.”

…Statistics published in December by the exams regulator, Ofqual, show a 61% rise in the number of schools and colleges found guilty of malpractice last year, with 217 penalty notices issued, one for every 30 schools or colleges in the UK. Yet none has been named, as exam board rules say the details must be kept confidential…

Francesca West, policy director for the whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work, says: “The incentives for schools to push the boundaries to raise results seem very strong, and yet the disincentives, in terms of penalties and publicity, seem weak…”

Anastasia de Waal, director of family and education at the thinktank Civitas, who has written extensively on methods used by schools to raise results, says: “This seems to indicate that where serious problems are uncovered, the desire to do something about it, and to report that publicly, is very weak…

More at: School whistleblowers call for naming and shaming


What do you think of this approach of effectively keeping cases  of cheating secret? Would too much confidence in the system/individual schools/other students’ results be eroded if they were publicised or would it be the right the to do? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove The pressure on grades via teachers is enormous but something the govt aren’t keen on the wider public realising

  2. andylutwyche

    “waterside09: SchoolsImprove shout it louder Andy x” I’m not a tax sponge in Westminster therefore I am mute as far as media are concerned

  3. waterside09

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove I get the message & so will others put it on put it on my FB & copy in warwickmansell

  4. 5N_Afzal

    I think they should’ve named and shamed. The whistleblowers risk a lot and sometimes pay the price. Only fair that those guilty of wrongdoing should be named.

  5. Janet2

    League table pressure leads to this kind of fraud.  Time to move away from high stakes exams at 16+.  Exam boards won’t like it of course.  But education is supposed to benefit pupils not those who can profit from a system which can be corrupted.  Politicians wouldn’t like it either – it would reduce the chances of ‘naming and shaming’ individual schools, local authorities, schools which aren’t academies etc.

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