Chapter one: How Ofqual left teachers 'disgusted'

9th November 2012 at 00:00

I have to voice my sense of disgust at the findings of the Ofqual inquiry, which has concluded that the summer GCSE English fiasco was largely caused by teachers marking coursework too generously. I fumed with indignation at the comments made by Ofqual to the media that seemed to overlook the process of moderation undertaken by the exam boards themselves, which led to the initial awarding of grades that Ofqual then felt it necessary to adjust.

If there is evidence of wholesale adjustment of coursework marks by exam board moderators, I have yet to hear of it. In our case, the moderator made no change to the marks and work submitted. Even if there had been significant changes to the marks awarded by teachers, would this not have been evidence of the exam board self-regulatory system at work?

It is interesting that the only area in which Ofqual feels teachers are to blame is the marking of work at the CD borderline where they feel teachers have been too generous. But if such a culture existed it would have been evident at all grades.

The confidence Ofqual claims to want to instil in the exam system has been jeopardised. If ever there was a time for clear political leadership to resolve this chaos, this is it. Cometh the hour, cometh the man - where is ours when we need him?

Jim Clarke, Headteacher, Pool Hayes Arts and Community School.

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