News from the BBC confirming GCSE exam standards are indeed declining and shedding light of how it is being done. You can read the story here or download the podcast here. Basically the story is that the five Exam Boards compete to produce simpler exams that satisfy the ‘nominal’ benchmarks, but are easier to pass. As Mick Waters, the former head of QCA said ‘The system is diseased, almost corrupt’. Really depressing.
The story includes allegations that:
- Exam boards ‘tipping off’ teachers about likely topics in exams.
- OFQUAL are not investigating the professional malpractice around exams that boosts exam results.
- There is a ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of exam standards.
My previous comments on the shameful phenomena are here. But without saying too much again, it is an outrage, that not-for-profit exam boards can be wholly owned by publishing corporations. IMHO the solution is simple: the UK needs exactly one exam board which should have no commercial involvement whatsoever.