Teachers 'over-marked' GCSEs

Some secondary school teachers in England were guilty of "significantly" over-marking pupils' GCSE English work this summer in a bid to boost results, the exams watchdog said.

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Teachers criticise 'ludicrous' Ofqual report

Report 'latest in a category of insults against teachers'

An English teacher has told ITV News that Ofqual's report was the "latest in a category of insults against teachers".

Chris Edwards, who wrote an open letter to Education Secretary Michael Gove in September criticising the decline of A* to C GCSE grades, said:

I'd like to say I'm shocked and surprised by this report but it's the latest in a category of insults against teachers.

You can imagine how demoralising this is for youngsters, they've got to resit exams on Wednesday and you can imagine how difficult it is to sit an exam you've already taken.

Ofqual don't seem to make any reference as to what they will do about this situation and they've turned the blame on the teachers which is unbelievable.

Asked whether teachers were under pressure to secure good grades, Mr Edwards said:

Most teachers thrive on that pressure but it doesn't help that every time results go up it's down to exams getting easier.


English GCSEs overmarked by teachers, says regulator

Ofqual's report into GCSE English exams found that many schools used the marks pupils received in their first exams and the January grade boundaries to work out what score a pupil would need in their controlled assessment and marked it accordingly.

Ofqual says teachers in some of England's secondary schools were guilty of "significantly" over-marking pupils' GCSE English work. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The majority of controlled assessment work was submitted in the summer, and examiners saw evidence of over-marking.

As a result, grade boundaries were raised to take account of this, and led to some students getting lower grades than expected.

Ofqual chief regulator Glenys Stacey said the distribution of this year's GCSE English results, which saw bunching around the C grade boundary, was "shocking".

Ofqual chief regulator 'shocked' by report findings

Ofqual chief regulator Glenys Stacey has said "children have been let down" by school exam systems and that she was "shocked" by the findings of the report.

We have been shocked by what we have found. Children have been let down. That won't do.

It's clear that children are increasingly spending too much time jumping through hoops rather than learning the real skills they need in life. That won't do.

Teachers feel under enormous pressure in English, more than in any other subject, and we have seen that too often, this is pushing them to the limit. That won't do either.

– Ofqual chief regulator Glenys Stacey

Headteachers have said that tens of thousands of teenagers received lower GCSE English grades than expected this year after exam boards moved the grade boundaries between January and June.

An initial report by Ofqual concluded that some of January's assessments were "graded generously" but the June boundaries were properly set and candidates' work properly graded.

The regulator today published its second report, looking at the reasons behind the changes in results.

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