Tuesday, 11 September 2012

GCSE latest - TES leaks and Welsh Government expose Ofqual

Leaked letters revealed by the TES - along with a decision by the Welsh Government to call for a regrading of English Language GCSEs for students that come under their jurisdiction - have increased the pressure on Ofqual - and Michael Gove - to come clean on the GCSE scandal.

At the very least, there has been unfair statistical manipulation of this June's English Language results. Many suspect political manipulation as well. As a result, our students and our schools have been cheated.

It is clear from the TES revelations ( http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6289700 ) that Ofqual DID intervene at a very late stage to pressurise Edexcel into shifting their grade boundaries.

In a separate development, the Welsh Government has reached the conclusion that "“it seems probable that a serious distortion to the outcomes of the candidates in Wales has been caused”, and that a 3.9 percentage point fall in outcomes for all grades C and above in 2012, when compared to 2011, “is unjustifiable and almost certainly unfair to candidates”".

As the National NUT press release this morning correctly states:

“It is glaringly obvious from this exchange of letters that Ofqual has been less than transparent about its involvement in this year’s GCSE scandal.

“The letters reveal that Ofqual was trying to ration qualifications on the basis of the SATs tests that the students took five years ago. This is tantamount to saying that education does not matter. Michael Gove’s policy of setting a floor target that requires 40% of children to grade A*-C, and his position of supporting Ofqual in stopping any increase in the number of grade Cs, are in direct contradiction.

“Young people and teachers have been cheated by an examination system which is becoming subject to political influence regardless of the consequences. It is not just Glenys Stacey, head of Ofqual, with answers to give at this week’s Education Select Committee. Michael Gove can no longer be allowed to stand on the sidelines. It is high time he took the lead by the Welsh Government. He must do the right thing by students in England by ordering a re-grading of this year’s GCSE English examinations.”

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