More pupils than ever win exam appeals: Fears over quality of marking after number of complaints rockets 50% in a year

Daily Mail, 22/10/14, record numbers of pupils are winning appeals against their GCSE and A-level grades amid mounting concern over the quality of exam marking. HMC Chairman Richard Harman is quoted.

Complaints about grades have rocketed almost 50 per cent in a year – and a greater proportion are being resolved in teenagers’ favour, exams watchdog Ofqual disclosed yesterday.

The figures prompted Ofqual to admit that ‘rogue markers’ may need to be ‘weeded out’ of the exam system. It also promised a raft of other measures to boost the quality of examining including league tables detailing the marking performance of each exam board. The watchdog admitted that some grades were being changed ‘to a baffling extent’ following appeals, damaging public confidence in the exam system.

It follows figures showing that the number of appeals being lodged has more than doubled in just three years to 450,500. Some 45,500 grades were changed this summer following a challenge – up almost 15 per cent on last year.

Richard Harman, chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, representing top private schools, said: ‘We have been concerned about the accuracy of exam marking for many years, and so it is extremely worrying to see a new leap in the figures for re-grades this year.

‘The college or university places of tens of thousands of students have been needlessly jeopardised this autumn and the exam boards must be made to do much better.’

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