Boards ‘must raise quality of exam marking’

The Times, 04/12/14, mistakes in marking A level and GCSE papers this summer have prompted “robust discussions” with the exams watchdog, the education secretary told MPs yesterday.

Problems which saw thousands of teenagers getting the wrong grade were being addressed and had been taken very seriously, Nicky Morgan said.

Addressing the education select committee, Mrs Morgan said exam boards would now have to improve the standards of markers.

It came after schools reacted angrily this summer to marking problems that saw pupils receiving wildly inaccurate grades. Some lost their chance to go to the university of their choice.

Mrs Morgan told the committee: “When schools have taken years to prepare students, when students have put hours in to prepare, when parents and universities and others are reliant on those results, the students should have confidence in the marks they get.”

She also suggested that more schools would fall below the government’s minimum standard, with the introduction of new, linear GCSEs.

She said: “We want our GCSEs to be more rigorous and [have] higher academic standards. That was one of the reasons for the changes of my predecessor which I entirely support and endorse.”

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