HMC and NAHT response to Ofqual’s announcement of changes to the way in which schools can challenge exam results from this summer

8 July 2016
Posted by Heidi Salmons

In response to Ofqual’s announcement today (08.07.16) of changes to the way in which schools can challenge exam results from this summer. School leaders’ associations HMC and NAHT said in a joint statement:

“We are pleased to see the exam regulator listening to feedback and seeking to slow down the overall pace of change. However, the decision to base the grounds for reviewing a mark on a test of appropriate judgement will mean an even worse deal for pupils.

“As a result the one million pupils awaiting their exam results this summer will find it harder to challenge untrustworthy marks. At the same time, plans to openly share marked papers with schools have been shelved.

“This is unjustifiable and will spread confusion. Genuinely suspect grades deserve a diligent remark, not just an opaque review of process based on what is deemed “appropriate” marking.

“School leaders want to see candidates awarded the most accurate mark possible leading to the correct grade. To do that you need enough fully trained examiners and a fair and transparent appeals process.

“HMC and NAHT are backing a viable alternative – called “double-blind marking” which Ofqual’s own researchers originally said was the best solution. It will provide the most reliable remark and is the fairest approach for pupils whose futures are so dependent on exam grades.

“We call on Ofqual to reconsider this proposal and put fairness for pupils over protecting its reputation.”



Note to editors:

Background Information:

NAHT represents more than 29,000 school leaders in early years, primary, secondary and special schools, making us the largest association for school leaders in the UK.  We represent, advise and train school leaders in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  We use our voice at the highest levels of government to influence policy for the benefit of leaders and learners everywhere.  Our new section, NAHT Edge, supports, develops and represents middle leaders in schools.

The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) represents 281 leading independent schools in the British Isles. They include coeducational, single sex, day and boarding schools and educate more than 220,000 children. Our members lead schools that are distinguished by their excellence in pastoral care, co-curricular provision and classroom teaching. HMC is a thriving, pro-active association of leading figures in school education. See

For further information please contact:

Sue Bishop, Director of External Relations, HMC

Mobile: 07787 294808

Email: [email protected]

Steven George, Head of Press & Campaigns

Mobile: 07970 907730

Email: [email protected]   Follow HMC on Twitter at @HMC_Org  Follow us on Twitter at NAHTnews/use the hasthtag#NAHT2016