LESSONS IN PR FOR EXAM BOARDS?

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It’s a simple question – how can examination boards judge results when they often get it so wrong themselves?

Every year pupils face chaos when a new scandal is announced surrounding results. This week, we have had the news that if students got half their answers wrong in the Maths papers, they will get an A, seriously undermining their credibility. Presumably this is to counteract a problem with the subject’s grade boundaries last year, for which there has just been an investigation announced. To add to the mix, grade boundaries were leaked and we have seen the biggest drop in marks for 12 years.

According to the Daily Telegraph, a big issue is the exam boards are in competition with each other and that competitive pressure can lead to a dumbing down of the system. Looking at their performance each year, I’m struggling to see their competitiveness. Surely that would do what it does for most businesses and make them improve their game?

As a parent of four who has been in the grip of GCSEs and A level results for years, I dread August and the latest scandal which inevitably causes havoc for pupils.

For the many who work so hard, an examination board’s miscalculation can be life changing – for some in a good way, like this year’s Maths students – although will they be truly able to celebrate their result, knowing it could have been a lowered boundary that got them that treasured A? For others, who lose a place at uni through a wrongly calculated grade, it’s devastating.

Then there’s the remarking, with claims that low pay for markers has lead to a dumbing down of standards in exam boards too.

It’s time for the Government to get this under control, set tighter rules and scrutiny and let’s make 2020 error free when it comes to results day – it’s my last one as a parent. Give me a break.