examination marking reforms will value students their university locations, headteachers say

More students will miss out on university places due to mis-marked A-degrees as a result of proposed reforms to the examination marking machine, headteachers have warned.

Heads of nation and personal faculties have taken the uncommon step of uniting to condemn proposals that the examination regulator Ofqual claims will assist deal with worries about re-marking procedures. There has been a dramatic upward push in proceedings about misguided examination marking, with challenges leaping by 260 in step with cent over the last five years.

Ultimate yr more than ninety,000 A-degree and GCSE results have been changed on attraction – an boom of 17 in line with cent from 2014. Some A-degree students were denied college places due to the fact publications crammed up before their mis-marked papers may be upgraded.

In an try and cope with the hassle, Ofqual has proposed reforms, below which papers would no longer be mechanically re-marked in the event of a complaint from schools. rather, the original mark presented by way of an examiner could stand if it’s miles considered “affordable” with the aid of a 2d employee of the exam board. that is probable to bring about a large fall within the quantity of papers re-marked.

Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ conference, which represents main private colleges, and the countrywide association of Head teachers, who among them represent greater than 30,000 faculty leaders, have now submitted a joint reaction to Ofqual’s session, expressing “deep unhappiness” with the reforms.

They stated: “We do not forget the proposals to be unpersuasive, misdirected and probable to make the contemporary unsatisfactory state of affairs worse.”

The headteachers accuse Ofqual of failing to tackle the key hassle of ensuring correct first-time marks for applicants, and are calling for the authorities to set up a important re-marking fund to make it less difficult for colleges to mission suspected mis-marking, something their monetary scenario. currently schools and dad and mom must pay to get papers re-marked, with the price waived if the grade is modified.

The heads need the advent of a rigorous re-marking system and accused the regulator of “perversely” introducing reforms that could positioned extra accept as true with in the unique mark, thereby making it greater difficult to venture rogue grades successfully.

Chris King, chair of HMC and Headmaster of Leicester Grammar college stated: “those proposals are unfair, fundamentally fallacious and in all likelihood to put even extra scholars’ lifestyles probabilities at danger. They have to now not be allowed to move in advance.

“We are deeply upset, as this turned into a first-rate possibility to make the machine fairer and begin to repair public confidence. these measures are probable to lessen the range of re-grades honestly by using making it tougher to prove the authentic mark become incorrect.”

Russell interest, popular secretary of the NAHT stated: “students are entitled to a machine that gets the marks proper first time and is straightforward to mission if some thing is going awry. Their futures depend upon this, and their hard paintings demands it. The way to restore self belief in examination marking is to boom transparency and rigour – now not to make appeals tougher.”

Julie Swan, acting govt director for trendy qualifications at Ofqual, said the current machine gave an unfair benefit to students who complained approximately their result.

“The concept that scholars are both given a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ mark is a misunderstanding – often, a couple of mark can be truthful for a script,” she said. “there is no question that marking mistakes must be corrected if they happen, but differences of professional judgement are another rely.

“The modern gadget can lead a few students to get a higher mark on assessment, even when the first mark become totally constant with the mark scheme. that is unfair to people who do no longer searching for a evaluation.”


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