is an interesting report from the HMC - an organisation made up of the heads of the leading fee paying schools. They seem as unhappy as anyone else at the way the exam system is being managed. They make the important point that inventing new qualifications may not address underlying problems with poor quality marking, inconsistent grades and failure to get redress for students who are let down.In particular HMC cite a culture of secrecy in the examination boards and a lack of focus at Ofqual, an organisation accountable to the government.
“Unless examining is reformed substantially, the introduction of revised qualifications will amount to new houses built on existing sand,” says the report.
The government is hurtling into new reforms of GCSEs apparently to address failings in the current system . Even the Tory chair of the Education Select Committee
Graham Stuart says this is being rushed and lacks coherence. Maybe a more important priority is to deal with the inadequate management of public exams that will be taken by young people in the intervening period.
The Secretary of State is facing a unique alliance of heads from all sectors on this issue. It is hard to know how pupils, parents and teachers can continue to have confidence in the exam system. Maybe now these questions are being put by private schools , the Secretary of State will listen?