Check 'consistency' when considering reviews of coursework marking, schools told

Schools that receive requests to review coursework marks will have to judge whether their teachers are marking all pupils’s work consistently before submitting data to exam boards, under new rules proposed by Ofqual.

The exams regulator is consulting on changes to the rules governing reviews of marking, which will give schools extra responsibilities when pupils request a review.

The new rules will apply to centre-marked assessment, which includes things like coursework and controlled assessments.

It follows a big change to the rules this year, which allowed pupils to request the results of their GCSE and A-level coursework for the first time. Pupils can also request reviews of coursework marking, which schools have to carry out before the marks are submitted.

Now Ofqual wants to update its rules again to make schools more accountable for the work of their teachers.

Under the proposals, when schools receive a request to review a pupil’s coursework mark, they will be required to “judge whether the marking of an individual student’s work is consistent with the rest of the marking of the centre”, Ofqual said.

The regulator is also proposing a new rule which would require schools to inform exam boards if there is a dispute over an in-house review of marking. If a school does not accept the outcome of such a review, it must contact the exam board and ask them to make a decision.

The regulator also wants to simplify its guidance on reviews of marking for exam boards and schools, for example, by shortening unnecessarily long sentences.

Ofqual is also consulting on plans to reduce the amount of data exam boards have to publish, to avoid duplication with other data already published by the regulator, and remove extra burdens on boards.

For example, exam boards currently have to publish information on the appeals or review process in multiple places, but Ofqual thinks that “repeating this information…makes the rules longer and more complicated than they need to be”.

The consultation will be open until January 25.