• School where staff mark 'how they like' gets government approval

    A school which gave teachers a “carte blanche” to mark pupils’ work “however they like” has been picked out by the government as an example of good practice. Barr Beacon School, near Birmingham, has halved the time staff spend grading homework by lifting all marking requirements and allowing them to give pupils written feedback twice

    5.00 Dec. 17th, 2017 | News

  • GCSE grade changes increase by 52% - mostly due to GCSE English

    The number of GCSE grades changed at a marking review this year has increased by 52 per cent, with over 25,000 more changes than in 2016. This year, 73,840 GCSE grades were changed compared with 48,430 last year. Only three per cent more GCSE exams were sat this year. Ofqual said the rise “stemmed principally

    11.32 Dec. 14th, 2017 | News

  • Half of English Literature exam papers not given 'correct' grade, Ofqual finds

    Nearly half of pupils in English Literature are not awarded the “correct” grade on a particular exam paper because of marking inconsistencies and the design of the tests, according to the first major study into marking accuracy by Ofqual. The study, published today and called ‘marking consistency metrics’, shows the probability of a pupil being

    15.30 Nov. 14th, 2016 | News

  • Multiple-choice exams plus portfolios - proposal for a new assessment system

    Marking can never be 100 per cent reliable. So perhaps it is time, says one-time examiner Debra Kidd, to remove open-ended tasks from the exam system altogether I was once an examiner. It was a mind numbing, cheerless experience that was paid at a pittance, but I did it, year on year, because it gave me

    5.00 Jun. 25th, 2016 | Opinion

  • How do examiners decide grades?

    The exams are finished and GCSE and A-level students are heading off for summer. But there are 12 weeks – and a lot of work – from “pens down” to results day Did you hear that noise? It’s the sound of thousands of students collectively breathing a sigh of relief. If April is the cruellest

    7.30 Jul. 12th, 2015 | Opinion

  • Would you trust a human to mark your work?

    You might say no to a driverless car or a pilotless plane, but it is time to trust computers to do your marking Question: A boy climbs slowly to the top of a slide and then slides down. At which point will his kinetic energy be a maximum? One student wrote as his answer: When

    7.30 May. 9th, 2015 | Opinion

  • ‘If I were education secretary...’

    I would ask to stay in my job for the rest of the government’s term and in that time seek to make myself largely redundant. I would start off with a big conversation about the purpose of education, with a view to recognising that it should make the world a better place. I would consider

    7.30 Apr. 19th, 2015 | Opinion