Pressurised teachers blamed for over-generous markings in GCSE fiasco
Ofqual says pressure on teachers to get good GCSE results and hit objectives is what led to the over-generous marking of English coursework.
In its concluding report on this summer’s GCSE fiasco, Ofqual also states that the end result of this pressure left external examiners with a feeling that it was essential to raise grades.
Glenys Stacey, Ofqual chief, says: “Teachers feel under enormous pressure in English, more than in any other subject, and we have seen that too often, this is pushing them to the limit.”
Ms Stacey continued by defending teachers, stating: “They are doing their level best to do the best for their students and they are bound, given the pressures they are under, to take the most optimistic view.”
To avoid a similar situation next year, Ofqual will make sure that exam boards take positive action by making certain that teachers cannot look at grades from results in January, 2013, and mark controlled assessments that pupils will take later that year in June.
Ms Stacey commented that the modular at the centre of the fiasco was too adaptable: “It is so flexible that, when subjected to the pressure of the accountability system, it can buckle,” she added.
Schools are expected to achieve a minimum of a 40% pass rate for pupils gaining GCSE grade C and above in at least five GCSEs that include English and Mathematics.