A further revelation by Ofqual the school exam regulator has repercussions with parents, schools, universities and employers. Most importantly it will demoralise the children involved. For years the flood of criticism over falling standards that emerged each year as the exam results were published were quashed by Ofqual. Now, suddenly, they have issued a statement saying that the exams had become “less taxing.”
We all like to pass exams and if they are made easier most candidates would welcome the accolade of a pass rather than queering the structure. But the past can catch up. Many students entering higher education are struggling with the increase in academic standard required. Employers have stated the standards are too low to be viable in industry and many new recruits need retraining to catch up. But most important of all we operate in a global market. The recession in the UK could take years to resolve. Young adults could be forced to seek employment overseas and consequently realise that their qualifications are like junk bonds with little or no value.
Ofqual has clearly failed in their remit to maintain examination quality. Not only have they let countless thousands of children down who must now reflect on the true worth of their certificates, there is another time bomb waiting to explode. The government has just announced the potential to pay teachers’ differential salaries based on results. Already school league tables are the subject of some concern but the fact they are reliant on suspect data now presents a whole new mess to resolve, and hopefully, not by the body that created it or failed to own up to their mistake.