COMMONS

Exam boards to appear before Education Committee

09 December 2011

The Education Select Committee holds a specially arranged evidence session to investigate the allegations published in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday 8 December.

Meeting details

9.30am, Thursday 15 December 2011
Meeting room to be confirmed

Witnesses

The Committee will take oral evidence from the following:

  • Andrew Hall, Chief Executive Officer, Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA)
  • Mark Dawe, Chief Executive, Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations (OCR)
  • Rod Bristow, President, Pearson UK (on behalf of Edexcel)
  • Gareth Pierce, Chief Executive, Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC)

The exams regulator Ofqual and representatives of the Daily Telegraph have also been invited to give evidence.

Chair's comments

Graham Stuart MP, the Committee’s Chair, said,

“We are already conducting an inquiry into exam boards, looking into conflicts of interest and the need for reform. The Telegraph has carried out a public service in exposing the actions of some very senior examiners. The stories are shocking and suggest there may be a need for radical changes.

“The Committee will question the heads of the exam boards to hold them publicly to account. We will also want to ask the regulator how such alleged breaches have been allowed to happen and explore what can be done to ensure that our qualifications support and encourage real learning rather than undermine it.

“Concerns about the fitness for purpose of our exams system already existed, and our current inquiry, which was announced in September, continues to look into them. Any changes would have far reaching and long lasting consequences so must be entered into carefully and not be driven by short term outrage, however valid.

"Alongside the Government’s own inquiry I hope our hearing will help uncover the truth and play its part in restoring the faith of parents, students, and the public in the quality of our exams system.”

Background

The session will focus on the Daily Telegraph’s allegations that some examiners have provided teachers with advice on how to game the system and artificially improve their exam results. Charges that exam boards are promoting their tests as "easy" when compared with their competitors will also be investigated.

Further details will be announced in due course.

Further information

Image: PA

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