Details of exam marking quality to be published from 2017

Details of how accurately exam boards mark GCSE and A-level papers will be published from 2017, the exams watchdog Ofqual has said.

The regulator has announced plans to introduce “publishable marking metrics” that will demonstrate the quality of exam boards’ assessment processes.

In a speech outlining the plan today, chief regulator Glenys Stacey said that the move was designed to “increase the quality of marking” and to increase confidence in the exam marking system.

Ms Stacey said “anyone involved in the examination system” would be able to “inspect marking quality on a subject-by-subject, board-by-board basis”.

An Ofqual spokeswoman said further details of the metrics were not yet available.

But William Richardson, general secretary of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, which represents independent schools, told TES that he would like the “metrics” to include details of how many appeals had been made against each exam paper and how many individual markers had been investigated over possible irregularities in their “pattern of marks”.

“Neither of those is reported at the moment and they may be good starting points,” he added.

He said it was important that the “metrics” allowed the quality of marking by different exam boards to be compared, rather than allowing boards to submit different types of data about their assessment procedures.

During the speech Ms Stacey also said initial trials of the National Reference Test, which aims to provide exam boards with an independent measure of the ability of a year group, would provide feedback from about 200 schools and 4,000 students. She urged schools to agree to take part in the test, saying it would “only be successful” if they did.

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