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Edexcel examinations awarding body board defends test standards | Immigration Matters

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Exam board Edexcel says it is “certain” the standard of its qualifications is on a par with those of other boards, following an internal review.

Edexcel said it had found no evidence to support a chief examiner’s claim that its GCSE geography tests were not as difficult as those of other boards.

It said it had analysed data from all five awarding bodies.

Pupils were no more or less likely to achieve certain grades with its exams compared with other boards, it said.

Edexcel, which studied data for GCSE geography, history and English, carried out a review after one of its chief examiners was recorded by the Daily Telegraph saying the geography course content was so small she did not know how the regulator had passed it.

Edexcel said the examiner had been suspended and regretted making the comments.

The Telegraph sent undercover reporters into 13 seminars for teachers held in London by various exam boards.

Two examiners from the Welsh exam board – WJEC – were also suspended after teachers at a seminar were allegedly told which questions would come up.

MPs on the Education Select Committee have called exam board heads to an emergency session next week.

Two inquiries have also been launched into the allegations – one in England and one in Wales.

In the Edexcel case, the examiner was recorded by reporters posing as teachers.

The paper says she said: “There’s so little [in the course] we don’t know how we got it through. And I’m deadly serious about that. When I looked at it I thought, ‘how is this ever going to get through?’.”

As part of its review, Edexcel said it had also assessed the “breadth and depth of the exam specifications” and was confident they were of the appropriate standard set by exam regulator Ofqual.

“As a result of this analysis, we are certain that Edexcel’s qualifications are of the same standard as those of the other major awarding bodies,” it said. Source: BBC

The article’s allegations do not EDEXCEL’s vocational and management training division where the company acts as an awarding body for thousands of private colleges for overseas Tier 4 students.

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One Response to “Edexcel examinations awarding body board defends test standards”
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  1. After an expose by a mewspaper (and not by the statutory regulator, Qfqual), the Government is urgently investigating the behaviour of the examination boards responsible for maintaining natianal standards in school examinations at GCSE and GCE’A’ level. One wonders what is the point of Ofqual and why this problem has not been identified and resolved previously?
    There are other serious problems in the thousands of private colleges for overseas Tier 4 students. Firstly, the integrity of asessment is wide open to abuse where colleges have been given permission by the awarding body to conduct examinations using college internal invigilators. As with government schools, Tier 4 colleges are also under pressure to deliver improving pass rates and are tempted to find whatever ways they can to help students to do well. This temptation should be eliminated by using external invigilators who are approved by the awarding body only.
    Secondly, course work is also wide open to abuse. Those awarding bodies which base their assessment of students solely on course work should not be allowed to work with private colleges where overseas Tier 4 students are enrolled.
    Thirdly, private colleges for Tier 4 overseas students frequently use small less well known awarding bodies who have no presence in the mainstream colleges. The private colleges often choose their awarding bodies on the basis of the cost of registration and student fees. Results for international students in private colleges are not easily comparable with home/EU students. The suspicion must be that standards in the private colleges are compromised by the proliferation of numerous small awarding bodies whose qualifications are loosely regulated and largely unrecognised outside the UK.

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