Ofqual and OCR

7 August 2015

Commenting on the publication of Ofqual's final report of its investigations into OCR's 2014 marking issues, Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:

"The NUT welcomes the fact that both OCR and the Regulator had systems in place to identify and address difficulties as they arose. Ofqual's report will come as an assurance to students who are set to receive their A Level and GCSE results in the next few days, but the timing of its release seems ill-judged. It is a stressful enough time without the risk of raising concerns about the qualifications system and the ability of exam boards to deliver on time. It is in the interests of students and their schools for marking to be consistent, high quality and as accurate as possible. We hope that this will be demonstrated in the coming days.

"It is extraordinary that the report does not focus more on a wider concern - the imposition by Government of wide ranging and substantial changes to the exam process at short notice, with little or no consultation with the teaching profession, and with little understanding of whether there was a need for change or what their effects would be. These ill-thought through and rushed changes led to circumstances that the awarding bodies and regulator both referred to last year as 'volatile'. That should never be a word that we apply to important qualifications, or a situation in which we put young people.

"The Government needs to re-engage with the teaching profession and awarding bodies to ensure our qualification system remains fit for purpose, reliable, and sustainable."

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