Examiners left ‘horrified’ by flaws in English GCSE marking


The whistle-blowing examiner said that there was “no debate at pre-standardisation among the senior examiners”.

They added: “That means that the meeting where the standard is evaluated and agreed was a farce. We had examiners horrified at the standard.”

Problems in the standards were flagged by the number of markers failing to spot elements supposed to ensure consistent standards.

In one, the pupil was given 14 out of 40 when the “correct” score should have been 21, and in another a pupil was awarded 26 marks when a more senior examiner deemed the “correct” mark to be 40.

They told the Times Education Supplement magazine that some examiners were so unhappy with this year’s standardisation materials they used those for 2018 instead.

Claire Thomson, AQA’s director of operations, said: “These personal opinions, which the user has now deleted, don’t reflect the overall picture.

“Getting students the results they deserve is our top priority and we have very effective quality assurance measures in place to make sure examiners mark to a high standard.”

Ofqual, the exams watchdog, uses a system called “comparable outcomes” to ensure that roughly the same proportion of pupils get similar grades each year, and those who are the first to take the new, reformed courses are not at a disadvantage compared to other cohorts.


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