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Poor marking 'is a threat to exam reform'.

REFORMS to GCSEs and A-levels will amount to nothing more than "houses built on sand" if the government fails to tackle "shocking" failings in the way exams are marked and grades awarded, heads of leading independent schools have warned.

Proposals to overhaul exams announced by the government are welcome but are almost certain to be undermined by long-standing problems such as poor quality marking and unsatisfactory awarding of grades by exam boards, said a report by the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.

The organisation detailed what it claims are failings in the "examinations industry" in England, including "inexplicable inconsistencies" in awarding of grades, "erratic and inconsistent" marking and an obstructive approach to appeals between 2007 and 2012.

Schools have received "unexplained" and "very large" variations in the percentage of grades given to successive years of pupils in the same GCSE and A-level subject, in spite of the subject being taught by a stable teams of staff to students of similar ability, the report said.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 27, 2012
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