Ok, I admit it: it was all my fault. As one of those teachers who prepared students for the English GCSE last summer, the debacle that followed – where students got lower grades than anticipated – was, according to OFQUAL, the fault of teachers. I’ll remind you what happened. Students who sat the paper in January received their marks and an indicative grade in March. Teachers therefore thought they knew what the ‘pass’ mark was when the summer cohort took the exam, hence the big stink when it transpired that the grade boundary had shifted a whopping ten marks. Cries of ‘foul’ rent the air but Mrs Ofqual, (Glenys to her friends) said that the grade boundaries in June were correct and the January candidates had “got lucky”. Various excuses were give for why examiners hadn’t spotted they had been generous in January.
This being England, we had an enquiry. When it reported a few weeks ago, our Glenys was proper shocked. It turned out those pesky teachers had over marked the ‘controlled conditions’ (what used to be coursework) to ensure their students got a pass. THAT was why the examiners had had to raise the grade boundary in June. Just two teeny problems with that explanation, Glenys : why didn’t this explanation emerge in August (after all, the exam bodies must have known why their grade boundaries were so high)? And second, why didn’t the moderators notice that teachers had marked too high and reduce the marks? You see, every way you slice this, it seems to me OFQUAL was at fault. So, sorry, no, it wasn’t me after all!