Telegraph exposes exam 'cheating'

07 Dec 2011

 There's an apparently strong investigative story in tomorrow's Daily Telegraph which alleges that in seminars run by some exam boards teachers are being told which questions will come up in future exam papers.

The newspaper's website carries video from a WJEC-run seminar in which one representative of the exam board appears to admit that what he is doing is 'cheating' and would fall foul of the exam watchdog, Ofqual.

Teachers pay a fee to attend these seminars.

More on the story here: www.telegraph.co.uk/education/secondaryeducation/8940781/Exam-boards-how-examiners-tip-off-teachers-to-help-students-pass.html

 The evidence certainly suggests that the growing demands for schools to boost their league table standing is putting pressure on teachers to teach to the test, with a focus on teaching exam technique rather than covering the whole syllabus.

The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has ordered an investigation in to the Telegraph allegations but perhaps he should  also look more widely at the consequences of high-stakes testing, in which league table scores are becoming more important than delivering a broad curriculum. 

User Comments

Rebecca Hanson - 07 Dec 2011

More interesting investigations

Strange old world education:
http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2011/11/academy-conversions-slowing-down/

Dave Peck - 08 Dec 2011

Exam board cheating

We have long talked of schools' perverse incentives to get as many students as possible with 5A*-C EM.
The perverse incentive facing exam boards is to maximise profits rather than adhering to principles of high standards, consistency & fairness.

Hugh Parker - 08 Dec 2011

Competitive pressure

The customer of the exam board is the school, and what the school needs is the highest proportion of good grades possible. In the competetive marketplace for exam boards, the successful business will be that which offers the most attainable qualification. It can't be surprising that exam boards would be prepared to win business by this sort of means.

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