Ofqual talks tough with exam boards
09 Dec 2011
The exams watchdog, Ofqual, has said it 'will not hesitate' to take whatever regulatory action is necessary to secure standards following the Daily Telegraph's exposure of cheating.
An undercover investigation by the newspaper showed exam board staff offering guidance about future exam questions to teachers who had paid to attend seminars. One member of the WJEC board admitted on video that the advice he was giving amounted to 'cheating'.
Ofqual has said the behaviour of the exam boards named in the newspaper's investigation was 'unacceptable' and it will consider both specific action against individual boards and wider action to reform the system.
An Ofqual spokesperson added: "We have also recently launched a programme of work to look in detail at possible conflicts of interest in the provision of qualifications, in particular study aids such as text books and training sessions, and have notified government of our determination to tackle any issues this work identifies.
It will report to the Secretary of State before Christmas.
Meanwhile the Commons Education Select Committee has called representatives of the four main exam boards to appear before it in an emergency session next week.
They are bound to come under pressure to defend the current market system with many reformers now calling for a single exam board for GCSEs and A-Levels.