Teachers 'too generous' with GCSE marks
Too much pressure for schools to succeed led to teachers being over-generous with coursework marking, Ofqual's final report into the summer's GCSE English exam has concluded.
Ofqual chief executive Glenys Stacey told the Today programme that GCSE English was a "weakly designed qualification", and claimed teachers were under pressure to mark exams "as optimistically as possible".
"Students take it in bite sized pieces, units, in almost any order, at various stages over two years. That makes it extremely complex for schools, and very difficult for examiners as well," she said.
"Teachers are not making up marks here. They are doing their level best to do the best for their students, and they are bound, given the pressures they’re under, to take the most optimistic view."
But teachers' groups hit out at the claims, with the general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, Russell Hobby, saying teachers were working "within the marking schemes they're given".
"They were told by the examination boards that their marks were accurate and within the range expected, and therefore they were acting in good faith," he told Today.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said the big issue in the report was the "poisonous relationship between the qualifications system and the accountability regime".