How Stephen Twigg must react to the GCSE grading scandal
Further to last night’s lengthy analysis, a short post on how Stephen Twigg should react to the growing GCSE grading scandal.
At the moment, Twigg is simply calling for an inquiry into what went on by the Commons Select Commitee on Education. A call for an inquiry is the default response – trying to look responsive to public concern while playing for time. As it stands, Twigg looks ineffectual, and the false narrative about the collapse in GCSE English grades in some schools being about ‘rigour’ – as opposed to incompetence/corruption – is gaining ground.
Information emerging during the last 24 hours mean that calling for an inquiry is not an appropriate response. It is now abundantly clear that the key issue is the changing of grade boundaries between the January and June assessments, and that OfQual were instrumental in this. Assistant Headteacher Richard Spencer shows this clearly (for the AQA exam board).
Stephens Twigg’s job is obvious. He should call for am, immediate regrading of all papers which have been subject to the later grade boundaries, so that all students in the 2011/12 cohort are treated fairly.
An inquiry into why this happened can wait till this has been done, and what the hell OfQual were up to, can wait. An inquiry will do nothing for all those students who have had their hopes shattered (though even a regrade will be too late for those whose 6th form offers have been rescinded).
A call for a regrade is clearly understandable by the public, in spite of the complexity of GCSE assessment processes. It’s also the right thing to do.
Over to you, Stephen Twigg.