By John Bald
Today’s Telegraph exposes the true level of corruption in our examination system with “smoking gun” film of examiners telling teachers which elements of the syllabus are going to be examined, which they can ignore, and what the questions will be.
It is the best piece of investigative journalism and the biggest scandal since MPs’ expenses. It is certainly no less important – New Labour’s deliberate colonisation of the examination system, in a corrupt deal with the boards that let them make a fortune out of running the system in return for their co-operation on policy, has damaged the whole basis of education and set an example of dishonesty to young people that shows them that those in authority do not know right from wrong.
The boards’ final trick is to keep grade inflation under control, so that there is no sudden surge in any one year, by dishonestly downgrading candidates final marks if they find they have too many A and A* grades. I’ve seen this on inspection, where a headmaster persuaded a Cambridge College to remark the papers of a student who had not received the right grade, and so saved his place.
Unfortunately, Michael Gove can only turn to the New Labour Quango Ofqual to investigate the issue, and Ofqual is part of the problem. The courses exposed by the Telegraph are publicly advertised and have been for years. If Ofqual had been a genuine regulator, it would have found out about them and dealt with them – in American parlance, this happened on Ofqual’s watch. We need a proper regulator and an honest system. Ofqual must go.