Commenting on the select committees report into the administration of exams for 15-19 year olds, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“It is certainly true that it is time to look at how many exam boards we have. Having more than one exam board has not driven down the cost of exams which for many schools is prohibitive. Some of the existing exam boards are charities and it is hard to see how the revenue they receive is justifiable alongside their charitable status.
“Deciding on what would be a reasonable amount of syllabuses for schools needs to be done through proper consultation with schools themselves and the teaching profession.
“Students should, of course, be challenged when taking examinations but making examinations 'tougher' in the hope that this will improve educational standards is short-sighted and will not produce qualifications that are fit for purpose for a variety of learners.
“The Committee is absolutely right to say that Government needs to urgently re-examine school performance measures. For far too long, schools have lived in fear of not meeting the Government’s latest arbitrary measures of success. We need a system that supports and recognises the achievements of all pupils. Teachers need the freedom to teach and students the chance to learn in a more constructive and engaging manner”.
For further information contact Caroline Cowie on 0207380 4706 or 07879480061
NUT Press Officer
Hamilton House, Mabledon Place,
London WC1H 9BD
0207 380 4706 or 07879480061