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Exam boards should be braced for ‘Weimar Republic levels’ of grade inflation, says Ofqual adviser

Exam boards should be braced for “Weimar Republic levels” of grade inflation this summer season, an Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) adviser has warned.

Teachers’ predictions for GCSEs and A-levels will be “wildly inflated” and examination boards may have “difficulty” checking all 6.5 million grades, in response to Barnaby Lenon who’s a member of the examination regulator’s requirements advisory group.

He defined a significant downside with the proposed grading system for this summer season – which can depend on academics’ predictions after exams had been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic – is that there’ll be “no obvious attempt to limit the number of grades awarded at each level” which he mentioned is “a fundamental requirement” for most {qualifications} techniques.

Mr Lenon, who’s chair of the Independent Schools Council, advised the Times Education Supplement journal: “The question is – does it matter if now we have Weimar Republic ranges of inflation this year?

“It may imply that lots of college students will get to school who should not be there and lots of GCSE pupils will embark on A-level programs solely to drop out or fail.

“A fundamental question is: can exam boards push back against wildly inflated teacher grades? The answer is: with difficulty. They have a limited number of examiners and 6.5 million grades to check, each awarded on a different basis.”

He was referring to the hyperinflation that affected the German Papiermark, the foreign money of the Weimar Republic, within the early Nineteen Twenties when the nation was saddled with huge money owed from the First World War.

Mr Lenon mentioned college students receiving increased grades than they had been succesful of may result in extra college students dropping out once they attain the following degree of their training.

“In any {qualifications} system you usually need to do one of two issues. You need to both measure a pupil’s information and grade it in opposition to an agreed normal or it’s a must to rank pupils pretty not directly after which assign them grades.

“The present proposals do neither of these items.”

Earlier this month, Ofqual confirmed plans to make use of trainer assessments to generate GCSE and A-level outcomes this summer season, with the watchdog proposing the use of examination papers to assist them attain “objective decisions.”

Mr Lenon’s remarks come as a brand new report warns that the Government should act now to scale back vital dangers round examination grading this summer season.

Young individuals may be harmed and the fame of England’s qualification awarding course of may be broken if dangers are left unmitigated, in response to the Education Policy Institute think-tank.

It warns studying losses may be masked by the method of utilizing trainer judgments to evaluate grades, leaving college students in additional examine or work with out the abilities and information they want.

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