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Ofqual welcomes response to recent changes to exam marking rules

01/08/2017 Joanna

A new Ofqual report has hailed the success of recent changes to exam marking rules designed to ensure greater fairness.

Research from the regulator has looked at data from reviews of marking and moderation from the summer 2016 GCSE, AS and A-level exam series, following the introduction of new rules in 2016 to ensure reviewers only change marks when there is a marking error, rather than a legitimate difference of opinion. This was designed to address inconsistencies in how marks were being reviewed, giving those who requested a review an unfair advantage.

Ofqual's analysis showed that marks were unchanged following a review in more than half of cases requested by schools and colleges in 2016, with examiners acting consistently with the new rules in a clear majority of cases, with only clear errors being corrected.

Although there remained a small number of cases where a change was made when no error had been committed and a handful of instances where errors were not corrected, the overall standard of practice was shown to be good.

Sally Collier, chief regulator at Ofsted, said: "It is pleasing to see that our new rules were used in many cases in the way we intended last summer. There will always be a period of adjustment following any change, and we are working with exam boards to identify what can be done this year to be even more confident that students are getting the results their performance deserves."

The overall aim of the regulator is to ensure that the systems used by schools and colleges challenge exam results are clearer, more consistent and fairer for all students.

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