Page 16 - Independent Schools Magazine
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Teacher involvement in developing exams ~ latest
Ofqual has reviewed the risks and bene ts of the long- established practice of some teachers who write or contribute to exam papers also teaching the quali cation; and the effectiveness of the safeguards used to reduce the risk of malpractice where a teacher has this dual role.
The review follows the well- publicised incidents during summer 2017 when two
teachers who were involved in writing examinations for Pre-U quali cations (an alternative to
A levels) disclosed information to their students about the contents of forthcoming exams.
After collecting evidence throughout last autumn,
Ofqual found that the exam system clearly bene ts from the contributions of teachers and believes that the system generally works well. They say there is a risk the quality of exam papers will decline if teachers are not permitted to contribute to their development, since no other pool of people has the speci c subject knowledge and understands how students across the ability range will respond to the questions.
Ofqual concede, however, that there are three key risks associated with the current practice, namely that:
1. a teacher deliberately discloses to students and/or to teaching colleagues the contents of a forthcoming exam;
2. a teacher who knows the questions or the speci c
topics on which his or her students will be assessed will, consciously or sub-consciously, narrow his or her teaching;
3. public con dence in the quali cation system, which may have been damaged by the incidents reported this summer, will decline unless further safeguards are introduced to reduce the risks of 1 and 2.
Ofqual is considering options to address these risks in three broad categories and expects to come up with suggestions this month (February) and seek views on them through the Spring.
685 staff and 105 schools were involved in various aspects of malpractice in 2017 – see graphic panels
 Staff malpractice
Staff malpractice
Exam boards impose penalties for malpractice committed by an individual member of staff at a school or college, for example a teacher or an invigilator. More than one penalty can be imposed for a single offence.
Categories of staff malpractice
Types of penalties issued to staff
This year sees a large rise in written warnings. Exam boards have indicated that they are more likely to issue written warnings (a formal penalty) whereas previously they may have issued an advisory note (not a formal penalty and so not included in the data).
   Failure to comply with regulations
3%
Breach of security 19%
Improper assistance to candidates 31%
Deception 1%
Failure to co-operate with an investigation
< 1%
Maladministration 46%
Requirement for training or mentoring Special conditions
Suspension from involvement in exams Written warning 600
        500 400 300 200 100
0
2014 2015 2016 2017
     895 penalties were issued to 685 members of centre staff in 2017. Increases in penalties were seen across all categories. The largest proportion of penalties were for maladministration. The subject with the largest number of penalties was computing.
Penalty type
Requirement for training or mentoring Special conditions
Suspension from involvement in exams Written warning
2016 2017
35 185
45 125 115 90 170 495
Change
▲414% ▲186% ▼ 19% ▲194% ▲148%
  685 staff involved in malpractice in 2017
                           Total 360 895
Ofqual 2018 5
 School or college malpractice
School or college malpractice
Where there is evidence that malpractice is the result of a serious management failure, an exam board may apply sanctions against a whole department or a school or college.
Categories of school or college malpractice
120 penalties were issued across 105 centres in 2017. Decreases in malpractice offences were seen across all categories. The largest proportion of offences in 2017 were for maladministration. The number of penalties received by any one school or college was never greater than two.
Types of penalties issued to schools or colleges
 Failure to comply with regulations 4%
Improper assistance to candidates
10%
Breach of security 32%
Deception Failure to co-operate with an 2% investigation
1%
    Maladministration 51%
    Written warning Cente to review and provide report on malpractice Other 250
  200 150 100 50
0
2014 2015
2016 2017
Penalty type
Written warning
Centre to review and provide report
Other 0~ 10 Total 155 120
2016 2017
Change
▼ 49% ▲ 62% ▲100% ▼ 24%
     125 65 30 45
                   Penalties issued per centre in 2017
One penalty 87%
Two penalties 13%
105 schools involved in malpractice in 2017
  Ofqual 2018 6
16 Independent Schools Magazine
Number of centre penalties
Number of staff penalties




















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