« Back to News

Greater freedom in schools will end poor grading claims exam board boss…

14th March 2014

Andrew Hall, CEO of AQA, suggests that far-reaching reforms to GCSE’s and A-levels offers a great opportunity to ensure students secure correct grades. Hall states “This is a God-given chance to really, really make a quantum improvement in this”.

A-levels and GCSE’s are amongst some of the world best recognised brands in the exam sector, but quality of grading has become a contentious issue for all concerned.

Similar concerns have been raised by the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference which published a dossier in 2012 stating that “poor marking” was “widespread” in public exams.

Edexcel and OCR, both exam boards in England, have introduced external training for examiners following the concerns being raised.

Andrew Hall of AQA states:

“Our mark schemes will look very different,” he said. “They will be based on the best of the research. We will have questions that are designed to be marked, and are engaging and really test the knowledge of students.”

“This is a different development approach to what this industry has done before. I think before it would have been very much ‘How do we make this specification look attractive to teachers?’ or ‘Let’s design questions that we think are interesting for the students’.”

New systems introduced by AQA have seen a 75% reduction in the number of time the board had to regrade a set of A-level English papers from a school.

OCR exam Board have introduced a pilot scheme allowing examiners, often serving teachers, to mark exam papers during the day in schools.

We will keep you updated on the debate over the coming months.


  • Charity registration
  • Restructuring
  • Governance and constitutional issues
  • Trustees' duties and responsibilities
  • Mergers and joint working
  • Commercial contracts
  • Company law and company secretarial
  • Regulations and compliance
  • Strategy and sustainability
  • Funding