NASUWT: Exam debate must be based on fact not rhetoric

Commenting on the report by the Education Select Committee into the administration of examinations for 15-19 year-olds in England, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“This is a critical debate but it needs to be conducted on the basis of facts, not as a response to assertion and rhetoric about allegedly declining standards and highly dubious claims about the ‘dumbing down’ of qualifications.

“If public confidence in the examination system has been undermined, this is as a result of ill-informed, ideologically-driven public debate, seemingly deliberately fuelled by misleading and inaccurate ministerial comments about a lack of rigour and stretch in the qualification system. Such comments are noteworthy only for their lack of substantiating evidence.

“There may well be a case for revising the current system of awarding bodies. However, this should not be driven by the notion that awarding bodies compete with each other for business on the basis of the ease with which qualifications can be passed. The Government’s own evidence has shown such claims to be mythical.

“This report must not be misused to create an artificial crisis where none exists, simply to justify the Government’s own pre-determined political agenda.”


Lena Davies
Journalist and acting press officer
Campaigns and Communications Team
0121 457 6250 / 07867 392 746