Exam Cheating: Examiners To Be Grilled By MPs
Suspended exam chiefs are to be grilled by MPs over allegations they gave unfair advice to teachers on how to boost GCSE and A-level results and made exams easier to attract more business.
A House of Commons education committee will question three examiners after the Daily Telegraph claimed to expose a culture of corruption through their secret footage last week.
Steph Warren, head of Edexcel GCSE geography was caught boasting how "easy" her exams were for students. The Edexcel official , who is responsible for setting exams for tens of thousands of students, was captured on film saying: "There's so little content we don't know how we got it through."
The undercover investigation also revealed teachers paying up to £230 a day to attend seminars with chief examiners to receive "advice". Paul Evans, a chief examiner for WJEC GCSE history told his audience exam papers go "through a cycle".
Both Paul Evans and Steph Warren, as well as Paul Barnes, will face MPs on Thursday.
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Pressure government puts on schools through league tables is to blame, examiners say.
Warren gets defensive when asked what guidance she gets in "training sessions" with teachers.
"I am a professional" she insists.
"Are there statements which explicitly detail what you can and can't say?"
Warren pauses, stutters, and then says there are statements in her contract.
WJEC: not contracted for training events. Just "kick in" at important times of the year.
WJEC is too small to "compete aggressively".
Warren: I have never been asked to market Edexcel.
Papers are written two years in advance, there is very tight security.
Was discussing specification, not exam papers, when she said some questions were easier.
"Media coverage has been difficult for me."
"My concerns are for the children and how the media coverage affects the belief in themselves and the examination system."
"I had had a really exhausting day of training."
Adamant did not say exams were easier. "My own daughter has transcribed the conversation. It is not true."
Other comments were edited out by Telegraph, she claims. Her own comments were made in "heat of the moment".
Deeply regret the "inappropriate comment".
"We all make mistakes," she says.
Evans: reference to the word "cheating" was inappropriate and should not have been used.
"I did not breach any confidentiality."
Adds not prepared to comment on personal position.
"I was only reporting what was already public knowledge.
"I had no opportunity to comment beforehand."
Seminar was held to "utilise" syllabus. Intention was to "inform" and "assist" teachers
"I truly believe I have been misrepresented."
Says footage was edited
Daily Telegraph revealed today teachers have been "forced to adopt questionable tactics" by giving teenagers exam paper questions ahead of the pupils sitting the papers.
Paul Barnes, Paul Evans and Steph Warren to be grilled by education select committee