Too Many Students Gaining A grades, top examiner admits
Public confidence in GCSEs and A-levels has been “undermined” by grade inflation as schools are encouraged to play the system to boost results, the former head of one of Britain’s biggest exam boards has admitted.
Employers and universities are increasingly unable to “discriminate the very best from the average and the poor” because too many teenagers leave school with A grades, it was claimed.
Jerry Jarvis, managing director of Edexcel for four years, said top marks had grown year-on-year because of bite-sized modules, exam re-sits, teaching to the test in schools and political pressure to improve results.
He compared the current grading system to the Olympic high jump competition, saying the UK educational establishment had “attempted to keep the GCSE and A-level standard – the ‘height of the bar’ – at the same level for years”.
Mr Jarvis also told how he quit as a direct result of attempts to “manipulate” exams grades under the former Labour government in 2009.