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IOE Blog


Expert opinion from IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society


Exam boards: ripe for nationalisation?

By Blog Editor, IOE Digital, on 12 August 2015

Chris Husbands.
The schools minister is angry with what the press continue to call ‘examination boards’ but which have for over a decade been formally called awarding organisations. They set examination questions that some combination of public, press and government think are too easy, or, less frequently, too hard. Already working against punishingly tight deadlines with narrow margins for error, they run the risk of failing to deliver results on time. The annual festival of exam results is now, it seems, routinely surrounded by complaints about these organisations, and this year is no exception, with the press trailing the prospect that government might want to nationalise awarding bodies. The irony of a Conservative minister complaining that provision is based on “commercial or quasi-commercial organisations that are increasingly revenue-driven” cannot have been lost on many readers. (more…)