Headlines: March 19th, 2010

Teachers students, parents and the general public still see A-levels and GCSEs in a positive light according to a new survey. The study, carried out for Ofqual the exams regulator, by Ipsos MORI, found that the number of teachers with concerns about A-levels has grown.

The national survey has been carried out each year since 2003 to track perceptions of the school examinations system. The main findings this year show the view of the A-level system remains largely positive,in keeping with previous years. Confidence in the GCSE system overall remains high and is unchanged from the 2008 level.

There had, though, been a slight increase in the proportion of A-level teachers who have concerns about the accuracy and quality of marking. The study shows that while awareness of Ofqual remains low and unchanged among the general public it has risen significantly among teachers. The proportion of them who reported that the organisation was either very or fairly effective had risen to 31 per cent compared with 16 per cent in 2008.

Kathleen Tattersall, Ofqual’s chair, was pleased people’s perceptions of A levels and GCSEs were still positive but added: “The survey also shows us that there is more work to do, and we are not complacent. We will continue to work with the awarding organisations to ensure they have the systems in place to continue to deliver high-quality qualifications and that the awarding process is as accurate as it can be, ensuring learners get the grades their work deserves.”