News story

Ofqual opens discussion of new evidence on consistency of marking

How consistent can marking be? This is the question Ofqual asked at its autumn symposium today (Monday 14 November).

The event was used to gather stakeholder views and discuss evidence on this important topic.

Ofqual presented new research which examines the consistency of marking of GCSEs and A levels from 2013 to 2015. To provide context for these findings, speakers presented evidence on marking quality and consistency in other systems within the UK and elsewhere. A panel of teachers and examiners gave their experiences of marking. The benefits that double marking can have on reliability were also explored.

Michelle Meadows, Executive Director for Strategy, Risk and Research, said:

We want to have a wide-ranging discussion about the current state of marking in England, and if and how it might be improved. Head teachers, teachers and teacher association representatives, academics and representatives from the exam boards have been invited to provide perspectives from all corners of the sector. The opinions and research we discussed will be vital in terms of contextualising evidence of the quality of marking within our own system compared with other systems used internationally and domestically within higher education.

The evidence gathered from the day will be used as part of our on-going work into quality of marking.

Speakers included:

  • Professor Roger Murphy, Associate Director of AlphaPlus Consultancy, and an Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham.
  • Professor Sue Bloxham, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Cumbria speaking about marking quality in Higher Education
  • Dr Ed Wolf, Principal Research Scientist, ETS, bringing an international perspective on marking quality
  • Dr Yohav Cohen, an Independent Researcher from Israel who will be presenting evidence on the value of double marking
  • Laura McInerney, editor of Schools Week