Press release

Teacher Ethics in Assessment symposium

Ofqual and The University of Oxford are today (Thursday 26 March) hosting a symposium to discuss ‘Teacher Ethics in Assessment’.

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The event is being attended by teachers, teaching associations, exam boards and academics.

Ahead of the event, Chief Regulator, Glenys Stacey, says:

We often hear comments from the teaching community about the practices being used by ‘schools down the road’ in an attempt to improve exam results. Many of these approaches may not break the rules but they may undermine qualification standards and confidence in the assessment system, while advantaging some students to the detriment of others.

The symposium is being attended by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) who recently launched a Blueprint for a Self-Improving System. Their Blueprint provides a commitment to work with the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors – also represented at the symposium – to develop an assessment ethics framework. The symposium will provide an opportunity for teachers to support this work by discussing how such a framework might operate, building on initiatives such as the Headteacher Standards and the creation of the College of Teaching.

Stacey adds:

We are keen to better understand how the teaching community is looking to take a lead in the area of ethics and how we can support them in that process.

Jo-Anne Baird, Director of the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment commented:

Teachers set targets for their pupils’ exam results and they try to achieve them, in everyone’s best interests. The trouble is that rational behaviour in target-driven education systems can sometimes undermine the assessment of learning and, in some cases, learning itself. This symposium represents an opportunity for key stakeholders to discuss the kinds of problems that are arising and how best to tackle them.

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Published 26 March 2015