Hidden SCORE report deplored new science GCSE exams

16 July 2009

For reasons of public interest the Royal Society of Chemistry today took the unusual step of distancing itself from an action taken by an organisation, of which it is a partner, called SCORE*, an alliance of science bodies whose primary role is to promote standards in education.

In the face of more evidence that last year's GCSE science examinations were flawed - following an independently commissioned review - SCORE decided yesterday to suppress, apparently for political reasons, a news release which had been planned to publicise a SCORE report being launched today. 

We understand that SCORE did not want the report's findings to be 'picked up' by political parties nor did it want to 'upset' other bodies it works with. This is clearly not in the public interest.

The main messages of the report, entitled GCSE Science 2008 Examinations raised the same issues that the RSC highlighted last year with its Five Decade Challenge competition and its insights on declining maths standards. 

The abandoned news release said that the report: "... found that all the papers were limited in the demand and type of mathematics needed to answer the questions."

The draft release went on to say that: "It is astonishing that there are questions in our science GCSEs that have no relation to science and that mathematics, the cornerstone of sound scientific understanding, is so woefully represented."

*Science Community Representing Education

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