RSC chief executive decries 'incestuous' exam boards

04 November 2010

The Editor of today's issue of Times Higher Education magazine quotes the RSC chief executive, Richard Pike, who has said that the British A-level exams system is "incestuous".

Ann Mroz says in the Leader page article that Dr Pike is concerned that teachers take the lead in dictating the content of the exams. He believes that external influences such as universities and industry should have an input into the exams to galvanize them for the benefit of students and society. 

Mroz takes Dr Pike's quotes from the magazine's cover story this week, which takes a more detailed look at the issue.

Dr Pike told the THE: "Typically, the awarding bodies set up committees to develop the specifications and exam questions. Those committees - and I am generalising a bit here - tend to be populated by teachers or retired teachers. So you could argue that the whole process is very inward-looking, almost to the point of being incestuous in an educational sense."

Related Links

Link icon Times Higher Education editorial
Editorial from the national education magazine quoting Dr Richard Pike

Link icon Cover story from Times Higher Education
An in-depth feature on the role of universities in controlling A-levels, quoting Dr Richard Pike

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