RSC ready to oversee A-level and GCSE exams says chemistry chief

23 January 2012

The chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry welcomes Professor Sir John Holman's call for learned societies to "overlook not only A-level, but also GCSE" exam regulation.

RSC Chief Executive Dr Robert Parker said a professional body such as the Royal Society of Chemistry, by being able to bring together expertise from the higher education, industry and schools education sectors, would be best placed to ensure England and Wales has the most rigorous and world class chemistry curriculum and assessment possible.

"Professor Holman gave voice to what the RSC has believed in for years. The RSC is ready and willing to work with Ofqual to oversee A-level and GCSE exams. I hope the Education Committee pays close heed to his advice and includes this recommendation in its report into the administration of exams."

Professor Holman, a chemistry professor at the University of York and Senior Fellow for Education at the Wellcome Trust, was last week giving evidence to the House of Commons Education Committee on "the administration of examinations for 15-19 year-olds". He told MPs that Ofqual, the exam regulator, needed more capacity in subject expertise.

"Any kind of system where you try to have a collection of university head of departments sitting down together and working out A-levels would not work," Professor Holman told the committee. He added that the scientific learned societies had strong links to universities and employers and "very good education expertise".

"By the way, such subject bodies should overlook not only A-level, but also GCSE, because the one needs to articulate very well with the other," Professor Holman concluded.

Related Links

Link icon House of Commons select committee hearing transcript
Transcipt of the education select committee hearing on the administration of examinations for 15-19 year-olds

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