Topical Questions

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Children, Schools and Families – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 30th June 2008.

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Photo of Edward Balls Edward Balls Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families 2:30 pm, 30th June 2008

It is clear to me that in this particular case the exam board, AQA, and the Joint Council for Qualifications have already responded by saying that examiners are required to report the use of "inappropriate" material in exam papers and that that could lead to a loss of marks or disqualification. The report that the hon. Gentleman read may have been wrong. Of course it is important that we have creativity in our curriculum, but it does not need to go that far. The people at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority board and Ofqual are there to mark the exams and then drive up standards. It is for them to ensure not only that the proper standards are in place but that there is proper monitoring of examinations and boards. In this case, the QCA board made it clear that this was inappropriate and would be marked down, so I think that the hon. Gentleman has got his facts wrong.

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