Inequality and gaming will continue unless the exam system is uncoupled from a school accountability regime restricted by the EBacc, says Deborah Lawson

Exam season is in full swing and is, as usual, accompanied by renewed concerns about marking, grading and appeals – and rightly so now that terminal exams are the only means of assessment. National exams are high-stakes and run the risk of schools becoming exam factories, narrowing the curriculum while comparable outcomes change (rather than eradicate) the “gaming” of the system and grade inflation.

While terminal examinations may have a role to play, the decision to use them as the sole means of assessment seems to be driven by the accountability system, rather than by the best interests of students or what is needed in order to assess the widest range of learning outcomes.

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