How incredibly disappointing yet unsurprising it is to hear that the school examination bodies have been colluding with teachers to increase pass rates.
The reason I find these revelations unsurprising, is because of the nature of the examination bodies – private companies seeking and needing, above all, to make profits. Given that there are several examination bodies chasing a clearly defined and relatively limited market, it’s hardly surprising to hear that they needed to use such tactics to increase their market share – indeed, how else would you do so, in such a limited and supposedly highly regulated market?
Whilst those who have perpetrated this abuse of the trust placed in them by parents are indeed guilty of some sort of crime, the real villains of the piece are the politicians who decided to privatise the school exam system. How could it of turned out any differently? Over provision + a limited market = a need for customer incentives. Once you’ve decided to use incentives as a way of gaining market share and where there are so few options beyond outright bribery, this sort of abuse was almost inevitable.
Worse still though, is the fact that so many teachers were willing to participate in the abuse and just when their profession was begin to regain some of the respect and status it deserves. After all, what else is more important than ensuring that our children are well educated? Shame on these teachers and the damage they have done to our education system.