The Telegraph describes the history and corruption of Britain’s examinations system: Exam boards: how system became international money-spinner. The examinations system has evolved over the last hundred years or so from a cottage industry into a multi-million pound international business.
An academic testing system is commercialised. Examination companies compete. May be owned by a publishing company. Sells expensive books, courses, and seminars in cheating. Teachers in the know teach to the test and do not educate the pupils broadly in the curriculum. Proliferation of profitable exams in non-academic subjects. Test results are inflated. This is officially denied, though privately affirmed. A generation is robbed of being able to distinguish themselves academically. Increasing costs; decreasing quality. All this with various systems of bureaucratic quality assurance in place.
Education Board quality assurance of suppliers can double the price to schools of goods which are usually guaranteed anyway.
The BSI conducted “the biggest rubber-stamping exercise in history” in transitioning victims to ISO 9000:2000 – surely another episode of bureaucratic maladminisration.
It’s nice to know there are some commercial limitations imposed on UKAS’s work. For example, they cannot require that you attend their own training courses. Profits are capped. They must not confound inspection with consultancy.
Does anyone know if they were caught doing such things or were principled from the start?
These restrictions oblige the inspection body to expand into its victim market in different ways from examination boards.
For education, here is the answer:
“So, we should get rid of nationalised tests as quickly as possible, and instead let schools teach what their pupils (and their parents) want to learn. Make schools directly accountable to their users, rather than to league tables. Free parents to send their children where they like. And let the people who need them set the tests. Only then will this corruption be stamped out.”
Set fewer targets, measure less, let purchasers set standards themselves.
Are you understanding yet that the answer is the same for accreditation?