Standards in Public Examinations 1975 to 1995

This report, jointly published by the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority (SCAA) and Ofsted under the chairmanship of Ron Dearing, presents the findings of an investigation into whether standards in GCSE and A level examinations were maintained in the period up to 1995. The improving examination grades during this period had led to debate about whether grade standards had fallen or schools and colleges had improved. The trend raised questions about changes in the demands placed on students and their performance in examinations.

The report particularly focuses on studies in English, mathematics and chemistry. The findings of the study for each of these subjects, along with the commentary of recommendations of the SCAA/Ofsted are presented separately for 16+ and 18+ levels.

The report recognises changes in the motivation and attitude to work amongst students and the possible effects of national targets, performance tables and the implementation of local management of schools.

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