Universities should take spelling and grammar into account when marking exams, England’s regulator says

Universities ought to take spelling and grammar under consideration when marking exams, England’s regulator says

Universities ought to take spelling and grammar under consideration when marking exams, in keeping with England’s larger schooling regulator.

The Workplace for College students (OfS) mentioned some instutitions have interpreted equality laws in a method which means they don’t assess technical proficiency in written English for all college students.

“We don’t think about that strategy to be crucial or justified,” the regulator added in a report.

The Nationwide Union of College students (NUS) mentioned schooling was “a lot broader” than spelling and grammar in response to the suggestion.

The OfS mentioned it discovered some “widespread themes” that gave it “trigger for regulatory concern” in its report how spelling, grammar and punctuation is assessed at universities in England.

Some universities had insurance policies the place proficiency in written English is commonly not taken under consideration, it mentioned, warning this might result in “unexplained” grade inflation.

“Introducing these insurance policies could have lowered requirements, which in flip could have contributed to higher proportions of scholars being awarded larger diploma classifications,” the report mentioned.

Final 12 months, an evaluation from the OfS discovered that the proportion of graduates who attained prime levels rose from round 15 per cent within the 2010-11 educational 12 months to 29.5 per cent in 2018-19’s 12 months, prompting considerations about grade inflation.

College students needs to be assessed on spelling, punctuation and grammar so as to preserve high quality and defend requirements, the watchdog urged in its report printed on Thursday.

Susan Lapworth, director of regulation on the OfS, mentioned: “Some universities and faculties ask teachers to disregard poor spelling, punctuation and grammar to make evaluation extra inclusive.”

“The concept they need to count on much less from sure teams of scholars is patronising. It threatens to undermine requirements in addition to public confidence within the worth of a level.”

Ms Lapworth added: “It dangers putting new graduates at a drawback within the labour market, and will go away employers spending money and time coaching graduates in primary written English.”

“There isn’t any inconsistency in a supplier complying with equality laws and making its assessments accessible, whereas additionally sustaining rigour in spelling, punctuation and grammar,” the OfS report mentioned.

From October 2022, the watchdog has mentioned it can take motion towards universities or faculties the place their evaluation approaches “lack rigour”.

However Hillary Gyebi-Ababio from the NUS mentioned schooling was “a lot broader” than spelling and grammer in response to the report.

“Any proposals to vary current practices should consider the lived experiences of these with dyslexia,” the union’s vp for larger educatin added.

“Moderately than reforming evaluation practices and tinkering on the edges of our schooling system, we should re-envision schooling, and settle for that our examination system wants elementary transformation.”

A Universities UK (UUK) spokesperson mentioned universities absolutely recognise the significance of English language proficiency.”

“Because the OfS notes, this report refers to a small variety of universities. The OfS additionally recognises that practices will differ throughout the massive and numerous college sector, and there’s no proof in what has been offered to recommend the practices inflicting concern are the norm.”

Michelle Donelan, larger and additional schooling minister, mentioned: “Rigour and requirements matter in any respect phases of schooling, and the basics of fine spelling, punctuation and grammar are as necessary immediately as they ever had been.”

She added: “It’s proper that the Workplace for College students is placing universities which disregard poor written English on discover.”

Further reporting by Press Affiliation

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