I was deeply troubled at reports in today's press of examiners tipping off teachers. Parents will be incredibly worried and it is right that the government has initiated an inquiry to be led by Ofqual, the exam regulator. We should aspire to have the best education system in the world, one that prides itself on excellence and rigour for all our young people.
Trust in our education system is essential for pupils, teachers, parents and for business and industry. I will carefully study the outcome of the inquiry. The Education Select Committee is examining options for the introduction of a single exam body, which I too will consider on its merits.
However, on the broader point of trust and confidence in the education system, I am increasingly concerned that the government is itself undermining trust and confidence by its mishandling of decisions and by talking down the hard work of children and young people.
Earlier this week, a report by the independent and highly respected Institute of Education undermined the government's claims that English schools are f ailing to compete with international comparators . The IoE reported flaws in the government's analysis saying that credible assessments of our performance internationally could not be made, as existing evidence is too conflicting. It concluded that there is no hard evidence that England has slid down international performance tables.