We are in the middle of reviewing one part of our National Assessment system through a
Curriculum for Excellence . The new system will be based on what is best for learners . There is
an interesting debate in the following pieces from the BBC , the Guardian and The Times and
covered elsewhere in press on the escalating costs of the exam system south of the border.
It is worth looking south to see what the system becomes when there are multiple commercial companies selling exam services in the schools and vocational education space. Shouldn't this
mean that prices should be going down ? There will be a economist out there who can explain
this I am sure.
There is some irony that the regulator QCA had to do a study of this kind to get this data. We are
similarly in dark on prices for NVQs and VRQs that are being charged in the vocational sector -hope they do a study on prices in that sector next.
As a public servant involved in delivering this service I should probably be quaking in my boots
in the face of private money delivering the exam system south of the border. I'm not. There is
room for improvement but we don't have challenges on this scale. Privatisation does mean you
can make big profits on delivering services like this Mmmm? The Times . However, it is more
complex than Private Greed versus Public Good - food for thought.