23/Jul/2014 - Last News Update: 07:57

Exam board criticised for Jewish prejudice question

Category: Headlines

Published: 25th May 2012 12:50:03

Ministers have criticised an exam board after one of its GCSE religious studies papers asked candidates to explain "why some people are prejudiced against Jews".

Education Secretary Michael Gove said to suggest anti-Semitism could ever be explained was "insensitive and, frankly, bizarre."

Exam board AQA said the question did not attempt to justify prejudice.

It stressed that it was not intended to cause offence.

But Mr Gove said: "AQA needs to explain how and why this question was included in an exam paper."

Exam regulator Ofqual is in discussions with AQA, one of Britain's biggest exam boards, and said it would take "follow-up action" if appropriate.

First reported in the Jewish Chronicle, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews Jon Benjamin told the newspaper: "Clearly this is unacceptable and has nothing whatsoever to do with Jews or Judaism."

But an AQA spokesman said in a statement: "In many exam questions 'explain' is used to mean 'give an account of'.

"For example, in the past we have asked students to explain why some people commit crimes, but we have not intended to suggest that we condone criminal activity.

"The question concerned acknowledges that some people are prejudiced, but we did not intend to imply in any way that prejudice is justified."

It added that it would expect students to refer to the Holocaust and to illustrate prejudice "based on irrational fear, ignorance and scapegoating."

"The board is obviously concerned that this question may have caused offence, as this was absolutely not our intention."

It added: "The principal examiner for this exam has been reviewing the papers and has found that students have understood the question in the sense that was intended and that their answers are in line with the mark scheme."

Source:
BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2012. Exam board criticised for Jewish prejudice question [Online] (Updated 25th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1430961/Exam-board-criticised-for-Jewish-prejudice-question [Accessed 23rd Jul 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • New probe over Pembrokeshire council unlawful payments

    A new police investigation has been launched into unlawful pension salary supplements paid to the chief executive of Pembrokeshire council.
  • China detains five over stale meat scandal

    China has detained five people as part of its probe into a firm that allegedly supplied out of date meat to fast food chains, including McDonald's and KFC.
  • Booker Prize longlist set to be revealed

    The 12-strong longlist for the Man Booker Prize is set to be unveiled later, with world titles eligible for the first time in its history.
  • Old Mill damaged in fire in Crumlin, County Antrim

    The Old Mill building in Crumlin, County Antrim, has been damaged in a fire.
  • China detains five over stale meat scandal

    China has detained five people as part of its probe into a firm that allegedly supplied out of date meat to fast food chains, including McDonald's and KFC.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com