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Ofqual investigates textbooks

Ofqual has warned that the overall quality of textbooks as learning resources is suffering from too much focus on exam preparation.

The exams regulator has highlighted potential conflicts of interest between qualification providers and study aids produced or endorsed by them.

According to its report, Textbooks: Risks and Opportunities, “a rather formulaic approach, influenced by current endorsement processes, is resulting in textbooks that are over focused on exam preparation at the cost of subject content and signposting to wider and more in-depth reading”.

As part of the report, Ofqual is investigating the publishing and awarding activities of education giant Pearson, which will look at how these two activites are kept separate. The regulator will also look into the role that active examiners can play in writing textbooks.

Tim Leslie, Ofqual’s director of risks and markets, said: “The research has highlighted a lack of agreement about what a ‘good’ textbook looks like. As part of further work in this area we are looking to establish new guidelines.”

Natalie Thornhill

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