Ofqual: We will publish all correspondence. We have nothing to hide. …(Really?)

On 11th September 2012, during the Education Select Committee meeting convened to take evidence from key players in the GCSE English ‘Fiasco’, three members of Ofqual were present and accounted for their role in the situation.

During discussion Glenys Stacey, Ofqual’s CEO, was directly asked by Pat Glass MP:

Pat Glass MP: We accept that there is no phone call between you and the Secretary of State, but if, as a Committee, we decide to extend this Inquiry—and I think we should—would you be prepared to publish copies of  correspondence, emails, text messages and  phone callsbetween your staff who are involved in this and senior staff at the DfE who are involved in this and special advisers, ministers’ spads?

Glenys Stacey: Absolutely; we have nothing to hide

However, an FOI request by Antony Carpen asked for correspondence from October 2011 onwards regarding the English GCSE boundaries and specifically asked that: “Correspondence should include but not be restricted to letters, emails, notes of phone calls and minutes of meetings”.

What Antony Carpen received was this: A document providing *some* emails between the DfE and Ofqual but only on the day of the results release. And, though they are interesting (not least because the DfE had to ask some reasonably naive questions in the midst of this crisis), they do not provide the information asked for by Mr. Carpen.  It is tricky to understand why this information is missing. The legal explanation beforehand explains why names have been redacted, especially in the case of junior members of Ofqual and the difficult nature of the case. This is absolutely reasonable and fair. What is not clear is why more information has not been included, specifically notes of meetings and phone calls and of events leading up to the publication of results.

Glenys Stacey clearly said all documents were publishable because there was “nothing to hide”.  If they are not now released, one can only wonder what that means for the validity of her statement.