Seminar looks at Cambridge's role in introduction of school exams

06 March 2008

A seminar looking at the role Cambridge has played in the introduction of school exams will take place on Thursday 13 March as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of Cambridge Assessment, the UK’s oldest surviving exam board. 

Called 'Cambridge Assessment 150th Anniversary: Who do we think we are?' the seminar is the first of a series looking back at key moments in the development of school examinations in Cambridge. This first one will cover exams from 1858 to 1945. Andrew Watts, Director of the Cambridge Assessment Network, will describe why the Cambridge examinations were started, how they were different 150 years ago and how they came to be accepted as part of the national education system and the 'exam board for the colonies'. Cambridge Assessment's Archivist Gillian Cooke will also be taking part.

Says Andrew Watts: "This is all about telling a story rather than presenting an academic paper. We will show how the events of the first 90 years of exams have influenced how they are today - including the impact of two world wars and many other social changes, such as the campaign to allow girls to sit the exams."

Both Andrew and Gillian have written chapters in the recently published book Examining the World: A History of the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, (Cambridge University Press).

The seminar is free to attend and takes place on Thursday, 13 March at Cambridge Assessment, 9 Hills Road from 16.30 to 18.00, with refreshments available from 16.00.