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Worst summer for exam marking – Roedean headteacher
A headteacher of a prestigious independent school has labelled this summer as the “worst year” for exam marking after sending back a record number of exam papers for re-marking.
Roedean School headmistress Frances King said a lot of work needs to be done to restore pupils’ confidence in the exam system.
Nearly 10% of the school’s 95 A-Level pupils have seen their grades increased after the school raised concerns about the original marks returned last month.
Her comments come as Education Secretary Michael Gove conceded yesterday there are “lessons to be learned” from the GCSE English grading fiasco.
In total the girls’ school in Roedean Way, Brighton, has already sent back 116 papers to be re-marked from this summer, up by a third on last year.
Mrs King said the changes in grades had a huge impact on the futures of her pupils with two students almost missing out on the chance to take up their first choice offer at the prestigious University of Hong Kong until their grades were increased from A to A*.
She said that the increase in tuition fees and the biggest drop in A-level grades since 1951 had made students even more vigilant in having their papers re-marked.
In one maths A-level exam paper returned, an examiner had failed to mark an entire question.
In another paper, a student was given an extra ten marks following a re-mark.
One exam board only returned the papers to the school this week, nearly a month after they had been requested, and will charge the school £11.90 for each paper requested.
Examination staff at the school have spent the last three weeks dealing exclusively with exam re-marking and Mrs King said staff were still dealing with the issue when they wanted to be fully focussing on this year’s pupils.
Mrs King said: “We have staff looking at pupils’ papers who are two or three marks below grade boundaries.
“If they are going to make changes to the A-levels we need to make sure that examiners are well trained and the quality assurance is in place so that we can feel confident in the exams that pupils are sitting.”