Head hits out at exam board errors


Michael Goodwin … “This level of unreliability is something that is bad news for everyone.”

Sibford head, Michael Goodwin has hit out at two leading exam boards after mistakes led to pupils being unfairly downgraded in their GCSE and AS exams.

This week eight pupils at Sibford School near Banbury were told that their results for AQA GCSE Business Studies had been upgraded after marking errors were discovered.

In one case the grade jumped from an E to a C, while in another, the grade moved from A to A*

Meanwhile, a pupil who took Edexcel AS Biology had his marks increased after it was discovered that the exam board had incorrectly added up the aggregate components.

Michael Goodwin said: “We are delighted that these students now have the grades they deserve. However, I am horrified that errors like this are happening. Students, parents and schools should be able to rely on the examination boards to provide accurate results.”

Concerns over the GCSE Business Studies results where raised when it was discovered that the centre-assessed coursework of the19 students taking the subject had all been downgraded by the AQA moderator.

“To have all the marks downgraded really did question the professionalism of our staff,” said Michael Goodwin. “We had full confidence in our head of business studies, Darren de Bruyn, and so decided to challenge this moderation and to seek to discover why the marks had been downgraded in this fashion.

“This week we finally heard back from AQA and Darren’s original marks were reinstated, resulting in six of the 19 students jumping up a grade. AQA has offered no explanation as to what happened, nor does it apologise for its mistake.”

To add further insult to injury, AQA also discovered that there had been an error in the script marking of three of the candidates … with the board failing to look at some of the papers.

Said Michael Goodwin: “In fairness to AQA we did receive an apology for this particular error, however, it is a serious demonstration of incompetence.

“The space between now and when the results were originally published back in August has been unnecessarily stressful for both the students, their parents and, of course, for Darren.

“The future of young people can hang on the number of C grades or better that they receive, and mistakes by the exam board can potentially damage the life chances of young people who could have been denied access to sixth form courses. This level of unreliability is something that is bad news for everyone.”

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