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Tuesday, 1 October, 2002, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Wrong test results for 14-year-olds
Tests
The head fears there could be a wider problem

More than half the test papers taken by 14 year olds in a secondary school were wrongly marked - by an exam board that has been investigated by the A-level results inquiry.

Pupils at Woodhey High School in Ramsbottom, Bury, performed much less well in English tests than had been expected by their teachers.

Estelle Morris
Estelle Morris has postponed this year's school league tables

And when the school appealed against the results, it found that 105 out of 197 test papers in the subject had been given wrong grades.

Head teacher Martin Braidley says that he is worried at the extent of the errors in marking - and is concerned that other schools might be experiencing similar problems.

"If they can get it that wrong, what about other schools? The possible extent of the problem is worrying," he said.

Rogue results

These Key Stage 3 tests will be included in school performance tables - and he is concerned that "rogue" results could have a damaging impact on a school's reputation.

"I'd have been very concerned if the original results had been published," he said.

However the problems with A-level results have caused a postponement in this year's league tables.

The board which marked the papers was AQA, which along with other exam boards has been a subject of the independent inquiry into this year's A-level results.

But a spokesperson for the board said there was no evidence of any wider problem with Key Stage 3 test results.

The problem came to light when the school received much lower results than expected.

"Youngsters might have an off day, but not to that extent. And we suspected that something was amiss," said Mr Braidley.

The head said that the exam board had accepted there had been unsatisfactory marking - but he said that AQA had acted promptly to remedy the problem.

AQA spokesperson, George Turnbull, said that the board apologised for the mistake, but emphasised that this was an isolated incident.

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See also:

26 Sep 02 | Education
12 Dec 01 | Education
23 Jan 02 | Education
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