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Tuesday, 16 July, 2002, 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK
Student's online war with exam board
Edexcel logo
Edexcel has been criticised by the government
A Northumberland student faces legal action after he set up a website criticising a controversial exam board.

Jonathan Higgs, 18, a former pupil of Queen Elizabeth High School in Hexham, created the Internet site mocking Edexcel, after he successfully appealed A-level marks.

He named his site "Edexhell" and included an on-line petition for people to join his campaign to have the board's accreditation withdrawn by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).

Now Edexcel is taking legal advice and says it may sue the teenager.


We have a reputation to defend and he has made some serious allegations

Edexcel spokeswoman

Edexcel was criticised for including a faulty diagram in a maths AS-Level paper, and getting some papers out to exam centres late.

Education Secretary Estelle Morris ordered a senior QCA official to work at Edexcel as a troubleshooter.

In March Edexcel was reported to have successfully completed a list of lessons it had learned from mistakes made last summer and remedial work was being undertaken.

The board says it has invited Mr Higgs to visit its operation in London from his home in Gilsland, Northumberland.

'Serious allegations'

But a spokeswoman for Edexcel said the board was also considering legal action about the critical website and wanted it shut down.

She said: "We are a big company and you would expect us to protect our name.

"We have a reputation to defend and he has made some serious allegations."

Mr Higgs set up the site after he complained about coursework in his Music A-level which was originally classed as grade D but went up to a B on appeal in March.

He has since won a place at Salford University to study popular music and recording.

He said the problem he had with his music paper could have cost him his university place.

Legal action

He said: "It is not some great injustice that has been done to me - there will be people worse affected.

"I have had a lot of emails from people sympathising and there is a comments section on the website and I have had a lot of those."

He said he was not worried about the possibility of legal action and was likely to accept the offer of a trip to visit the company.

He added: "I'm not really sure what they mean by legal action, or how serious they are."


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See also:

31 May 02 | Education
31 May 02 | Education
29 May 02 | Education
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15 May 02 | Education
07 May 02 | Education
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