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Friday, 20 July, 2001, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Exams body in marker inquiry
Exam results box
The SQA has launched an investigation
An investigation has been launched into how exam papers were marked by an unqualified person.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) said internal checks revealed that the marker did not have the required three years' teaching experience.

The SQA said the exam papers have now been marked again by a qualified marker and none of the results have had to be changed.

The exams body confirmed that the unqualified marker had been given nearly 200 pupils' scripts.

The papers have now been fully checked individually and no marks have required to be changed

SQA spokesman
The SQA discovered the problem last week during internal quality assurance checks.

A spokesman refused to release details about the marker, the subject or the level of the relevant papers.

However, he said information could be released, if felt to be appropriate, following the culmination of the inquiry this weekend.

The spokesman insisted that the candidates involved had not been disadvantaged.

He said: "As a result of our quality assurance procedures, it appears that an allocation of exam scripts were marked by an individual who does not meet the SQA's criteria for appointment.

"Among the requirements to become a qualified marker is the need to have at least three years' relevant teaching experience.

Pupils sitting exam
Almost 200 exam scripts were marked
"The papers have now been fully checked individually and no marks have required to be changed. Therefore the candidates involved - less than 200 in total - are in no way disadvantaged."

The SQA has been giving continual assurances that there will be no repeat of last year's results crisis, which resulted in thousands of pupils receiving inaccurate or delayed results.

Assessment of last year's marking procedures also revealed that there were nine unqualified markers employed.

The SQA spokesman said any potential improvements identified as a result of the current inquiry would be included in the current review of marker appointments.

He said reassessed data would be collated by the end of the month, before the certificates are processed and prepared for delivery on 13 August.

They should be arriving with candidates from 14 August.

A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said Education Minister Jack McConnell was informed about the incident.

The spokesman said: "The minister was made aware of it as soon as the SQA discovered that there was an allegation of unqualified marking.

"Ministers are obviously concerned but they are pleased that papers were remarked and that the SQA is carrying out an investigation into the matter."

See also:

03 Jul 01 | Scotland
Black market exams 'racket' probed
15 Jun 01 | Scotland
SQA - exam results should be on time
19 Apr 01 | Scotland
Exams task force set up
01 Jun 01 | Scotland
Exam markers hit target
15 Apr 01 | Scotland
SQA faces non-payment threat
05 Apr 01 | Scotland
Exams body 2000 markers short
15 Aug 00 | Scotland
EIS seeks Higher Still review
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