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The BBC's Valerie Jones
"Most will be dealt with by the end of the week"
 real 28k

Education correspondent Kenneth Macdonald
"Checks were only run on some of the results"
 real 56k

Anthony Maclaren, Deputy Chief executive, UCAS
"We're all awaiting the enquiry"
 real 28k

Thursday, 31 August, 2000, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
Exam checks not carried out
Exam papers
The SQA says predictions were not available
Key computer checks were not carried out on many exam results before they were issued, the Scottish Qualifications Authority has admitted.

The revelation means some grades may be lower than they should have been and that other pupils failed where they should have passed.

But the SQA said its appeals procedure would compensate for the missing checks.

Schools and colleges have until Thursday to tell the SQA which cases they intend to appeal.

They then have until Sunday to submit their evidence.

The Scottish Executive said the failures to run computer checks may explain some of the alleged discrepancies in some schools.

Sam Galbraith
Sam Galbraith has come under increased pressure
Under the "derived grades procedure", a pupil's exam performance is usually compared to the result that his or her school expected them to achieve.

A computer then compares that prediction with the accuracy of the school's estimates in the past.

The checks can mean grades being improved - or failures converted to passes - before the results are issued.

They can also highlight problems with marking.

But the SQA says that this year the checks were run in only a limited number of old-style Highers and Standard Grades because school predictions were not available.

They were not run at all for the new Highers.

Deepening fiasco

BBC Scotland education correspondent Kenneth Macdonald said the lack of checks "could be a factor in the widespread reports of pupils whose grades were unexpectedly poor and the anticipated large number of appeals".

The news is the latest twist in the crisis surrounding this year's exams results - three weeks after all Scotland's pupils should have learned their grades.

Two senior SQA officials left their posts on Wednesday as the fiasco deepened.

Exam certificate
No new Highers results were checked
Head of operations Jack Greig, who was responsible for the collection and processing of results, was suspended pending a disciplinary inquiry and director of awards David Elliot resigned.

The moves came after it emerged that most secondary schools had been sent the wrong Standard Grade results.

There have been widespread problems with the Higher results and repeated opposition calls for Scottish Education Minister Sam Galbraith to resign.

Mr Galbraith will make a statement to the Scottish Parliament next Wednesday.

The SQA said 4,264 Standard Grade results would have to be rechecked because they were inaccurate or incomplete.

Some of the affected pupils could be in for a shock - as they could receive reduced marks.

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See also:

30 Aug 00 | Scotland
Senior exam officials leave jobs
28 Aug 00 | Scotland
Teachers' exams fears 'ignored'
28 Aug 00 | Scotland
Exams chief launches internal review
28 Aug 00 | Scotland
Education stuck in 'time warp'
23 Aug 00 | Scotland
Schools get keys to 'private' doors
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