Board sticks up for precise poetry

Sticky paper still has a place in the classroom - thousands of GCSE English literature candidates have been involved in peel 'n stick sessions to correct errors in a new poetry anthology.

The Northern Examinations and Assessment Board opted for the Blue Peter approach when it discovered problems with its 96-page anthology, a text for students studying for GCSEs in English language and English literature.

Four entries were found to have errors, including two poems with sections missing. The board sent thousands of corrected poems on sticky-backed paper, a huge exercise for a course which attracted 250,000 candidates last year.

NEAB assistant chief executive Margaret Hutchinson said: "The course for the 1998 exam is just beginning but the anthology is used throughout. We were trying to make it as easy as possible to use the sheets and we wanted to ensure the errors were rectified as soon as possible. It seems to have worked. "

Publishers Heinemann produced the anthology, but Ms Hutchinson said the errors lay with the board. She stressed that pupils would not be examined on the specific lines which had caused the problem in case incorrect textbooks slipped through the net.

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