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Fourth time lucky

A head of English has criticised an exam board after this week receiving her fourth set of re-marked results for last year's key stage 3 tests.

In June, Shire Oak secondary, near Walsall, west Midlands, was told that 59 per cent of its 215 pupils had gained level 5 or above compared to 64 per cent the previous year. Teacher assessment in 2003 was 66 per cent. Susan Evans appealed, sending a sample of 10 papers to the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance, but the board refused to re-mark all of the scripts. Mrs Evans appealed again, compiling individual reports on the marking of 29 scripts.

In September, the AQA upgraded 10 pupils' writing results and two pupils'

overall level. The school's score rose to 61 per cent.

Mrs Evans sent off 37 more scripts and in November the AQA upgraded results again, to 65 per cent. Finally, it allowed all the remaining scripts to be re-marked. The score was upgraded from 65 to 67 per cent. Mrs Evans said the negotiations with the exam board took 25 hours of her time A spokeswoman for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, which designs the tests and mark scheme, said: "This is one school in nearly 5,000 which took the KS3 tests last year, but I fully accept that this situation should not have happened."

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