Managers at Bede College, Cleveland, wrote to the DFEE in May, asking for 350 copies of the post-16 national progress file, a new format of student assessment being tested, which may evetually replace national records of achievement.
Tutors were looking forward to trying out the files. But two weeks after term started, just 150 had turned up.
Acting assistant principal Paula Wain said: "It struck me that it was quite ironic that a document that was supposed to help with time-management, meeting deadlines and getting organised still hadn't arrived."
The DFEE was unable to say when the rest of the files - featuring self-assessment questions like "Am I the sort of person who puts things off?" - would arrive.