Boxed-in in Bloxwich

16th May 2003 at 01:00
A school which ordered 2,744 sets of key stage 3 test papers received a consignment of 12,450, writes Warwick Mansell.

Kevan Bleach, assistant head of Sneyd community school in Walsall, west Midlands, told The TES of his disbelief when 66 boxes of KS3 papers arrived for last week's tests.

Mr Bleach spent a whole day unpacking the boxes and stacking their contents floor-to-ceiling in a secure room.

He said the delivery was the culmination of a series of administrative blunders by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and its test administrator, NCS Pearson, the company which last month took over the Edexcel exam board.

Dr Bleach said that the administrator had registered the school for the tests, but computer records said it needed no papers in any subject.

Despite a series of calls, the papers arrived almost four weeks late. For one maths test, the school asked for 174 papers. It received 1,890. Dr Bleach has written to the QCA to complain after it wrote to schools asking them to help ensure the smooth delivery of this year's exams.

* More than 15,000 mental maths tapes for optional tests for 10-year-olds have been scrapped after a recording fault meant one question was not repeated. A second batch has been sent out.

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