Exam results shrouded in mystery

20th June 1997 at 01:00
In the March session of the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate modular exam in geography:glacial processes, 107 candidates from a cohort of 225 received grades N or below.

This figure equates to some 47.6 per cent of the cohort actually failing. Recent correspondence with the examination syndicate has revealed some amazing facts, including centres that have withheld grades from candidates and the examining body stating that "some modules were more complex than others". So much for a standardised approach.

The syndicate has refused to reveal the names of other centres involved. Is this so that the candidates and staff involved suffer humiliation in private? My request is simple. Would other centres involved in this module contact me, at the address below, to formulate a plan of action?

It is easy for the mature to set an exam for the young to fail. Exams are designed to show what candidates can do, not what they can't do.

BRIAN LOMAS Assistant headteacher St. Aelred's Catholic High School Birley Street Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside

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