Hard words from board

28th February 2003 at 00:00
The happy-go-lucky team at Edexcel, Britain's most entertaining exam board, have done it again. First they brought you a maths problem that could not be solved, then a business paper that asked candidates to answer "all nine" questions in an 11-question paper. Now they have done for customer relations what Oliver Reed did for temperance.

An enraged Tony Goodhew, head of ICT at Groby community college in Leicester, tells the Diary he waited a month for coursework feedback then was insulted when he chased it up. His enquiry, about feedback on his marking of vocational A-levels was met first with an anodyne response: it had been "logged" and would be responded to "in more detail shortly". The "detailed" response which arrived a week later, was terse and rather undiplomatic: "It's coming in the next day or so. Hold your horses."

Edexcel said the offending message was in fact from an internal email between staff dealing with Mr Goodhew's enquiry, which was accidentally forwarded to him. It apologised for any offence. But an unimpressed Mr Goodhew wonders how Edexcel would react if teachers took to using similar responses if they missed deadlines for getting in coursework.

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