No escape

14th July 1995 at 01:00
My school is among the many hundreds that have asked for a re-mark of all the key stage 3 national tests in English this year.

The School Curriculum and Assessment Authority requires me and my colleagues to go through each and every one of the returned papers and choose the 10 candidates who have suffered the most glaring and severe injustices. We make a detailed written report on each one, describing exactly how and where the marking is inadequate, both in terms of numbers of marks awarded to different candidates, and of how and where the minutiae of the mark scheme have not been adhered to, candidate by candidate and question by question. Then we send it all off, and they decide whether or not there is a case for re-marking the entire cohort.

When teachers finally bowed to pressure and agreed to administer these silly tests, it was with the proviso that we should not be required to mark them. How foolish of us not to realise that this only meant that we should not have to mark them until someone else had failed to do so competently in the cases of tens of thousands of students. They get you all ways, don't they?

ALASTAIR WHITE Head of English at a school in Oxford

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