Proof of care should be in the proofreading

17th June 2011 at 01:00

Is this fiasco of exam mistakes ("Ofqual raps exam boards over blunders", 10 June) a sign of the cuts we are all struggling to endure? I have been a teacher for over 26 years and have seen these mistakes increasingly creep in.

Having grown up in a family with a mother who was a teacher and a father who not only marked A-level and S-level papers, but also at times wrote for the Oxford examination board, I know only too well the scrutiny that he put his questions and papers through.

All I can assume is that somewhere along the process someone has cut the money and time available for proofreading and checking, to the detriment of the examination boards' credibility.

What is so unfair is not the fact that there is a mistake, but the knock this delivers to the candidate's confidence. How much time do these nervous students waste trying to complete impossible questions? A confident student will notice the error and move on, but in the stress of examination conditions how many of us would really notice the error anyway? I know I wouldn't and I am a teacher.

It isn't good enough to say that examination boards will take the error into account when marking that paper - the effect is wider than that question. Are these examination boards going to contact each university and explain why the applicants haven't achieved the grades? Are they going to ring the parents?

But most importantly, are they going to make sure the funds are in place so that proofreading for next year's papers is as comprehensive and foolproof as it used to be?

Amanda Kemp, Maths teacher, Fulwood Academy, Preston, Lancashire.

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