It is true that about 23 per cent of enquiries at GCSE level lead to grade changes (Comment, 24 August). However, this figure hides significant differences between the awarding bodies. Over the period 2003-2006, for example, 26 per cent of enquiries to AQA resulted in a grade change, while OCR changed just 17 per cent. The A-level picture is similar. Here AQA changed 14 per cent of grades on enquiry, while the corresponding figure for OCR was 9 per cent.
Given that all boards follow the same appeal procedures, are we to infer that AQA's marking is less reliable than that of OCR? Or is it that OCR's examiners are far more reluctant to make changes after provisional results have been announced?
Both the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and the Joint Council for Qualifications are aware of these disturbing discrepancies, but neither has, so far, offered an explanation.