Sorry could be the latest word

26th September 2003 at 01:00
Well done to the exam board that last week issued a public apology for an examiner's sloppy marking and use of inappropriate comments, scribbled in the margins of a batch of Latin GCSE papers (page 13). The admission by the OCR provides welcome proof that, when confronted with evidence of sub-standard marking, it will be acknowledged and weeded out.

A triumph, then, for our examinations system, after the crisis of confidence sparked by last year's A-levels? Not quite. While significant heads rolled following that fiasco, no exam board has yet apologised to the 1,945 students given overall grades lower than they should have been. Which was the board guilty of the most excessive downgrading? Step forward OCR.

Having shown a willingness to admit mistakes over GCSE marking, it is time to acknowledge its part in last year's grade-setting debacle. It is never too late to say sorry.

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