Tate reading from a marked script;Letter

22nd October 1999 at 01:00
WHEN Dr Nicholas Tate speaks of "overwhelming test satisfaction" on the part of teachers, does he really mean teachers of English to Year 9 pupils? (TES, October 8).

Celia Gaskin is "spot on" with her comments and I was irritated again by Dr Tate trotting out the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority's party line. He speaks of "marked scripts" being returned to schools. Has he looked at them? If a tick and a number at the end of a question constitute "marking", then GCSE and A-level examiners have got it all wrong!

So too have the English teachers in my department who spend many hours on their pupils' work. I understood that a marked script involved the identification of where and how the answer met the criteria set out in the mark scheme, including a summative comment linked to those assessment criteria. None of this with key stage 3 papers.

That is why it took me many hours to compose my appeal against our test results before returning the whole batch to the marking agency. Guess what: their marker had got it all wrong! We are greatly underwhelmed, and far from satisfied.

Neil Hadfield

10 Harrot Hill

Cockermouth, Cumbria

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