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Headteacher fears exam fixing

PUBLISHED: 14:47 12 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:37 03 March 2010

A HEADTEACHER at a Felixstowe school fears that some of his A-level leavers' results could have been fixed.

David Forrest, head of Orwell High School, has requested a re-mark and a report from an exam board after six pupils received suspect marks.

A HEADTEACHER at a Felixstowe school fears that some of his A-level leavers' results could have been fixed.

David Forrest, head of Orwell High School, has requested a re-mark and a report from an exam board after six pupils received suspect marks.

All pupils who received the dubious history A-level results have been able to go on to their choices of further education and so have not been directly hindered by the problem, but Mr Forrest said that if the allegations of result fixing were true it would be 'horrifying'.

"It looks like this could be part of the same thing, it is also possible that this isn't the exam board's problem at all," said Mr Forrest, referring to the possibility that the results could have been due to an innocent human error within the exam board.

"We have appealed to the exam board, they are re-marking the work which was sent in and it will take us a few weeks before we will know the outcome."

The head teacher had become concerned about the questionable exam marks on August 15 when the pupils had gone to the school in Maidstone Road to pick up their results. He said the request for a re-mark was submitted two weeks ago, but only at the beginning of this month was it revealed that the exam board, Oxford Cambridge and RSA (OCR), which marked their history papers, was thought to be involved in an exam result fixing scandal.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, which is a guardian of education standards, launched an investigation when they were alerted to the alleged scandal after massive inconsistencies were found in a large number of A-level results throughout the country.

In some cases bright pupils had made the top grade in some subjects but dramatically failed in others.

This led to national concerns that pupils had been deliberately marked down in exams because markers feared too many pupils were going to make the top grade leading to speculation of exam boards 'dumbing down' qualifications.

A spokeswoman for the QCA said: "Our investigations into these allegations are continuing. OCR are expected to report back to us shortly."

OCR was singled out because it was suspected that the board was under pressure to falsify the results after they recorded overly successful AS-level results last year.

Mr Forrest said that he would have to wait for OCR's report which is due within four to six weeks time before any action can be taken.

He added that he could understand if there was a legitimate explanation for the problem as on rare occasions in the past discrepancies had been found when a syllabus had changed and an exam board's markers had found it difficult to adjust to the new criteria.

But he also made it clear that if the board was to find any fault with their marking he would like the school to be compensated.

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