General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

 
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Ofqual to investigate examination marking problem

04-10-2010

Ofqual

Ofqual, on behalf of the examination regulators for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, is to launch an inquiry into a problem with the marking of some GCSE and A level examinations by AQA (Assessments and Qualifications Alliance). AQA is the largest examination board in England offering these qualifications. AQA discovered, through its regular exam-checking procedures, that some students' papers had not been fully marked. This meant that some students received lower subject grades than they should have done.

The numbers of those affected are approximately:

A level - 150 students.

AS level - 290 students.

GCSE- 190 students (mainly short course-half GCSEs).

There were also a number of students whose marks changed but this did not affect their subject grades.

Announcing the regulators' inquiry, Isabel Nisbet, chief executive of Ofqual said; "This is a very serious matter. Ofqual is in full agreement with AQA that the first priority is to support students, schools and colleges. AQA has assured us that they will make sure that the affected candidates are treated fairly and receive the marks their work merits as soon as possible. Once that is done, Ofqual’s inquiry will focus on what went wrong and why it was not spotted sooner."

The findings of the Ofqual inquiry will be made public. Terms of reference will be published shortly. AQA has already launched its own internal investigation.

AQA has issued a helpline number for students, colleges and schools which is: 0844 2096614.

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