Exam board nearly missed A-level results deadlines

The Guardian is reporting that software failures and a shortage of markers meant that last summer’s A-level results came dangerously close to missing crucial publishing deadlines, which would have disrupted university admissions for hundreds of thousands of students…

Officials began considering contingency plans to delay publication of results last August after the OCR examination board was reported to be far behind in its marking of papers in England. There were concerns that the OCR would be unable to pass results on to the university admissions service, Ucas, in time.

A Whitehall source warned that a repeat of last summer’s scramble could trigger “ministerial intervention” and a reappraisal of the role of the exam boards.

OCR’s chief executive, Mark Dawe, said his exam board was determined to avoid a repeat of last summer, and had embarked on a vigorous recruitment drive as well as adding extra capacity to the software platforms that caused problems in 2014.

Publication of last year’s A-levels went ahead as planned, but disruption was only averted by increasingly urgent recruitment of markers by OCR, and in part by one of its rivals, AQA, offering it access to its pool of markers in subjects with shortages. In one case a teacher responded to OCR’s appeals by returning to mark exam scripts between her wedding and her honeymoon.

“There were some real stars there. Teachers know it’s important to get those marks in, and they really pulled behind us in those subjects where we needed it,” Dawe said…

More at: Exam board’s A-level results near miss revealed


Wow – that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence does it? Did you know this was going on? How do you feel about it?


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Categories: Secondary.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Exams are a business that try to make as much money as possible. “Ministerial involvement” would be pointless if not worse

  2. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This is due to the profit making side of our exam system where markers are paid peanuts. Why would anyone want to do it?

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