The Independent is reporting suggestions that poor teenagers are losing out on college and university courses because they cannot afford to have their A-level and GCSE exams remarked…
The rocketing cost of remarking scripts coupled with the squeeze on school budgets has led to some schools charging parents for the cost of requesting exam boards to review marks, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers’ annual conference in Liverpool heard yesterday.
Figures show the number of remarking requests is increasing, According to exams regulator Ofqual, there were 450,000 requests for a remark last summer – up from 304, 250 the previous year. The number of grades changed rose from 39, 650 to 45,500.
At the same time the cost of demanding a remark now ranges from £7.50 for a simple clerical check to £48.60 for a full remark. One school, which requested 500 remarks at A-level had to pay £20,000 out of its own budget because they only get refunds in cases where an error has been spotted.
Teachers believe the requests will rise again with the reform of A-levels and GCSE’s placing more weight on the end of term exam.
Colin Cranmer, from Norfolk, told the conference: “My concern is that it is the parents of pupils who often find they have to pay the remark fees.
“What if your family is surviving on universal credit or living costs are outstripping the family income. What if you’re a looked after child.
“Is it a case of ‘tough luck, you happen to be poor?”…
This appears to be hugely unfair and so obviously wrong but how do you get round it?
Schools cannot allow everyone to get a remark so how should they be allocated?
And, presumably, schools can’t stop parents requesting a remark they are prepared to pay for it?
Perhaps a portion of pupil premium money should be put aside for remarking?
Your suggestions? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…
Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link!