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NUS calls on Gove to launch enquiry into impossible exams

Thursday 09-06-2011 - 00:00

As yet another error in an AS-Level paper was identified in a Geography exam in the wake of several mistakes in several papers from three different examination boards in recent weeks, the National Union of Students (NUS) has today written to Education Secretary, Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP calling for an urgent inquiry into a series of errors that have seen students set exams with unanswerable questions and to make compensation available to those students forced to take re-sits or who missed out on places at college or university.

NUS said it was willing to work with ministers to investigate the series of errors and to ensure that the trend did not continue, which it said would cause additional and unnecessary worry and distress to students at an already anxious time. Compensation for those students forced to pay for re-takes or who lost out on places at college and university should also be considered, the union said.

NUS Vice President (Further Education), Shane Chowen, calls on the Education Secretary to conduct an inquiry into the series of errors and how they occurred to ensure the pattern was not repeated. The letter comes after Ofqual Chief Executive, Glenys Stacey, wrote to individual exam boards requesting reassurance that additional checks would be undertaken on remaining exams.

Shane Chowen, NUS Vice President (Further Education) said:

“The Education Secretary should launch an immediate inquiry into a series of errors which has caused unnecessary distress to students and which has now become a deeply concerning trend. Although it is encouraging that Ofqual have identified this cluster of errors as unacceptable, more needs to be done to reassure those who sat the erroneous papers that they will not have their future prospects placed in jeopardy.

“Those students who have been confronted with unanswerable questions may have had their confidence knocked and their performance in the rest of the exam affected. The only fair solution is to give those that want the option to re-sit the exam and compensate them fully if it delays them starting university.”

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