Lost exam papers blow to college

First published in Bradford by

A Bradford school has incomplete results in education performance tables published today by the Department for Education and Skills after the national body responsible for marking the exams lost its completed papers.

Immanuel Community College in Thackley was informed that its Key Stage Three English papers had been mislaid by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority before they were marked.

It has left the Church of England controlled secondary school without a mark for English and subsequently an overall grade for English, maths and science in the Standard Assessment Test exams taken by 13-and-14-year-olds last year.

An Immanuel College spokesman said the school was bitterly disappointed by the loss of the papers as staff and pupils had worked exceptionally hard to improve their grades.

Its pupils' maths and science results both showed a marked improvement compared to 2005.

School spokesman Chris Robinson said: "The QCA contacted the college to say that all of our student scripts for English Key Stage Three had been lost.

"QCA took full responsibility for this and was at great pains to apologise for the situation. It informed us that our students would be allocated an M' for missing scripts and QCA would therefore be unable to give the students a level.

"We are very disappointed on behalf of our students and our staff who worked very hard.

"We are very pleased with our maths and science results, which exceeded our agreed LEA targets and fully expected our English results to be at the same high standard."

Mrs Robinson said the school was now using its "excellent" internal performance monitoring data to accurately gauge the progress of the pupils whose exam papers were lost.

Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Bradford Council, whose Idle and Thackley ward covers the school, said: "This is terrible news for the pupils and staff of Immanuel College.

"They have worked really hard and to receive a set back like this through no fault of their own which will mean a delay in results must be deeply disappointing.

"Staff and governors have been doing a lot of good work to improve grades at the school and have been very successful. I think someone owes them and the children an apology."

Councillor David Ward, the Liberal Democrats group's education spokesman who is also serves the Idle and Thackley ward, said: "It's a colossal blunder by the firm responsible.

"We have to feel sorry for the young people who have put a huge amount of effort in and will not even know their results let alone get any acclaim for them. It's a sorry mess."

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