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To be beyond livid about this exam cockup

(69 Posts)
pouffepants Tue 14-May-13 20:14:50

Ds pointed out to the teacher when the timetable came, that for biology he had an 'f' next to his name indicating foundation tier. All the other papers were at higher tier. He and one other boy had the same mistake.
They were assured it was a typo.

Fast forward to today, and he's been given foundation paper, despite doing all the higher work, and taking higher mocks and getting b's. He tried to argue it, but was yelled at and told to do it. It was obviously easier but was work he hasn't done, or revised for, so he thinks he probably hasn't even got a 'c'.

This is the end of a long line of cockups by the school. What can we do?

HollyBerryBush Tue 14-May-13 20:20:01

He can demand to change it at the beginning of the exam. It would have had to have been investigated. I don't believe an invigilator would have yelled at him, he would have been removed, taken to the Head of Faculty and a discussion taken place as to whether it was appropriate to change the paper at that last stage.

Put it in writing, the EO will put in a special consideration for an incorrect paper being sat and the marks adjusted accordingly.

Mumof3men Tue 14-May-13 20:23:55

What did the school say when you rang them after school?

pouffepants Tue 14-May-13 20:24:15

I have emailed the teacher who originally said it was a typo, is that who I should be talking to?

He definitely says the invigilator refused to let him change, and there are several other boys who are happy to be witness to this.

IrritatingInfinity Tue 14-May-13 20:24:36

Wow,that is awful shock What exam board is it?

HollyBerryBush Tue 14-May-13 20:24:44

Email the EO.

pouffepants Tue 14-May-13 20:24:58

I only got in from work at 7pm, so I've not been able to talk to anyone, but have emailed the science teacher.

pouffepants Tue 14-May-13 20:25:17


HollyBerryBush Tue 14-May-13 20:26:01

Exam officer. They take their direction from HoF, not rank and file teachers.

pouffepants Tue 14-May-13 20:27:18

Who and where is he/she? How do I get contact details?

HollyBerryBush Tue 14-May-13 20:28:42

There will be a designated EO at the school - go through the switchboard.

pouffepants Tue 14-May-13 20:34:07


TheFallenMadonna Tue 14-May-13 20:35:04

I'm surprised that he hadn't done the work, as usually the difference is extra content for Higher Tier, and higher demand questions, rather than different content. AQA Biology today, and it's certainly true for that.

We are always on hand for tier issues (and they do happen) at the start of the paper.

Too late, but always insist on a new timetable that shows the correct entry.

kim147 Tue 14-May-13 21:23:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kim147 Tue 14-May-13 21:24:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

landofsoapandglory Tue 14-May-13 21:27:43

Why didn't you ring the Exams Officer, or Sciene teacher before today to make sure it was a typo and flag it up that it needed changing? DS2 is doing his GCSEs ATM and there is no way on this earth I would have left something like that for him to sort out.

I don't blame him and you for being annoyed though.

BehindLockNumberNine Tue 14-May-13 21:28:08

I am very surprised he was not allowed to change. I used to work as an exam invigilator at a large (and good) secondary school and if we had a student asking to do higher instead of foundation (even if correctly entered for foundation in the first place) we would refer it to the relevant subject leader (who was always in the hall at the start of the exam) and in every single case I was involved in (admittedly not that many) the pupil was allowed to change to higher level.

Speak to subject head and exam officer, they should have been on the case. Am also surpirsed the teacher did not question the F instead of assuming it was a typo. Especially given that ds was doing well in all subjects and sitting higher tier in all of them.

Remotecontrolduck Tue 14-May-13 21:28:40

Jesus Christ, exam officer ASAP. What a bloody nightmare. Someone needs a kicking for shouting at him too, what an appalling way to deal with something that is totally not his fault!

You have my sympathies. DD's school was notorious for exam cock ups, highlights included getting the wrong time and putting everyone in isolation for hours, and a teacher teaching the wrong text at A Level, with no one realising this mistake until the exam paper was opened..... (DD thankfully did NOT stay for sixth form, this was a different year group)

kim147 Tue 14-May-13 21:29:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pouffepants Tue 14-May-13 21:36:42

I didn't know what the abbreviations meant on the timetable, but he actually said when he showed me the timetable that there was a typo, but he'd already sorted it with Mr R. So I know he definitely asked the teacher to change it.

Yes, of course he's done the work at some point, but all his revision has been on the harder stuff that he struggles more with. None of which featured since it was on the other paper. Along with being a bit shaken up by trying to argue his corner with the invigilator, he thinks he's done badly.

He's been going to loads of extra classes for the a-grade stuff, and is forecast 'a' in every subject. Not only that, but the highest targetted kids have been teamed up with a mentor for the exam season, ds has been allocated to the headmaster. There is no way that anyone could have thought he was supposed to be doing foundation.

answers Tue 14-May-13 21:37:34

I think there is a few things that you need to think about here...

It is the science teacher who will indicate what paper a pupil is to take.
Yes your child has sat the F paper but in the June exam series you can put in for special dispensation as there is not a retake (this would not have happened if taken in January as could retake in June)
The EO is there to ensure the exams run ok .. they do the entries but do not make the choices about who does what.
Subject teachers are not allowed in the exam room so no-one could have checked.
All pupils are given an exam entry sheet .. parents and pupils should check this carefully prior to the exam period starting.

I think before we go in for the kill we should realise that this type of thing happens often - is not intentional ....and the board knows how to respond..

I would definitley be more concerned about the 'shouting' and want to get to the bottom of that..

Hope it all turns out ok

kim147 Tue 14-May-13 21:39:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pouffepants Tue 14-May-13 21:41:32

Oh, and the invigilator was apparently a mum from a local opposing football team, who very recently got into a fight at a match. So I wouldn't be massively surprised if she were unreasonable.

MrsLouisTheroux Tue 14-May-13 21:51:16

I didn't know what the abbreviations meant on the timetable, but he actually said when he showed me the timetable that there was a typo, but he'd already sorted it with Mr R. So I know he definitely asked the teacher to change it.
So your DS thought that it was just a typo on his timetable and his teacher reassured him that it was?
Well, that sounds odd because if it was a typo and your DS had been entered for H, his name would have been on the exam entries list (from the exam board) for the Higher paper. When the exam room is set up, he would have been allocated a space with all the candidates on the H list and would not have been given the F paper.
It sounds like he was entered for Foundation.

MrsLouisTheroux Tue 14-May-13 21:53:43

You are joking OP. A fight at a football match? A Mum with a grudge? It might be worth leaving that argument behind and keeping to the facts when you go into school hmm

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