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A level review of marks - school are adding a hidden £22 fee ontop of exam board fee

(15 Posts)
Summer888 Sun 18-Aug-19 01:05:50

My daughter needs to have the marks on one of her A level papers reviewed. The school have told us the charge is £65, but the AQA fee is only £43, so the school (a private girls school in Surrey) are adding a hidden £22 admin fee. We have paid so much money over the years in school fees, I think its immoral. The entire year group are having the same paper's marks reviewed, so the school is making over £1000 hidden profit. Do other private schools sneakily inflate reviews of mark charges too? Or are other schools charging the amount they are being charged by the exam board for copy scripts and mark reviews?
Thank you

OP’s posts: |
NewModelArmyMayhem18 Sun 18-Aug-19 08:03:08

I feel your pain @Summer888. No wise words though.

However, it does annoy me that the different exam boards charge different amounts for the same service. That's not right. So DS did OCR (two A Levels) which is by the far the most costly for reviews of marking.

And of course the whole system sucks because those who can't afford to do it potentially miss out on upgrades.

catsbeensickagain Sun 18-Aug-19 08:08:50

I think schools often add an admin fee (more like £5) as there is work involved in processing all the remarks we get asked to do - and of course they are free if the mark changes as then the exam board does not charge. However for us no fee is added on a whole cohort remark as that is usually driven by us not the parent/child and 20 involves much the same admin as one.

Summer888 Sun 18-Aug-19 15:06:24

Thank you for those two replies. I have today spoken to mums at two other private girls schools in Surrey (Farnborough Hill and Tormead), and neither school is adding any profit margin - they just charge the exam board's fee without any margin on top. I would love to hear from other A level parents of what your school is doing. I will be contacting AQA tomorrow as well and see what their view is of the school profiteering off their back.

OP’s posts: |
Soontobe60 Sun 18-Aug-19 15:13:41

OP, how do you think the papers are going to get to the examiners? Who has checked the papers to decide to send them for review? It's not the school caretaker I'd guess. I've sent papers back for review in the past and it takes at least an hour of my time to check each paper, complete the online admin etc. That's done in my own holiday time. So the school are probably not making any money by doing this. But if you don't want t pay it because you think this private school is profiting from charging, then feel free to say no!

catsbeensickagain Sun 18-Aug-19 15:40:56

I really would approach with a little more caution if you want the paper reviewed. AQA will tell you that it can not deal with you directly as it only deals with these review business via centres. The school does not have to review the paper even if you want them to, if you do not want to pay the admin charge you can just say not and not have it reviewed. I would avoid a dispute at this stage for this amount of money.

Summer888 Sun 18-Aug-19 17:28:08

The school is not reviewing the paper. We are choosing to have it reviewed by the exam board as the whole cohort had excessively low marks on this paper, and it has pulled my daughter's grade down. It used to be called a re-mark, now its called a review. The school haven't seen the papers, neither have we. The paper is kept at the exam board.

I question the legitimacy of Soontobe60's response as it should be very obvious that neither teachers, school, nor pupils have seen the papers, as the grades were only released on Thursday 15th August. I have seen the paperwork the school completes - it does not take an hour - it takes 5 minutes. It is a 2 week wait for any script to come back at this stage, for which you pay an additional fee of £15 per script, and no one has the time to wait for the script to come back before requesting a review of the mark. We paid £6000 for the summer term tuition fees, despite the students being on study leave - I think this entitles us to 15 minutes of the dedicated full time exam officers time in filling out some paperwork. I have now had responses from mums at 3 private schools, and 3 6th form colleges, and they are all being charged the exam board's stated fees without any top up. I can now say with confidence that this school is being greedy and unfair. If anyone reading this knows of any other school that charges an admin fee, please let me know.

OP’s posts: |
catsbeensickagain Sun 18-Aug-19 17:35:20

The school has had the mark since Wednesday. They “do” the review in that you can not request it only they can unless she was a private candidate. It is not a 2 week wait if it is a priority review for a uni place - if it was requested (by the school as it must be) on Thursday as priority it should be mon/tue at the latest.
I presume it is an actual A Level paper not an AS for which you might wait as non priority?
If it is the whole cohort the school will have a significant amount of work to do that may continue if the initial outcome is not as desired. Remember it is in the school’s interest for the grade to rise too. Sad if this is not a partnership - please ask to speak to the exams officer.

catsbeensickagain Sun 18-Aug-19 17:38:39

Oh and teachers do not have to wait 2 weeks to “see” a priority script if requesting sight of it. We get emailed a pdf, from OCR I received some Thursday PM, so yes we can see them before requesting review. However AQA charge for sight of the script so straight to exam board review is normal.

Rosieposy4 Sun 18-Aug-19 20:28:56

I know of several independent schools that load a charge onto the exam boards fees. It is not that unusual.
You are being totally disingenuous about the summer terms fees, you pay fees per year, they are split for parents convenience. Your child presumably attended for the whole of the academic year for y13. If they were to make that final summer term cheaper who do you think shouldn’t get paid?

MollyButton Sun 18-Aug-19 21:35:36

I did know a school in Surrey that used to do this but it was a very broke State school. I'm surprised any of the Private's do, anywhere else and I'd be worrying about finances...

stucknoue Sun 18-Aug-19 21:40:10

There's no remarks now anyway, all they check is whether the marks were added up correctly we have been told, dd was 1 mark off and a* in 2 subjects- and only 2 off an a in her 4th. A remark would be worthy of adjustment to Cambridge - but school advised that government has imposed the new rules

Rosieposy4 Sun 18-Aug-19 22:42:11

Stucknow, that is not correct
There is a clerical check option available ie the adding up marks you refer to.
However you can also ask for a review of marking, where a senior reviews the whole paper and if it has not been marked correctly then it will be remarked.

catsbeensickagain Sun 18-Aug-19 22:46:30

Stuck- no you can still review marking www.aqa.org.uk/exams-administration/after-results/post-results/review-and-priority-review-of-mark
However the chances of 3 reviews resulting in 3 changes are very minimal and Cambridge has very few to no adjustment places so probably good advice.

Molly- it’s common practice (not every place but many), independent schools also charge for exam entry which state schools do not.

HugoSpritz Wed 21-Aug-19 20:08:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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