Lowestoft students' exams papers go missing in the post

Hayley MaceA group of Lowestoft sixth form students could be forced to retake a maths exam after receiving no grades because papers were lost on their way to be marked.Hayley Mace

A group of Lowestoft sixth form students could be forced to retake a maths exam after receiving no grades because papers were lost on their way to be marked.

About 20 students from the Lowestoft sixth form, which teaches students from the town's three high schools, were expecting to get the results from their AS level maths core one exam earlier this month, but when they opened the results envelopes, they were shocked to find that they had not been graded.

Now the teenagers have been told that they will either have to re-sit the exam this summer, or take an average grade from two other modules, because the papers never made it to the exam board to be marked.

Ryan Marshall, one of the students who sat the exam at Kirkley High School on January 11, said: "Our results sheets just showed an X where the grade should have been, and we were told it was because the papers hadn't been received.

"We were really angry and upset, and because there's no coursework for this module there's no way to prove what level we've been working to so we can't have estimated grades."

After the exam, the papers were collected from Kirkley High School and signed for by Parcelforce, but they appear to have disappeared before arriving at the marking centre.

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John Shanahan, deputy head-teacher at Kirkley High School, said: "I've spoken to OCR myself at length and have been told that the papers went missing before getting to


"They were collected from here and we were shocked to hear that they never arrived. We've done absolutely all we can to try to persuade them to let us to give estimated grades to these students, but that's not allowed so we've had to accept that the pupils will have to have their grades based on other assessments or re-sit in the summer."

Mr Marshall said: "We'll either have to take an extra unnecessary exam in the summer, or use grades from other modules which are more difficult, but we've been told there's nothing else that can be done unless the papers happen to turn up after all this time."

A spokesman for exam board OCR said: "We contacted the examination centre as soon as we realised the scripts had not been received. As this was the first unit these students were sitting, there is nothing to use for a calculated grade.

"If the papers do somehow resurface, they will be marked and the grades will stand. We know

that this situation is very distressing, and it is very rare for exam scripts to go missing. We've worked incredibly hard to find out what has gone on."

Parcelforce was contacted by the EDP, but has refused to comment on the missing papers.

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