Blunder gives A-level students results too early

 

Dozens of A-level candidates received an early glimpse of their results at the weekend as a result of an exam board blunder. About 50 pupils logged on to an online service run by the Edexcel exam board after it had been mistakenly opened up five days before the results were due to be published.

The error, the latest in a series of mistakes during this year's exams season, happened as exam board officials were testing the service in advance of Thursday's results. It appeared that a handful of young people logged on to the service on Thursday morning and then texted their classmates when they realised they could access the results.

The exam board immediately issued an apology for the error but added that it believed "no student will be unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged as a consequence". Last year, about 50,000 candidates chose to receive their results online instead of going to school to receive them.

It follows an exams season in which a total of 12 errors in exam board questions came to light – for which some students were given extra marks because questions were impossible to answer.

In addition, 34 students were given the wrong grades in their Scottish Higher exams in religious, moral and philosophical studies because of an administrative error. The candidates will now be given upgrades and the University and Colleges Admissions Service (Ucas) will be informed of the errors.

A spokesman for the Scottish Qualifications Authority said: "It was a human error, not systematic."

Earlier, some students were texted their results a day earlier than planned – also as the result of a mistake.

Meanwhile, more than 200,000 university candidates who are expected to end up without a university place are warned today they could suffer from cuts in the careers service Connexions.

"The Government's disgraceful failure to provide a replacement for the careers service it dismantled has left students without access to the clear, unbiased, relevant and up-to-date careers advice and guidance many will need," said Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

The Government has scrapped the Connexions system that used to run the careers service and replaced it with a national advice forum that can only be accessed online, rather than give face-to-face interviews. Responsibility for arranging individual advice has been transferred to schools.

Dr Bousted added: "We fear for the thousands of students who miss out on a university place and face paying three times more next year or struggle to find careers advice following cuts."

Those students who fail to confirm a provisional university place through their results on Thursday morning will find many doors closed to them.

A poll of 60 universities revealed that one in four was unlikely to have any places available through the clearing system this year. Oxford, Cambridge, the London School of Economics, Imperial College London, Warwick, University College London, Edinburgh and Birmingham universities have all said they will be not be entering clearing this year.

Surrey, Oxford Brookes, Chester, Reading and Harper Adams University College have also said they are unlikely to be in clearing.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballLatest score and Twitter updates
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: Project Manager

£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K - £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been we...

Opilio Recruitment: Product Owner

£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'