Edexcel exam board to help re-mark school SATs papers

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One of Britain's biggest exam boards, Edexcel, has been called in to help re-mark this year's national curriculum tests after record requests from schools. Teachers have asked for more than 40,000 reviews of pupils' scripts from the tests for 11- and 14-year-olds.

Already there have been more requests to re-mark English papers for 14-year-olds than last year, although the deadline for requests does not expire until 10 September. Exam board officials are expecting further requests.

The National Assessment Agency (NAA) – the arm of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority responsible for overseeing the tests (SATs) – is urging schools to make requests for reviews if they have any doubts about marking.

David Gee, NAA's managing director, said: "If schools have evidence that the mark scheme [for this year's tests] has been misapplied, they should apply for a review and [we] will ensure the application is properly evaluated and, where necessary, scripts re-marked."

Teachers' leaders say this is the first time the test watchdog has publicly encouraged schools to request reviews, heightening speculation there are flaws in this year's marking system.