Education: How Matthew took on the examiners and won

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The Independent Online
MATTHEW CALVERT, of Wetherby, West Yorkshire, needed two Bs and a C to secure his place to read English at university last year. He gained a C in English and a B, C and D in other subjects, writes Judith Judd.

Matthew applied for a remark of his English paper and three weeks later was told that it had been undermarked by 12 points and should have received a B, not a C. The Northern Examination and Assessment Board apologised for the mistake through his school. He then decided to appeal against the grade D awarded in history. That, too, was raised, to a C.

Matthew was able to join his English course just before term began, but he and his parents felt he should receive a personal apology from the board and asked for an assurance that such an event could not recur. Eventually, the board agreed to pay him pounds 500 compensation plus expenses. Matthew said: 'I went through hell in the week the results came out. It makes you wonder how many people have got the wrong grade and accepted it.'

A spokesman for the board said a case of two regrades was rare. 'We are absolutely committed to putting mistakes right, however embarrassing it may be to us.'

If, like Matthew, you believe your papers have been unfairly marked, you should follow this procedure.

Get the support of your school.

Appeal to the exam board through the school.

If you are dissatisfied with the response, appeal to the board's appeals committee.

If still unhappy, appeal to the Independent Appeals Authority for School Examinations, Newcombe House, Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JB.

Fees vary from about pounds 2 for a clerical recheck to pounds 45 for a full remark.