Test row firm has 'record of failure', say Tories

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The Independent Online

The American company at the centre of the controversy over national curriculum test blunders is also providing tests for would-be migrants to the UK in English skills, it emerged yesterday. David Cameron, the Conservatives' leader, said ETS should be sacked from its £156m contract to mark and deliver national curriculum test results.

He added: "They were awarded tests in Korea which went so badly wrong that people had to fly to Thailand [to take tests]." His party said it had evidence from The Washington Post that the firm had "an international record of failure". In the UK, 175,000 pupils are still waiting for their test results, two weeks after the deadline.

The Tories said that tests in the US in English as a foreign language had to be cancelled, and 20 African countries had demanded a return to pencil and paper tests after a new computerised system failed.

A spokesman for ETS said the problems in Africa had arisen from inadequate infrastructure, and in the US, demand outstripped the number of test places.