Two exam boards attacked for delays

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Two exam boards are attacked today for failing to deal promptly with appeals over the marking of A-level exams.

In the first public report on the performance of exam boards, government advisers looked at the time taken by boards to cope with requests for re-marks from A-level students applying to university who may lose their places if they do not secure the grades they need.

They found that last year one board, the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examination Board, (OCR), failed to complete nearly half the re-marks (46 per cent) within the 30-day deadline. Another, Edexcel, dealt with 65 per cent within the target time. Last year was the first year in which the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority set targets for the speedy completion of appeals and inquiries.

Both the Welsh and Northern Ireland boards completed all their A-level re-marks before the deadline. Nick Tate, the qualification authority's chief executive, said: "All of the awarding bodies are aware of their relative performance and can see the significant differences these data show. It is clear that Edexcel and OCR must substantially improve the service that they provide."