Monday, June 30, 2008

Praise where praise is due.

"It would be wicked to give it a zero because it does show some very basic skills we are looking for - like conveying some meaning and some spelling."

From the BBC web site:

An exam board is to review its marking guidance after one of its top examiners gave marks for a script which contained only a two-word sexual expletive.

The Times reported that Assessment and Qualifications Alliance chief examiner Peter Buckroyd gave a pupil two marks out of 27 for an English GCSE paper.

He is quoted as saying the candidate had demonstrated more skills than one "who doesn't write anything at all".

AQA said this was not in line with its guidelines, which would be clarified.

The pupil is reported to have written "fuck off", and would have had another mark for adding an exclamation point.
Mr Buckroyd is quoted by the Times as saying: "It would be wicked to give it a zero because it does show some very basic skills we are looking for - like conveying some meaning and some spelling."

An AQA spokeswoman said examiners were instructed to contact the board's offices where they would be advised in accordance with the guidelines of the Joint Council for Qualifications, which represents exam boards.

She said: "As a result, an obscenity should either be disregarded, or action will be taken against the candidate, depending on the seriousness of the case.

"The example cited was unique in the experience of the senior examiner concerned and was used in a pre-training session to emphasise the importance of adhering to the mark scheme: i.e. if a candidate makes any sort of response to a question then it must be at least given consideration to be awarded a mark.

"We do not condone the use of obscenities in scripts: in the light of this incident we will be reviewing our instructions to examiners which will include reiterating the procedure to be followed when encountering obscenities in scripts."


Polgara said...

Thats just mad
Pol x

Jennyta said...

I'd like to say it's unbelievable but, unfortunately these days, it's not!

trousers said...

My word.

I'll be buying the Express and the Mail tomorrow*

(*that's an outright lie, but I sympathise with what you wrote in your tag)

p.s. I was tempted to write "fuck off" as a comment here but I couldn't even do that in irony!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

This was part of a training exercise behind closed doors. Somebody who was there has been extremely mischievous and unprofessional in bringing this matter into the public eye. I have met Peter Buckroyd and he is an excellent champion for high standards and accuracy in assessment. To see him pilloried over this misunderstanding is quite tragic. He was merely illustrating a point about marking and the expletive example was simply an extreme demonstration of how marks might be allotted to children at the base level.

J.J said...

Utterly Polgara.

Jenny - looking at YP's remarks it looks like in this case we are looking at a wind up.

Trousers - I can quite understand why you were tempted!

YP - I really do hope he isn't suffering over this and people who matter see it for what it is. To be honest I just thought it was funny...but I know from personal experience that some times things meant light heartedly can come back to haunt you in ways you coudl never have envisaged.