Mark Dawe, OCR Chief Executive, said: “Following the relocation of script handling to our new warehouse for 2011, I am disappointed to have to confirm a number of grade changes as a result of the discovery of clerical errors made last year. I would like to reassure students taking examinations for the first time this year (2012) that I have had our systems significantly improved and this issue cannot and will not affect them.
Mistakes were made by examiners in the transcribing and totalling of marks. These are unacceptable and OCR apologises to students, schools and parents that our high standards for quality and integrity were not met by some individuals during routine processes. I have taken a number of corrective actions to address these matters including terminating four examiners’ contracts, placing another 78 on notice to improve and instituting a new clerical checking regime. It is our job to ensure students get the right results that correctly reflect their knowledge and hard work.
Since these mistakes came to the attention of OCR managers, we have worked for the past nine months to establish the scale of problem, put new systems in place and put right wrong results. Consequently 15 A Level, 28 AS Level, 37 GCSE and 34 GCSE Short Course grades have been improved. A further 81 GCE and 56 GCSE cases have been identified where changes in units taken in 2011 will be factored into students’ final full qualification.
Most changes meant an improvement of one grade, however there were five candidates whose qualification improved by two grades – a GCSE Short Course in Religious Studies from B to A*, a GCSE Short Course in Religious Studies from C to A, a GCSE in English from F to D, a GCSE in Religious Studies from B to A*, and an A Level in Physical Education from C to A. The majority of GCSE changes were for Religious Studies, the majority of A Level changes were for PE.
I would like to apologise again to all the schools, students and parents affected and am confident that our new checking processes will ensure a higher level of clerical accuracy. Furthermore, OCR’s programme to mark all papers on-screen - which will eliminate the opportunity for this type of error - has been accelerated with a target of 100 per cent by 2014, up from 84% per cent this year."
For further information, schools can contact OCR by calling 01223 553998 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (opening hours 8.00am to 5.30pm).