School head's anger at missing test results

PUBLISHED: 12:23 25 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:37 06 May 2010

STAGS head Chris Murrell

STAGS head Chris Murrell

A FURIOUS head teacher has gone right to the top to vent her anger that her school has yet to receive its English SATS results. Chris Murrell, head of the high-achieving St Albans Girls School (STAGS), was expecting to receive the results of the statuto

A FURIOUS head teacher has gone right to the top to vent her anger that her school has yet to receive its English SATS results.

Chris Murrell, head of the high-achieving St Albans Girls School (STAGS), was expecting to receive the results of the statutory examinations for Year Nines by the end of last term in July.

But September is nearly over and she is still waiting for the last eight to arrive so that she can tell pupils and their parents how they have done.

She has now contacted Education Secretary Ed Balls about the school's plight and appeared on national radio this week to talk about the situation which she described as "just appalling".

The English results have been coming in piecemeal for several weeks but the school cannot pass them on to pupils until they have all arrived and eight are still outstanding.

To add insult to injury, she is expecting to send the scripts back for remarking when the confirmed results arrive because they have been so badly marked in the first place.

Mrs Murrell said her exams officer had made numerous phone calls to the National Assessment Agency (NAA) and had been palmed off with information that was either incorrect or untrue.

One example, she said, was that they claimed an email was sent out on September 16 saying that all SATS results had been received by all schools. When the exams officer rang the NAA to say that was not the case, they did not know who had sent the email and appeared disinterested in doing anything about it.

Mrs Murrell added: "Six times we have been promised that our results would be uploaded on to the site by Thursday, Friday, Monday or whatever day of the week they could think of."

"They have got them on their screen at the NAA and can't work out how we haven't got them and there is an inability to accept they should do something about it.

"I am very angry about it because to be honest if my staff behaved like this with a 'couldn't care less' and 'we'll get back to you' attitude we would have been on the rails by now."

Mrs Murrell explained that there had been problems with the marking of English papers for some years and the NAA had been delivering them to schools in August to allow more marking time.

Ironically this year schools were told they would receive them by the end of term in July. The papers are back with the school but they have to get the marks ratified by the NAA before they let the students know.

Mrs Murrell said: "They have been marked so badly they will have to go back. English has been a bone of contention for about three or four years. It is difficult for them to get markers and they can't get enough people who are English specialists so they are not being marked properly and this is most unsatisfactory."

A spokesperson for the NAA apologised for the poor service offered to STAGS in the delivery of their test results. He added: "In respect of the eight pupils with outstanding results in English, these tests were marked and the results uploaded into the ETS Online Mark Capture (OMC) system.

"Unfortunately, due to technical problems, these eight results were not downloadable and accessible to the school. NAA is now contacting the school to apologise and to arrange for the delivery of these results.

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