Young girl from St Albans wrongly removed from spelling bee
PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 July 2016
A young girl was wrongly removed from a spelling competition despite getting a word right which she had been told she had spelled wrong.
The father of the 10-year-old from St Albans has described the behaviour of the University of Hertfordshire, which organised the spelling bee, as “unacceptable” after his daughter lost in the final despite spelling all words correctly.
She lost in the sixth round of the competition after she was asked to spell the word ‘glamorous’. The coordinator of the event claimed that she had spelt the word incorrectly and proceeded to spell the word back to her as ‘glamourous’ which is incorrect
Primary schools across St Albans took part in the competition, which is part of the university’s outreach programme.
Dad of the young girl, who did not wish for him and his daughter to be named, maintained that he had checked the spelling of the word when he got home and found that his daughter should have made it through to the next round. He said: “At the time I was sure that my daughter’s spelling was correct, but I also thought that I may have been mistaken.
“I was unable to check the spelling at the time as I had no signal on my phone.
“Needless to say as an educator myself, correcting a student with an error is unacceptable.”
According to the dad, his daughter’s confidence has been knocked and she was upset about the situation.
He continued: “My daughter was obviously upset, but she was correct and I find the situation very disappointing as she could have gone further in the spelling bee.
“Up to this point she had worked very hard; her confidence has taken an unnecessary downturn and it took some time to console her.”
The university has apologised for the “understandable distress” of the pupil.
A spokesperson commented: “We run this annual event to encourage primary school children to engage with learning and to introduce them to the university.
“It’s generally an extremely positive experience for the competitors and the university, but regrettably on this occasion an error was made.
“As a result we are implementing some additional checks to ensure this type of mistake never occurs again.”
They have also offered the girl a gift voucher as an apology.
The father, who is also a science teacher, added: “Educational institutions such as this getting a spelling error in a primary school spelling bee does not build faith or confidence in sending undergraduates there to do their undergraduate degrees.”