Missing A-level papers 'affected Liverpool students' grades'

exams Image copyright PA
Image caption The pupils have been given estimated marks as a result of the missing papers

Some students in Liverpool may have missed out on university places after an exam board lost A-level papers.

English Literature papers for 34 pupils at St Margaret's Academy in Aigburth have gone missing.

The AQA board gave the students estimated marks but the school's head teacher said this caused uncertainty over university places for some pupils.

AQA said it is in discussions with the university admissions service to ensure pupils get the places "they deserve".

The missing Shakespeare papers accounted for 40% of each student's A-level grade.

'Too late'

Stephen Brierley, principal of St Margaret's Academy, said he felt some of the marks were unfair and AQA did not tell the school about the missing scripts "until it was too late to do anything about it".

"All the marks AQA have estimated are lower than the marks they actually got in their other paper - despite the fact that in their AS level exam last summer, all 34 students did better in their Shakespeare paper than in the other paper," he said.

Student Michelle said she has missed out on her first choice university place at Nottingham Trent University and her two years' of work "aren't reflected in the overall grade".

Image copyright St Margaret's Academy
Image caption Principal Stephen Brierley said one pupil was given 0 marks for the paper

AQA director of operations Claire Thomson said papers do "very occasionally go missing".

"We try to make sure students don't lose out by calculating their overall grades based on how they've done in their other exams in the same subject," she said.

Ms Thomson said the grades are "generally very accurate" but they are double-checking the affected pupils' grades.

"We're also talking to UCAS [the University and Colleges Admission System] to try to make sure that everyone gets the university places they deserve.

"We should have told the school about their missing scripts earlier, and we're sorry this didn't happen. We're doing a review to find out why and make sure we learn from it."

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