June 30, 2008 01:00

Oh come on, come on: this story - and the examiner -just has to be made up. If only:

Pupils are being rewarded for writing obscenities in their GCSE English examinations even when it has nothing to do with the question.

One pupil who wrote “f*** off” was given marks for accurate spelling and conveying a meaning successfully.

Why? Here's how the chief examiner for the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA explains it:

To gain minimum marks in English, students must demonstrate “some simple sequencing of ideas” and “some words in appropriate order”. The phrase had achieved this, according to Mr Buckroyd.

The chief examiner, who is responsible for standards in exams taken by 780,000 candidates and for training for 3,000 examiners, told The Times: “It would be wicked to give it zero, because it does show some very basic skills we are looking for – like conveying some meaning and some spelling.

“It’s better than someone that doesn’t write anything at all. It shows more skills than somebody who leaves the page blank.”

Wicked? Wicked? Murder is wicked. Not awarding marks in an English exam to a clearly semi-literate child is not wicked but entirely proper. And if you are going to devalue the meaning of words, Mr Buckroyd, what's wicked is the contribution people such as you make to the ongoing British uniliteral educational disarmament.

UPDATE: It's Sod's Law that in a post about literacy I should misspell unilateral.

June 30, 2008 01:00

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