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ETS expelled from re-marking by exams body

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ETS Europe has been barred from administering the re-marking of exam papers following the school test admin fiasco – brought on in part by technical cock-ups at the firm.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) announced yesterday that the National Assessment Agency (NAA) was to “take over the management of the reviews process for this year's key stage tests with immediate effect”.

“Schools that request reviews [that cover tests at key stages two and three] can be reassured that any material sent will be redirected to NAA,” said the QCA, which is a publicly-funded body propped by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF). “Individual markers who have been engaged by ETS for the review process will be contacted directly by the NAA within the next few days to make transitional arrangements.”

The NAA has extended the deadline, giving schools until 10 September to send back exam papers for re-marking.

ETS, which has set up emergency centres at hotels where markers are working lengthy shifts to try and clear the backlog, currently holds a £156m, five-year contract to oversee the Key Stage 2 and 3 tests. According to today’s Times thousands of kids’ national curriculum tests still haven’t been returned by exam markers.

Officials investigating the company discovered 10,000 unanswered emails, many of which carried complaints from schools about the quality of marking.

“We welcome the announcement from the QCA that, following unacceptable delays in delivering national curriculum test results, the NAA will take over management of the reviews process,” said the DCSF. “Last week the QCA confirmed that they are in discussions with ETS Europe.

"It is important that the QCA should be able to conclude these discussions in a timely and orderly fashion to safeguard the interests of pupils, schools and taxpayers.”

The QCA's decision followed ETS’s chaotic handling of England’s national curriculum tests for 1.2 million 11 - 14-year-olds taking Sats.

As we previously reported, the admin fiasco had forced ETS to delay the publication of results, much to the anger of parents and teachers across the country. ETS should have dished out results to pupils on 8 July.

ETS, which is an American company, said it was “committed to quality marking and results, regardless of who undertakes the review. ETS welcomes the inquiry.” ®

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