Students at a Northampton secondary school have been left devastated after they were told their A-level history grades had been “estimated” because their exam papers were stolen.
A group of 20 Caroline Chisholm School pupils were told today that an AQA marker was on a train on July 15 when a bag containing a set of unmarked papers was stolen.
The letter stated that the exam board had worked out their grades based on coursework and grades in other exam papers.
Gary Wakefield, vice-principal of Caroline Chisholm School, said he was “really disappointed” AQA had allowed the papers be stolen.
He said: “We are incredibly frustrated and disappointed this has happened.
“We are working with all the students affected to offer our support. They have all got university places but some have not got their first choice.
“Of course some of the places are not just based on the results in history but we are really disappointed this has happened.”
A father of one student who received the letter said he thought it was “totally unfair” the students’ results had been estimated.
He said: “This was not a fair basis for the results. My daughter was forecast a B but received a C. They should have offered the students a chance to resit after this happened.
“What the hell was the marker doing with the exam papers on a train?”
An AQA spokesperson said the calculated grades “usually” prove to be very accurate.
The spokesperson said: “On the very rare occasion that scripts are stolen, exam boards can still give students a result based on how they have performed in the other papers or coursework for that subject.
“It’s also what we do for students who’ve missed part of their exam because of illness or personal tragedy. If missing scripts come to light after results day, we always mark them – and it’s usually the case that the calculated grade proves to be very accurate.”