WIRRAL pupils were wrongly told they had missed out on a place at grammar school – due to a blunder by exam chiefs.
It has emerged the students’ heartbreak was triggered due to a marking error on 11+ tests by GL Assessment – its second gaffe in consecutive years.
Around 1,600 pupils bidding to get a place next September at either Wirral Grammar School for Girls, Wirral Grammar School for Boys, West Kirby Grammar School or Calday Grange Grammar School had to be gifted two marks after it was discovered the papers contained two rogue questions.
But now it has emerged that the same exam chiefs messed up on the previous year’s tests.
Although the company managed to get the questions right, it has been confirmed one of the examination papers was marked incorrectly.
It meant six Wirral students were told they had not made the grade and would instead have to go to a non-selective school.
Suspicious parents had asked for a re-mark and when the error was discovered Wirral Council ensured the pupils were granted their grammar school places.
Wirral council revealed it had received compensation from GL Assessment and informed parents as soon as it was aware of the cock-up.
And after seeing the company make mistakes again this year the council is awaiting a report from GL Assessment “before any further action is taken”.
But today a parent whose son was wrongly marked down in last year’s blunder said: “This is very poor on behalf of GL Assessment and not good enough.”
Confirming the marking error a GL Assessment spokesman admitted “a small number of pupils who weren’t originally offered a place at a grammar school were then eligible for a place” but stressed: “No student was declined a place they had already been given.”
Offering its “sincere apologies” the company said it had “a comprehensive set of quality assurance procedures in place to ensure that no mistakes in the preparation or marking of tests should occur”.
And a spokesman added: “As a result of these errors, we are in the process of conducting a thorough review of all of our procedures in order to provide parents and Wirral council with the assurances they need that errors of this nature will not occur again.
Julia Hassall, Wirral’s acting director of children’s services said after the marking error last year the council had received assurances procedures would be followed and an undisclosed “compensation package”.
She added: “Following recent developments, we are now awaiting a further report from GL Assessment before any further action is taken.”