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Exam stress

The A level fiasco and student claims: negotiating the negligence minefield, by Colin Nasir

1 November 2002

Political wrangling has so far grabbed the headlines in the so-called ‘A level fiasco’. But novel and diverse legal action now looks set to follow. The most numerous category is claims by students against examination boards over unfairly marked papers resulting in lost university places. Other possibilities are third party claims by the boards against the Government for putting pressure on them to act as they did; claims by schools whose academic reputations have been dented; and an unfair dismissal claim by the sacked former chairman of the statutory body responsible for regulating qualifications. Solicitors representing examination boards would do well to ensure the buck is passed as early as possible to any liability insurers, rather than Government bodies on which they depend for accreditation. Those advising parents and students should reflect not only on the legal difficulties, but the equally importantnon-legal considerations. It may be unwise for young people to get bogg...

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