Probe launched into Hastings school’s computer science GCSE result

Ark William Parker Academy. File photo from 2015
Ark William Parker Academy. File photo from 2015

A secondary school is being investigated by an examining board over one of its GCSE results.

A source told the Observer this week that students and staff at Ark William Parker Academy, in Parkstone Road, were being questioned over this year’s computer science GCSE exam as part of the probe by Oxford Cambridge and RSA (OCR).

The source said: “It seems that all the students who sat the exam got exactly the same answer, which is statistically wrong.”

A spokeswoman for Ark, the organisation that runs William Parker and Helenswood Academies, confirmed William Parker was under investigation.

She said: “We regret that it has not been possible to release computer science GCSE results yet at Ark William Parker, as the exams board has delayed the awarding of grades for this course.

This delay has come about as the board looks into whether controlled assessments for the course were properly administered.

“Until this investigation is complete, it would be inappropriate to comment or prejudge the possible outcome.

“This is an isolated case, and we can confirm that the delay in grades only applies to this particular exam.

“In the meantime, the welfare and support of our students is our top priority, and the school is providing references for pupils to assist them in their 6th form applications.

“Students and their parents have been made aware of this offer of support.”

An OCR spokesman said the exam board was unable to comment on ongoing investigations.

He added: “OCR works hard to ensure the integrity of our examinations and has stringent procedures in place to ensure our examinations are fair to all candidates.”

The spokeswoman added Jane Fletcher, Ark’s new regional director, has taken on a more active school leadership role as executive principal for William Parker.

Terry Kelly, who has been interim principal at the school, was expected to return to her position as vice-principal, but informed the school this week that she has decided to ‘move on to new challenges’, Ark told the Observer.

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