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NAA Announces Three New Developments In Exam Modernization Program

The NAA today announced three newdevelopments in the exam modernisation programme that will provide bettersupport for exams officers. They include the national roll out of a secure carrier service, an injection of over £6.5 million to upgrade the exams office in schools and colleges and the publication ofa Good Practice Guide.

From January 2005, unmarked exam scripts will be picked up from centres and delivered to examiners by a secure carrier to ensure that exam scripts can be tracked. The cost of the new service, provided by Parcelforce Worldwide, will be met by the NAA and so will deliver significant cost savings to schools while reducing the workload of exams officers.

In addition, the NAA are also making £6.5 million of funding available to exams officers to upgrade exams offices across England. Exams officers will be able to apply for the funding to buy equipment that they need in order to carry out good practice in their exams office. The funding, along with exams officer training, the newly published Good Practice guide and the secure carrier service, aims to provide better support for exam officers as part of the exam modernisation programme.

The NAA will be publishing a Good Practice Guide for exam officers which provides vital information and hints and tips on how to run an exams office smoothly. The guide, written by exam officers, is the first publication aimed at them and contains many case studies and contacts that will provide fresh ideas on how to carry out the job. The Good Practice Guide is supported by an extensive programme of exams officer training. Building on the 1000 exams officers that were trained earlier in 2004, a new programme of training is currently underway. Almost 3,000 new and experienced exams officers have attended the free training courses this year.

David Gee, Acting Managing Director of the NAA, said: “We have made significant progress this yearin modernising the exam system. The secure carrier service will allow exam scripts to be tracked once they leave schools and colleges ensuring that pupils scripts are transferred securely. One of our important achievements this year is that we have provided extensive support for exams officers. The NAA recognises that exams officers have a pivotal role to play in the exams system and we are working hard, with the awarding bodies, to ensure that we provide the best support possible so they can do their jobs well.”

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