More than 17,000 students given wrong results

by Amanda Swinburn
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) could face dozens of compensation claims after giving students the wrong exam results.

More than 17,000 students in Scotland received either missing or inaccurate exam results in the autumn of 2000.

One student, Claire Bowen, is suing the SQA after being wrongly told she had failed a music examination, when in fact she had obtained a grade B.

She was subsequently forced to drop out of another course and spent months studying to resit the examination.

She is suing for trauma and distress and the fact that her academic career has been hampered.

Bowen's lawyer Cameron Fyfe, of Glasgow law firm Ross Harper said: "There could be dozens more cases of this type, when people see that Claire is taking action."

He added that the case could be a landmark one, as it is the first in which a student has sued over exam results.

Fyfe said he could not put a figure on how much compensation she could receive.

In a letter to Alan Bowen, the student's father, the SQA acknowledged its mistake. It said: "This must be the worst case we have had to deal with in the light of the management problems of last year."

A spokesman for law firm McRoberts, which is representing the SQA, said: "This matter is in the hands of Claire Bowen's solicitors and in the interests of client confidentiality we cannot comment further."

He refused to reveal the identity of the SQA's insurers, who are expected to foot the bill for any claims.