Pupils at £37,000-a-year private school open exam paper to discover they've been taught the wrong book

GIRLS at a 37,000-a-year boarding school have been left "scarred for life" after they opened their English GCSE papers to find they had been taught the wrong book.

Parents of pupils at Malvern St James Girls' School are outraged, with one mother even demanding her money back for the mistake.

The private school in Worcestershire's alumni include the Duke of Gloucester's mother, Princess Alice, and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.

They have apologised for the devastating error and begged exam board Cambridge international for "special consideration".

One parent told The Independent her daughter was stressed after the incident, adding it could "scar students for life".

She had been studying Michael Frayn's Spies, expecting it to appear in the exam, but was shocked when the paper contained no questions on the text.

Spies was an option for the 2018 IGCSE, but had been removed from this year's syllabus.


IGCSE is the alternative international qualification to GCSEs, preferred by many independent schools.

The mother said: "It has been a complete utter waste of time for two years. They have let her down completely.

"I want compensation and I want heads to roll. You have to be responsible of what your teachers are doing.

"For two years they have been studying the wrong book. It is a joke."


In a statement the headmistress, Mrs Olivera Raraty, said: "There was an issue with one section of an IGCSE English Literature paper sat by one group of students in Year 11 on May 15th 2019. One of the texts taught to this group was incorrect.

"The problem was identified immediately, and we are now working with the exam board in question, so that no girl should be disadvantaged by this.

"Fortunately, all exam boards have procedures in place to deal with this type of incident and we meet the criteria for 'special consideration'.

"Meanwhile a full internal investigation is underway and we are unable to provide further comment at this time. We apologise wholeheartedly for this, and will continue to work to resolve this issue as soon as possible."

A spokesperson for Cambridge International, said: "We were contacted by the school today as they discovered they had taught the wrong English Literature text.

"We recognise that this is distressing for the students involved. We have asked the school to follow our procedures for rare situations like this by submitting a request for special consideration on behalf of the students affected."

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