Tuesday 21 August 2012

Accessing exam marks and comments

It was good to see the ICO offer such timely advice last week to the students who were about to receive their A level results.

As David Smith, Deputy Commissioner and Director of Data Protection, said: “Results day can be an exciting time for many students; however it can also be a time of great stress for those who don’t get the marks they require. That is why we are reminding students that they have a right under the Data Protection Act to see information held about how their marks were arrived at, before deciding whether to re-sit an exam or pursue a particular subject at college or university.”

My A level results day was tinged with both huge excitement and stress. I was excited, my parents were stressed.


Because Elvis Presley had died that day. And my overriding memory was that my parents were so stressed about Elvis’s fate that they forgot to think of mine!

Perhaps, to be fair to my parents, that’s a false memory. But it is what I remember.

My nephew has just had his A level results – and he has done really well – so he’ll soon be heading to London to become an undergraduate. And, I’m happy to report, his family’s celebrations were of the “excitement” kind rather than “stress”.

What would bring a huge smile to my face is to see a similar press release next time the ISEB data protection exam results are published – just to remind the data protection professionals of their subject access rights, too. After all, some of those failing could be doing so with pretty awful marks, so they probably need just as much practical advice as the current crop of school leavers.


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