Analysis August 2022: ‘Teachers and examiners have been very patient, but it’s been frustrating for everyone’

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Music teachers and students have recently expressed concerns about the ABRSM, the UK’s leading music examining board. How is it responding to the criticism? By Peter Somerford

The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) has come under fire in recent weeks from teachers and examiners frustrated with the performance of its IT infrastructure and online exam booking system. Music teachers in the UK took to social media in the first week of May bemoaning the lengthy waiting times and difficulties that they experienced when trying to book exams for candidates during ABRSM’s second booking session of the year. This prompted an official apology from the board’s chief executive Chris Cobb, who said the issue with the booking system arose because a new mapping function designed to help people find the nearest available exam venue did not perform as expected. Two weeks later, a leaked letter to the board, signed by around 70 of its own examiners, vented exasperation with the instability of the ABRSM’s exam marking platform Marcato, and declared no confidence in the board’s IT infrastructure and software….

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