Brit school bans fountain pens as they ’stop pupils from getting results’

October 12th, 2010 - 6:38 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Oct 12 (ANI): The head of a school in Britain has warned students not to write with a fountain pen, as he fears they might be marked down in exams.

Jack Williams, who is a self-confessed fan of the fountain pen, says modern computerised marking systems used for GCSEs often miss the pen strokes, and this could lead for example, to crucial decimal points being missed in maths exams.

The head of 8,250pounds-a-year Hillcrest Grammar and Preparatory School in Stockport has written to parents saying children should only use ballpoints.

“For the long essays a mark on an exam paper not getting picked up by the scanner might not affect things, but for maths and science it could be the difference between grades,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.

“One of the exam boards said last year on one of the maths exams that a lot of decimal points weren’t picked up by the computer scanners,” he stated.

Some exam scripts are scanned by a computer programmed to detect the correct answers, and Williams said exam boards had told him only black ballpoint ink showed up properly.

“This strikes me as a real backward step - using fountain pens tends to improve writing and presentation and encourages higher standards as a result,” Nick Seaton, of the Campaign for Real Education, said.

A spokesman for exam board AQA, which is used by Hillcrest, said that there are no restrictions in using fountain pens in the examinations. (ANI)

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