Updated The 29 students of a computing class at a school in Lincolnshire have all failed to gain their diploma because their teacher told them to save their coursework in Microsoft Word format, which is not accepted by the exam board.
Edexcel rejected work from pupils at Cotelands School in Ruskington who were studying for the Diploma in Digital Application (DiDA), equivalent to two GCSEs, the BBC reports.
The school has apologised for the cockup. Paul Watson, principal of Cotelands' parent school St George's College of Technology, said: "The school has quickly written to all parents to explain the situation.
"We have offered evening tuition to the students to provide the opportunity for them to still achieve the qualification and a number have already taken this up."
The Beeb says Cotelands School was already facing a merger with St George's because of missed exam result targets. ®
We rang Edexcel to find out what formats it does accept and why it won't accept Word, but none of the press lines were being answered. We'll update again when we know more.
We're obliged to reader Jim, who sent in this URL. It links to Edexcel's table of formats for the various DiDA modules. There's no .doc allowed.
As many commenters have pointed out, it does appear harsh to fail a whole class for their teachers' mistake when rectifying it would very likely have been the work of minutes. We'll be putting that to Edexcel if we ever get hold of its spokespeople.