SENT ON BEHALF OF PROFESSOR DEREK GALLEN
This email has been sent to: Postgraduate Deans, Foundation School Directors, Foundation School Managers, Rules Group Members, Heads of Medical Schools, Medical Schools Council, UKFPO, Medical Students Board, and BMA Medical Students Committee
For information please find below the statement sent to the BMA news regarding the recent quartile score administrative error which affected a small number of students from Barts and the London Medical School.
North East Thames Foundation School Apologises for
Foundation Programme 2010 Recruitment Administrative Error
Applicants to the Foundation Programme 2010 were able to log into their online accounts on Friday, 19 February to see a breakdown of their application scores. A small proportion of students from Barts and the London Medical School were surprised to find that the academic quartile scores provided to them by Barts were different from those they saw on the online application system.
Investigations at the weekend and on Monday revealed that there were process and administration issues at both Barts and the London Medical School and North East Thames Foundation School (NETFS).
Before potential applicants to the Foundation Programme can enrol online, medical schools must provide details of eligible students to their local foundation school by a set deadline in order for them to be pre-loaded onto the system. This year, Barts and the London were unable to provide their quartile rankings by the deadline because some results for students re-sitting exams were only available after this deadline. In order to ensure that their students could enrol at the same time as all other students, all Barts students were uploaded into the application system with a provisional score of 34, the lowest quartile ranking, with an agreement they would be amended when the final data came through from the medical school.
When the medical school sent through the final scores on a spreadsheet, administrative staff at the North East Thames Foundation School input the new scores, with the exception of one page of the spreadsheet which had been missed in error. The result is that 34 students whose academic quartile scores were on the missing spreadsheet page are lower than they should have been. The scores of six of these students, who didn’t get into their first choice foundation school, will be reviewed and NETFS will work with other foundation schools to place these doctors in the school they should have been allocated to as vacancies arise from withdrawals and finals fails.
All of those students affected have been contacted by NETFS and informed of the steps being taken to ensure they receive the help and support they need.
Professor Derek Gallen, National Director of the UK Foundation Programme Office, who runs the national Foundation Programme recruitment process on behalf of the four UK health departments said,
“As soon as our student advisors contacted us on Saturday, we began looking into score discrepancies as a matter of urgency with the online hosts, NETFS and Barts and the London. The UKFPO has asked that all foundation schools cooperate with NETFS to help those affected by this error. Of the 28 students that got into their first choice school, but with a lower programme allocation than they may have otherwise received; the UKFPO has asked that foundation schools give these students preferential allocations for their F2 year.”
Dr Michael Glynn, Foundation School Director for NETFS, said:
“We apologise unreservedly for this error. This has not been an error made by the UKFPO, or by the online application system. It was human error, plain and simple, between the medical school and local foundation school. This does not excuse it, certainly, and NEFTS will do everything it can to help those students affected. We are also working with Barts and the London to ensure this does not happen again.
Professor Derek Gallen
UK Foundation Programme Office