August 23, 2002

The Quality Assurance Agency found a serious failure in Newham College's quality assurance systems ("HND blunder adds to woes of Edexcel", THES , August 9). One result was that the college had failed to apply for approval for an HND business programme, but students were already on the course.

Edexcel later agreed that the college had fulfilled the necessary quality criteria for the course and backdated approval, all within regulations.

We did not acknowledge fault for any error. The QAA rejected Newham's appeal that claimed Edexcel was responsible for the college's failure to seek approval.

The QAA is not monitoring the "way in which Edexcel courses are validated", nor has it asked us to make changes.

Frank Wingate
Head of external relations

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