Open question

October 27, 2000

We were sorry to read in your Whistleblowers column ( THES , October 13) of Penelope Pugh's experience when she sat her Open University exam at the British Council offices in Buenos Aires.

However, while conditions may not have been perfect when Ms Pugh sat her exam in October 1998, they were certainly not "appalling", as the OU later described them. On the contrary, our staff did their best to meet Ms Pugh's special needs and she did not sit in an open-plan office. At the time, Ms Pugh thanked British Council staff for the arrangements we had made for her.

The British Council seeks to provide appropriate conditions for all people taking exams overseas, where it is doing so on behalf of British examining bodies. We do not accept that bad conditions are a risk of sitting an exam overseas.

Paul Dick
British Council, Argentina

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