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NCE pass rate drops to lowest in two years

The pass rate for reporters sitting the National Certificate Examination has fallen to its lowest level in more than two years after what examiners described as ‘silly’ errors.

Figures released by the National Council for the Training of Journalists today revealed a pass rate of just 45pc for a total of 107 journalists who took the exams in March hoping to qualify as senior reporters.

This compares with a pass rate of 62pc in the March 2011 NCE when 49 out of 79 candidates passed.

There was a pass rate of 52pc in November 2011 when there were 101 entrants, and 48pc in July 2011 when 80 candidates sat the exam.

Chief examiner Steve Nelson said: “It is always disappointing to report that the pass rate for the National Certificate Examination has fallen.

“But what can only be described as silly errors cost some candidates dearly, while the challenging interview caught several people out when it came to attention to detail.”

The pass rate for each section saw 44pc of candidates pass the newspaper practice exam, 53pc pass the news report, 42pc pass the news interview and 97pc pass the logbook.

Of 89 candidates sitting the newspaper practice exam just 39 passed, and 40 out of 96 passed the interview.

Those who passed are:

Winnie Osayi Agbonlahor Nottingham Evening Post
Hannah Bargery Warrington Guardian
Kirsty Beaton Falkirk Herald
Dan Bloom Medway Messenger
Tom Bristow Eastern Daily Press
Laura Anne Burge The Comet
James Cox Daily Gazette
Scott D’Arcy Swindon Advertiser
Matthew Dannatt Grimsby Telegraph
Helen Davies The Leader
Amy De-Keyzer Kent & Sussex Courier
Timothy Dickens Ilford Recorder
Emma Dunn Swindon Advertiser
Benjamin Endley Surrey Advertiser
David Alexander Farbrother Surrey Mirror
Jade Farrington Cornish Guardian
Megan French Braintree & Witham Times
Jayne Garfitt Nottingham Evening Post
Robert Golledge Western Gazette
Adam John Grinsell MK News
Toby Higgins Halifax Evening Courier
Amy Hirst Ilkeston Advertiser
Matthew Hobbs Warrington Guardian
Rachel Hovenden Kent Messenger, Gravesend
Nicola Jarvis Freelance
William Lodge Daily Gazette
Michelle Sarah Macleod Stornoway Gazette
Harriet Marsh Daily Echo
Tom Marshall Islington Gazette
Jennifer Meierhans Kidderminster Shuttle
Jennifer Moody Uttoxeter Advertiser
Hugh Morris Archant (Anglia)
Jennifer Newton Arbroath Herald
Laura Niblett-Roberts Herts Advertiser
Kaye Nicolson Press and Journal (Aberdeen)
Joseph Michael Nimmo The News, Portsmouth
Laura Paterson Press and Journal (Aberdeen)
Bethan Phillips Southern Daily Echo
Emma Preston North West Evening Mail
Samuel John Russell Great Yarmouth Mercury
Daniel John Sanderson Scarborough Evening News
Robert Setchell Cambridgeshire Times
Michael Jeffrey Sims Folkestone Herald
Lowri Stafford Courier Newspapers
Joshua Taylor Burton Daily Mail
Samuel Walker South West News
Nicholas Webster Western Gazette
Abigail Woodcock News Shopper


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  • April 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Why should anybody be surprised at these results,when the “so called” news editors and of course editors,have little experience themselves. Still I suppose if you get rid of all the staff with experience to save money and you pay peanuts you get monkeys

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  • April 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Don’t blame the young ‘uns, though. Sure they are doing their best. Here, for instance, training is non-existent. No guidance, steering, learning or otherwise. No instruction on producing copy, no shorthand, no law. Old copies of McNaes (10 years old). And they won’t even pay for individual reports to assess reasons for failure.

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  • April 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Nicely said Mr Carney. One wonders who many of the young canon-fodder listed will be working in the business in say, 12 months time. Although in the present climate maybe 12 months is a bit too ambitious

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  • April 12, 2012 at 5:12 pm


    You’ll be lucky to survive, judging from the clanger you dropped above.

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  • April 13, 2012 at 9:48 am

    In today’s newspapers trainee journalists are used as senior reporters from day one with no further training from companies because staffing is too low in newsrooms.
    Some bright spark managers have now decided the solution is not to have editors because that will save them more money.

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  • April 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Observer is spot on.
    It’s like da management have noticed the ship is veering crazily off course and their solution is to remove the rudder.

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