Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley
Hundreds of pupils and schools - led by a group from Leeds - have lost their legal challenge over GCSE exam grades. They had accused exam boards of unfairly pushing up grade boundaries for English last summer. David Hirst reports.
Exam regulator Ofqual say, as a result of their findings, they have agreed:
- Revisiting the June grade boundaries would contradict our responsibility to maintain standards over time. The June boundaries are right
- It would not be appropriate to revisit the January grade boundaries. That would mean lowering the grades of other students leading to more concerns over unfairness
- Each of the exam boards offering GCSE English and English Language will provide an exceptional, one-off resit opportunity in November 2012
- Exam boards will review the advice and guidance they give to schools about GCSE English, including its structure and how grade boundaries are set
- School and colleges who have submitted an Enquiry About Result for a candidate due to concerns over grade boundaries can withdraw this and incur no cost if they no longer wish to pursue it
- For GCSE this summer, a complex and unique set of circumstances came together to create a highly unusual situation for schools, colleges and their students
- The standard set for the GCSE English is comparable with the standard in previous years
- June grade boundaries were properly set, and candidates work properly graded
- The issue is January, not the June grade boundaries
- Understandably, schools were over-reliant on the January 2012 boundaries to set expectations as there was little other information available to them
A Sheffield student who achieved top grades says home education can work right up to A level.
Very few home-educated pupils continue to learn in this way past GCSEs.
But Eli Ingle, 19, achieved two A stars - in business studies and sociology - and has now found out he has an A in psychology.
He said he thought about going back to college for A-levels but he and his family had enjoyed his home education so much he wanted to carry on.
Mr Ingle, who is the grandson of well-known Sheffield boxing trainer Brendan Ingle, has been educated at home since the age of 13. His sister Niamh, 17, who has also been home-educated, got an A in sociology and a B in psychology.
Provisional results for York school sixth forms show that 28% of entries were awarded A star/A grades, which are higher than the national figure. Over 78% of entries were given a top grade of A star, A, B or C.