A Leeds head teacher will meet MPs today to discuss the GCSE marking fiasco. John Townsley said in August that his students had "been robbed" of their grades because examiners marked papers more harshly without warning teachers of the fact that boundaries were changing.
Education bosses are meeting for a summit in Leeds on the marking of this year's GCSEs. Many students got lower results than expected after grade boundaries were changed.
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
Representatives from Leeds City Council will meet lawyers later to discuss weather to pursue legal action over this year's GCSE exam results. They are concerned that one of the country's main examination boards, AQA, changed the goalposts for students without informing schools.
Officials say that the grading system was altered for English exams in such a way that two students completing their coursework or test and achieving the same mark may have been given different grades depending on whether they submitted their work in January (Grade C) or June (Grade D).