Ofqual defends English GCSE results

Ofqual denied applying pressure to exam boards to change their grades, saying it was merely playing its proper role in regulating standards.

Schools alliance demands GCSE probe

Schools alliance have announced they have formed an alliance to demand an independent inquiry into the GCSE English grading fiasco.

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Report: Exam regulator Ofqual scraps January resits

Students will only be able to sit their A-levels in the summer after regulator Ofqual scrapped January exams, according to the Independent newspaper.

Students may not have to sit exams in January under new plans.
Students may not have to sit exams in January under new plans. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The move is reportedly designed to prevent pupils re-sitting exams to obtain higher marks - a culture critics say has led to grade inflation and a devaluing of the exam system.

NUT: 'It's a dreadful shame that it has come to this'

Commenting on the formal legal challenge from a group of teaching unions, schools and councils to this year’s GCSE marking scandal, the head of the National Union of Teachers has said:

It is a dreadful shame that it has come to this.

The Education Secretary should have taken the lead from Wales and re-graded this year’s English GCSEs.

The NUT, as part of a coalition of other interested parties, has been left with no option but to try and redress through the courts the great injustice suffered this year by schools and pupils.

– Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers

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Warning over GCSE grading impact

Hundreds of schools saw a large fall in the numbers of pupils scoring at least a C in GCSE English this year, heads said today, as they warned that the fiasco could be repeated in the future.

GCSE
Pupils sit a GCSE maths exam Credit: Press Association

There are "strong grounds to be fearful" that the problems seen this summer could happen again next year, not just in English, but other subjects as well, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said.

In an open letter, the union said that a quarter of secondary schools, around 750 in total, saw at least a 10% drop in the numbers of pupils achieving a C or better in GCSE English this year, and around a fifth, 600 schools, saw at least a 15% drop.

It also warned that the scandal had "far reaching implications", and could affect major education reforms, such as the Government's plans to replace GCSEs with a new English Baccalaureate Certificate.

Teacher: 'GCSE grading not fair'

In the Beijing Olympics we got more gold medals than ever before, this year we got more gold medals than in Beijing. Has the standards changed? No.

People have worked harder, like we have in our school, with extra classes to make sure children do the best they can, they fulfil their potential and because we’re doing well somebody is saying, ‘well that’s not right, you can’t do that well’. That’s not fair and it needs to be put right.

– Michael Barry, Principal, St Matthew Academy

Fall in GCSE top grades sparked row

  • The row over the summer's GCSE English results broke out after it emerged that grading boundaries for GCSE English were altered between January and June.
  • The grade boundaries for the GCSE English foundation paper were changed for a C award by 10 marks between the January 2012 and June 2012 exams.
  • This change of boundary is unprecedented.
  • In Lewisham 163 pupils have been left with D grades who, had they sat the exam in January, would have got a C. This is mirrored in every authority in the country.
  • Overall, 63.9% of GCSE English exams were awarded at least a C, a 1.5% drop on the year before.

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Gove: Welsh minister 'mistaken' to order regrade

by - Former Political Correspondent

In case you were in doubt, Michael Gove has made it crystal clear he does not agree with the Welsh education minister.

Yesterday, Leighton Andrews ordered the exam board WJEC to regrade its English language GCSE, after thousands of students were awarded D grades when they were expecting Cs.

But in front of the Education Select Committee this morning, the Education Secretary condemned what Mr Andrews did. He called it 'irresponsible', 'mistaken' and a 'regrettable political intervention' and told him to think again.

He even went as far as to say that it's children in Wales who've been disadvantaged because of this decision to upgrade marks.

I doubt many students in England will agree. So expect more legal challenges from schools and individuals in England.

Gove will not take responsibility for GCSE grading row

by - Former Political Correspondent

Michael Gove has expressed his sympathy for students over the GCSE grading row but said he would not take responsibility for decisions made before he became the Education Secretary.

Gove said that it is the past government's fault for problems leading up to what has happened - for example, modularisation.

He added that he did not believe OFQUAL could have known that English gradings in January were over generous compared to June as the sample was too small.

Gove said he was ready to acknowledge mistakes that may have happened with OFQUAL, if he is presented with evidence to prove it.

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