Education Minister Leighton Andrews has defended his decision to order the Welsh exam board WJEC to regrade 2,386 English Language GCSEs in Wales.
Mr Andrews told AMs that the original move to lower grades imposed by the regulator in England, Ofqual, was 'unjustified and unfair' and said the regraded results are now 'fairer and truer.'
He said that his officials had tried to resist the instruction to downgrade results but reluctantly agreed to it because of time pressures and pressure from Ofqual.
In the limited time available between the calculation of potential outcomes and the publication of the August results, officials argued long and hard with Ofqual. While they succeeded in persuading Ofqual to drop two more severe options, it was essential, in the time available, to reach a compromise to allow results to be published according to the agreed timetable. Ofqual required an upward adjustment of grade boundaries – and Ofqual wrote to WJEC to request this.
The Education Minister has won support and fierce criticism for his decision to order the regrade not the least from his Westminster counterpart, the Education Secretary Michael Gove who said he had been 'irresponsible.'
But Leighton Andrews insisted his move had been the right one: