1. ITV Report

Schools and councils join legal action on English exam results

Twenty schools and two councils in the Anglia region are taking legal action over the English GCSE results. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/

Twenty schools and two councils in the Anglia region have joined others around the country in mounting a legal challenge to the English GCSE results.

An alliance of pupils, schools, councils and unions have started legal action against exam regulator Ofqual and exam boards AQA and Edexcel. They want GCSE English exam papers taken in June this year re-graded in line with the papers taken by their fellow pupils in January this year.

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.

"It is inconceivable that two cohorts of students enrolled for the same course in the same academic year, who have undertaken the same work and invested the same effort, and who will be competing in future for the same opportunities, should be subjected to such radically different standards of assessment and award."

– Letter to Ofqual, AQA and Edexcel ahead of legal action
Schools and councils are challenging a change in marking boundaries in the GCSE English exams. Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

These are the schools and councils from the Anglia region taking part in legal action:

  • Alec Hunter High in Braintree, Essex
  • Angleo European School in Ingatestone, Essex
  • Bromsford School in Wickford, Essex
  • Caroline Chisholm School in Northampton
  • Castle Manor Academy in Haverhill, Suffolk
  • Clacton Coastal Academy in Essex
  • De La Salle School and Language College in Basildon, Essex
  • Fitzwimarc School in Rayleigh, Essex
  • Gilberd School in Colchester, Essex
  • Hinchingbrooke School in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
  • King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
  • King's Lynn Academy in Norfolk
  • Manningtree High School, Essex
  • Moulsham High School in Chelmsford, Essex
  • Newport Free Grammar School in Essex
  • Open Academy in Norwich, Norfolk
  • The Boswells School in Chelmsford, Essex
  • The Sandon School near Chelmsford, Essex
  • The Stanway School in Colchester, Essex
  • Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
  • Central Bedfordshire Council
  • Northamptonshire County Council

When the GCSE results came out in August the Department for Education said there had been a widespread debate over grade inflation for the past 20 years.

"Ofqual is the independent exams regulator. Its job is to make sure that standards are maintained over time and that students receive the grades that they deserve. There has been a widespread debate over the last two decades about whether there has been grade inflation - that’s why we have strengthened Ofqual’s powers to make sure the system is robust and rigorous and to give the public real confidence in the results."

– Department for Education

In all 180 pupils, 113 schools, 36 councils and 7 professional bodies are taking part in the action.