Leak fuels calls for GCSE grades in County Durham to be regraded (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Leak fuels calls for GCSE grades in County Durham to be regraded
SCHOOLS in the region that have called for this summer’s English GCSEs to be regraded have said leaked letters showing exam boards were ordered to mark more harshly will strengthen their argument.
A number of North-East schools – including St Aidan’s CofE Academy, in Darlington, and Bishop Barrington School, in Bishop Auckland – have called for this summer’s English GCSE exam to be regraded, after a significant minority of pupils missed out on expected C pass grades and were awarded D fails.
Schools claimed that this summer’s exam had been marked much harder than the last round of exams in January because of political pressure over alleged grade inflation.
While regrading has been resisted so far, North-East schools believe that this latest development has increased pressure on the exam boards and on the exam regulators, Ofqual, to take remedial action.
In a leak to a newspaper, it emerged that Ofqual ordered one of the largest exam boards to change its GCSE English grade boundaries, only two week before the results were published.
This was because too many pupils were expected to get C grade passes.
Another factor is the decision by the Welsh Government to order the main exam board in the province to regrade its summer GCSE results.
Beccy Earnshaw, director of Schools North-East, said: “As more evidence emerges, the case for a full inquiry into what has gone on, the full scale of what happened and who is responsible becomes increasingly strong.
“With the development in Wales, the demands for a regrade will grow louder.”
Jackie Gent, headteacher at Bishop Barrington School, said: “I am not surprised at the details which are beginning to emerge. It just makes me repeat the call for these young people who sat GCSE English this summer to be treated fairly.
“It does give greater credence to the view that, at the last minute, the goalposts were moved in August. By that time, all the marking had been done.
“The children deserved their passes as a result of their hard work. They should be treated the same as the students who sat the exam in January.”