Schools hit out at GCSE grades

Hipperholme Grammar School's new head teacher Jack Williams.
Hipperholme Grammar School's new head teacher Jack Williams.

HEAD teachers have hit out at the grading of this summer’s English GCSE exam that has affected pupils’ grades across the UK.

They have been left angered by the refusal of exam regulator Ofqual to order exam boards to regrade the exams.

The new head teacher at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School Mr Anthony Smith

The new head teacher at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School Mr Anthony Smith

On Friday the body for England acknowledged grade boundaries had changed between January and June but offered only resits to affected pupils.

Anthony Smith, executive head teacher of Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High school, said they were still in the process of challenging the results for the AQA foundation English exam.

“I echo many people nationally who feel students have been treated unfairly. The chances of individual students have been affected not just in the good grades they deserve but their life chances and what they go on to.

“We will do what we can to put right this situation.”

Students staying on at the school’s sixth form have had the grades taking into consideration for them to carry on their studies.

The same has been done at Hipperholme Grammar school but head Jack Williams said it is too late for those who have decided to go onto college and haven’t got the grades they needed. “The resits in November will be too late for these students,” he said.

“There are pupils wanting to carry on at sixth form and wanting to go to college. We don’t know what is going to happen. I feel very sorry those who have worked extremely hard.

“The results between English language and literature were so different even though they were the same students and teachers so something was wrong. We are going to have 14 out of 45 of the papers remarked at a cost to us.

“I am disappointed in Ofqual for not having the bottle to make the right choice.”

Rastrick High School are also appealing against their English GCSE results.

Exam regulator Ofqual’s review of this summer’s results concluded that while the overall subject grades awarded were correct, it believes that assessments marked in January were graded generously.

Chief regulator Glenys Stacey said: “The issue is not with the June, but the January boundaries. Again, examiners used their best judgement in setting these boundaries, but they had less data and information to work with. Most candidates were not sitting at the time, they were waiting for June, and because they were new qualifications, examiners could not rely so much on direct comparisons with the past. As a result, those grade boundaries were set generously.

“We will now go through our analysis and evidence with the representative groups for schools and colleges, so they can see it for themselves. We will also talk with schools, exam boards and assessment experts to see what lessons can be learnt and what can be done better in the future.”