Teachers demand inquiry into GCSE results as grading row escalates
The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has written to the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, demanding an independent inquiry into this year’s GCSE results.
Russell Hobby of the NAHT wrote that the alterations to grade boundaries between the January and June GCSE exams have made it as much as ten per cent tougher for students to gain a C grade in the summer exams. He highlighted the English Language test as being the worst affected.
The NAHT believe the changes are due to erroneous concerns about January’s pass rates being too high, and say that the changes are “unfair”. They claim the affected students have been discriminated against, stating: “The decision will have serious consequences for those pupils adversely affected.
“In many cases, this may well prevent them from taking up opportunities to pursue A Level courses. This situation offends natural justice and is, quite simply, unfair. If no action is taken it could also risk doubt being cast on the reliability of the grades awarded to the January cohort.”
Hobby wrote: “We believe that there is a course of action that could begin to address the manifest unfairness of the situation and restore confidence in the examination system. This involves the re-grading of June entrants using the same criteria applied in assessing the work of January entrants. However, only a full, independent enquiry will start to assuage the universal outcry from pupils, parents and school leaders alike against this appalling situation.”
Exam regulator Ofqual, who were also sent a letter by the NAHT, responded earlier today. They said that they would look closely at the concerns about GCSE English results.
Glenys Stacey, to whom the Ofqual letter was addressed, said: “We recognise the continuing concerns among students, parents and teachers about this year’s GCSE English results. We will look closely at how the results were arrived at. We will do this quickly, but thoroughly, so that we ensure confidence is maintained in our examinations system.”