Goalposts moved for GCSE students

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ABOUT a third of South Holland students received lower GCSE English exam grades this summer than expected, it has been claimed.

Secondary schools across the area are challenging the results picked up by students last month as the row over tougher GCSE English marking rumbles on.

A statement from secondary school headteachers in South Holland called the move by exam regulator Ofqual ordering exam boards to set higher grade boundaries in June compared to January an “injustice”.

The headteachers from schools, including Spalding Grammar School and University Academy Holbeach, also praised parents and other members of the public for supporting their efforts to have students’ exam papers re-marked.

The statement said: “A significant number of students in South Holland secondary schools have suffered from the arbitrary shift in grade boundaries that the exam boards made to the GCSE English language exams this summer.

“Somewhere in the region of a third of students have been awarded a grade lower than they would have got if the January grade boundaries had been applied.

“It has left students with grades that do not do their abilities justice and not able to pursue the course they were planning to.”

Ofqual has so far refused to change GCSE grades in England even though more than 2,000 students in Wales have had English language grades increased, including just over 1,200 students whose D grades have now been increased to a C.

The statement continues: “Each school is challenging the results for its students through the exam boards and the headteachers are working at local and national level to challenge this injustice at the highest level.

“The support from parents and the public is very much appreciated.”

Glenys Stacey, Ofqual’s chief regulator, said: “The June boundaries have been properly set and candidates’ work properly graded.”