Confidence over GCSE regradings

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EDUCATION bosses from Yorkshire have voiced confidence that this week’s Judicial Review hearing will result in thousands of GCSE English papers being regraded after a three-day court hearing concluded.

An unprecedented legal action has been mounted by an alliance of schools, councils, pupils and teaching organisations against exam boards AQA and EdExcel and regulator Ofqual over the way grade boundaries were moved between January and June.

Campaigners claim it led to 10,000 pupils unfairly missing out on a C grade. Lawyers for the alliance have said these pupils were the victims of a “statistical fix” amid fears there was going to be a rise in pupils achieving good grades in this year’s English GCSE.

Clive Sheldon QC said there was “manifest unfairness by AQA and Edexcel, procured and approved and certainly not corrected by Ofqual”.

Lawyers for the exam boards told the court they had raised the mark needed for a C grade based on their judgment of the quality of the work.

Yesterday Ofqual’s lawyers said it had acted lawfully and that it had a duty to ensure standards were maintained over time.

Leeds City Council’s executive member for children’s services Coun Judith Blake, who has been a leading campaigner for the papers to be regraded said: “We feel very positive now the judge has heard our full argument and look forward to hearing his decision next week.

“Our legal case starkly proved the disgracefully unfair decision to change the GCSE grade boundaries mid-year and the devastating impact this has had on thousands of young people across the country.”