Grammar school joins exam campaign

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A YORKSHIRE secondary school has joined the national campaign to get GCSE English marks regraded after accusing the exams regulator Ofqual of failing to investigate the matter properly.

Tadcaster Grammar is the latest school in the region to take part in a legal challenge over the way grade boundaries were moved by exam boards between January and June.

The decision sparked widespread anger as thousands of pupils got D grades in the summer when the same work would have earned Cs earlier in the year.

Ofqual previously said that work in January had been graded too leniently but marking in the summer was fair.

However Tadcaster Grammar’s assistant headteacher, Steve Wren, said the school had lost faith in Ofqual’s investigation. He added: “Last week I received an email from Glenys Stacey, the head of Ofqual, in response to part of our evidence.

“The response raised serious concerns that Ofqual are not investigating this situation with the degree of rigour we expect. Specifically the email made it clear that Ofqual do not even know, over six weeks into their investigation, what proportion of students nationally took the leniently graded units.

“We believe this fact should be a fundamental starting point for any investigation and indicates that Ofqual are intent solely on looking for evidence to back up their initial report.”

A national alliance of schools, councils and teaching organisations is seeking a judicial review to get this summer’s papers regraded.

An Ofqual spokeswoman said: “We continue to prepare for the judicial review process and we will rigorously defend our decisions.

“Our work to understand why some schools’ results differed significantly from their expectations is continuing and we will report again shortly.”