Schools mounting legal action over ‘unfair’ GCSE grading

SCHOOLS in Morley have joined forces with institutions and councils across the country to mount a legal challenge to the unfair grading of GCSE English papers this year.

On Friday the consortium led by Lewisham Council issued a formal letter to the examination regulator Ofqual and exam boards AQA and Edexcel.

The letter detailed their legal challenge and gave them seven days to respond.

The move came in the week that more than 2,300 pupils in Wales received better results after their English exams were regraded.

Protests against the GCSE English grades started in August when there was a substantial fall in the proportion awarded an A*-C grade.

It was estimated as many as 400 students in Leeds may have narrowly missed out on a vital C grade after the grade boundaries were moved halfway through the year meaning that papers graded in January were marked more leniently than those marked in June.

Early this month Ofqual ruled the grading had been “fair” and said pupils unhappy with their results would have to re-sit their exams - a decision condemned by the council.

Coun Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s executive member responsible for children’s services, said: “I am very disappointed that it has come to this point. The legal challenge was always our last resort.

“We already have over 50 other local authorities and professional organisations in the consortium as well as hundreds of individual schools, which gives massive weight to our legal challenge and proves that we are far from alone in this fight.

“From day one, we have been campaigning for all students to be treated fairly and despite the investigation by Ofqual and the work of the commons select committee no action so far has been taken to correct this injustice.

“This is an issue of fairness and nothing to do with grade inflation. We are issuing this legal challenge on behalf of all the students who we believe have been unfairly treated.”

The campaigners aim to have papers re-graded at the January level.