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GCSE grading crisis: fight to resolve 'injustice'
THE head of a leading Dorset academy is urging parents to write to their MP in a bid to resolve the GCSE English “mess”.
The crisis has seen thousands of students awarded lower than expected grades in the pivotal subject due to controversial grade boundary changes halfway through the school year.
Dr Terry Fish , head of Twynham School in Christchurch has now written to all parents encouraging them to hold all their MPs to account for the fiasco, which is having a “catastrophic effect on individual students”.
The school, which usually expects between 75 per cent and 80 per cent of students to gain a Grade C or above in GCSE English, was shocked when only 66 per cent of pupils had achieved a C grade or higher this year.
Dr Fish said: “We could not comprehend what had happened and it was only when the news broke across the country that we began to understand.
“As another head teacher said, the goalposts weren’t just moved, they were put on another planet.
“Our calculations show that 77 per cent of our students gained a Grade C in English based on the January grade boundaries.”
Commenting on the unfairness of the change in grade boundaries, he added: “Since we are not a school which “games the system” but concentrates on teaching well and submitting marks at the end of the course, our students were clearly very significantly disadvantaged and hence our English results.
“While this affects league tables, of far more importance is that about 67,000 young people across the country appear to have gained a Grade D in English rather than the C grade which they deserved since they had met the published criteria for that C grade.”
Dr Fish said any faith he had in the fairness of the examination system has been destroyed.
At The Bourne Academy in West Howe, Principal Jackie Steel said their English results had been slashed by 23 per cent.
She said: “They should have been similar to maths, which saw students get 61 per cent. Instead students in year 11 got a lower grade for English than the other subjects they took.
“Our students and staff worked their socks off to get good grades. They did extra lessons before school, after school, on Saturdays and in the holidays .
“We agree with Dr Terry Fish at Twynham School that it would be brilliant if parents and carers voiced their concerns and demanded that the Government ensures that the examination boards play fair for the children in this country.”