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Tadcaster Grammar School joins GCSE exams legal challenge
A NORTH Yorkshire secondary school has joined the legal challenge against the grading of GCSE English exams.
Tadcaster Grammar School has joined council bosses in York who last month signed up to a consortium led by two other local authorities to consider legal action over exam results, after several secondary schools in the city raised concerns about an “unprecedented and unexpected decline” in the percentage of pupils achieving grades between A* and C in English.
The consortium – headed by councils in Lewisham and Leeds – has sent a “pre-action” letter to exam regulator Ofqual and exam boards AQA and Edexcel, saying the situation was “inconceivable”.
At Tadcaster assistant head teacher Steve Wren said correspondence with Ofqual had led to a the school losing faith in their investigation.
He said: “It is as a result of this lack of faith in Ofqual’s ability or willingness to investigate the situation with an open mind that we have come to the conclusion that the only way to protect the rights of our students to be graded fairly is to join the legal action.
“Our aim is simple – to protect the rights of each of our students to see their work graded fairly and accurately in line with national standards and not to see work ‘downgraded’ to compensate for errors that played no part in their overall grade.”
City of York council leader James Alexander has also written to the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, to air his concern about the results.
Next month across the country more than 45,000 pupils will resit the exams, including about 400 from North Yorkshire and about 90 from York.
Students were given the opportunity to retake part or all of their exam after complaints that results had been downgraded.
Meanwhile, Huntington School head teacher John Tomsett is one of a number of heads nationally who have come together to form an online pressure group on the social networking site Twitter sparked by the GCSE English marking debarcle.
The group – which has no name yet – wants the Labour opposition to provide a credible alternative to Tory education policies.
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