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Hundreds of pupils to sit GCSE English exams again
HUNDREDS of pupils in York, North and East Yorkshire are to resit their GCSE English exams next month following the summer’s row over grades.
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.
City of York Council said they currently had 16 All Saints RC School pupils, 35 Fulford School students, 17 Millthorpe School pupils and 22 from Joseph Rowntree School who will sit English GCSE again.
Coun Janet Looker, cabinet member for education, children and young people, said: “I was not surprised to see that nationally there has been a large increase in the numbers of young people resitting their English exams.
“We maintain that changing of the grade boundary between January and June this year was clearly unfair and inequitable, with pupils that performed at the same level awarded different grades dependant on the time of year they sat the exam.
“The council remains part of the national consortium of local authorities progressing legal action on behalf of our young people.
“The failure to gain a grade C or above in English can block access to post-16 study, apprenticeships and other progression routes. The importance of getting this right cannot be underestimated with regard to future prospects for young people.”
Last month council bosses in York signed up to a consortium led by two other local authorities to consider legal action over the 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”.
York council leader James Alexander has also written to the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, to air his concern about the results.
A spokesman for East Riding Council said he did not know how many pupils were affected by the GCSE English marking debacle, but it would inevitably have an impact.
Trevor Burton, head teacher of Millthorpe School in South Bank, said the school had offered extra classes to those thinking of resitting over the summer break.
He said: “I think this is a bit of an unsatisfactory solution to a problem that’s not been created by the students themselves.
“It’s such an important qualification for them that to get a grade C for their life beyond school and they have been let down by a failure of the examination system and the regulator and that’s not really fair on them.”