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GCSE grading dispute escalates

31 October 2012

Local authorities, teaching unions, schools and pupils have launched a legal action against Ofsted and two examination boards. Their aim is to force a re-grade of June’s GCSE English papers.

The action has been issued on behalf of six professional bodies, 167 pupils, 150 schools and 42 councils. The group will seek judicial review of the alleged unlawful approach to marking of summer English papers stating that the decisions are“incompatible with the most elementary principles of fairness, rationality and good administration” and “prejudiced the life chances of thousands of children”.

The exam boards, and Ofqual, which held an inquiry into the problems but has stood by the grading, have stated that they will rigourously defend their decisions.

Whilst it is doubtful whether the case will be heard before 45,000 resit their English exams in November, the action increases the pressure on Ofqual and the exam boards to follow the lead of the Welsh government, which ordered the WJEC to regrade Welsh students’ papers.

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