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West Berkshire students will not have 'unfair' GCSEs remarked



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Exam regulator Ofqual has said that while the overall subject grades awarded were correct, it believes that assessments marked in January 2012 were “graded generously”.
The majority of schools in West Berkshire had demanded their English GCSE papers be remarked after it emerged the pass threshold was moved half-way through the school term in January, resulting in many who had expected to score C grades gaining D's instead.
Thousands of students were thought to be caught up in the row as schools reported an ‘inexplicable’ drop in results.
Schools including St Bartholomew’s School, Park House School, and St Gabriel’s School in Newbury, Kennet School in Thatcham, John O’Gaunt Community Technology in Hungerford The Downs School in Compton, Little Heath School in Tilehurst, and the Willink School, Burghfield Common, all logged complaints over English results and called for papers to be remarked.
A statement from Ofqual said: “We have found that examiners acted properly, and set the boundaries using their best professional judgement, taking into account all of the evidence available to them. The June boundaries have been properly set, and candidates' work properly graded.”
Students who completed the new GCSE English qualification in June were offered re-sits, however the move was attacked by education figures.
The deputy general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Kevin Courtney, said: “Resits are of no use whatsoever to pupils who need their results this week, not in a few months time. This year’s English GCSEs need to be urgently re-graded using the January boundaries which schools, teachers and pupils have all been working towards.
“This is a very weak and disappointing report and we reiterate the fact that there needs to be an independent enquiry.
This report does not recognise that they have let down teachers, students and schools.
“It still remains the fact that it is simply scandalous to change the grade boundaries halfway through a school year. There are thousands of pupils who got enough marks to get a C in English in January who have now got a grade D.
“Pupils should not be punished in this way because of the failures of the exam regulator or others. This scandal constitutes a real attack on these students’ chances to continue in education, employment or apprenticeships.”
West Berkshire Council’s education spokeswoman Irene Neill (Con, Aldermaston) said the authority would write to the Government for an explanation over why the changes were made.



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