‘Remark the GCSE English exams’ urges Woodford Green headteacher

English GCSE exams should be remarked after grade boundaries changed between January and June, a Woodford Green headteacher has said.

Teachers at Trinity Catholic High School in Mornington Road are reviewing D grades in English received by their pupils after concerns were raised nationally.

Exam regulator Ofqual said English exams taken in January were graded generously and, as a result, grade boundaries for June examinations were higher.

Pupils may have got better grades had they taken the earlier exams, it admitted.

Dr Paul Doherty, Trinity Catholic’s headteacher, said: “What should happen – and it could take some months – is that the whole thing should be remarked.

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“What they [Ofqual] should do is, along with schools, look at those who got a D.”

Chris Van Bussel, headteacher of Wanstead High School, Redbridge Lane West, Wanstead, said the school has asked for a remark and re-grading of its students’ examination papers.

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At Trinity Catholic, 94 per cent of girls and 83 per cent of boys got English language A* to C grades.

Teachers were looking at D grades with a view to challenging them with exam board AQA, Dr Doherty said.

Nationally, there was a 1.5 per cent drop in students getting A* to C English grades compared with 2011.

Dr Doherty added: “I don’t want to rush into it.

“We’ve got to be very careful we don’t move to the other extreme and say everyone who failed should have passed.

“What I want to concentrate on is if a number of our students have been disadvantaged.”

Ofqual has offered students taking English in June early re-sits after saying examiners had less information in January to set the boundaries.

Chief regulator Glenys Stacey said: “Most candidates were not sitting at the time, they were waiting for June, and because they were new qualifications, examiners could not rely so much on direct comparisons with the past.”

Dr Doherty said: “What I’m concerned about is using January to explain exam decisions in June.”

Andrew Beaumont, the headteacher of Woodbridge High School in St Barnabas Road, Woodford Green, said it wasn’t thought students there had been affected.

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