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Newham disappointed at GCSE re-grading decision

PUBLISHED: 14:00 19 October 2012

The Newham Mayor is disappointed at the decision by the qualifications watchdog and two exam boards not to reassess GCSE results.

It follows confirmation from Ofqual, AQA and Edexcel that they will not overturn their decision to re-grade GCSE English results without warning in June.

Newham Council is part of the coalition of councils, schools and teaching bodies that now looks set to mount a legal challenge against the decision.

The council will fight for up to 150 pupils in the borough who had their GCSE English results re-graded in June without warning by AQA and Edexcel. That decision was backed by the qualifications watchdog Ofqual.

The coalition wants the GCSE English exam papers taken in June this year to be re-graded in line with the papers taken by pupils in January. Students were left in dismay after the unprecedented decision was taken to adjust the ‘C’ grade boundary by 10 marks.

Ofqual, AQA and Edexcel were given the opportunity to change their minds and avoid court action. The coalition sent a Pre-Action Letter, written in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol for Judicial Review, with seven days to respond.

The offer has been rejected so preparations will now begin for a legal action based on two points of law: fairness and failure to consult.

Sir Robin Wales said: “We are disappointed that the examinations and qualifications watchdog will not reconsider what was an arbitrary and unfair decision that had serious implications for hard-working school pupils.

“Regrettably, this will now become a matter for the courts to decide. We will be working with a coalition of councils, schools, teaching bodies and others who are opposed to what has been done to establish that our children should not have to pay the price for the failure of others.”


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