St Angela’s appeals against GCSE English results

St Angela’s Ursuline RC School in Forest Gate dispute their GCSE pass rate due to a batch of English papers they believe were marked harshly.

The girls school in St George’s Road believe they have fallen foul of a national effort to curb grade inflation and they are appealing their GCSE English results by sending for re-marks and calling individual exam papers back.

Headteacher Mark Johnson said school predicted 92 per cent A* to C grades in the English department but the results were 77 per cent instead.

Between winter and summer, the grade boundaries were moved meaning that a student who got 43 marks on an English foundation paper last term would have received a C grade, but a student would have to earn 53 marks this term to receive the same grade.

Mr Johnson said: “Like so many Headteachers around the country I am outraged that the exam board have damaged the futures of so many young people especially in one of the most important GCSEs.

“They have made a mockery of the thousands of hours of work that teachers put into their students and it is very difficult to see how any teacher could predict the result of a student in the future under such an unprofessional exam board practice.”

The outcry over GCSE English results was echoed around the country on Thursday as headteachers decried the change in marking as demoralising for students and a poor reward for five years of studying.

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A statement released online from Ofqual, the regulatory body for qualifications and examinations in England, said: “We are aware that concerns have been raised about results for GCSE English.

“This summer most students have taken new syllabuses in GCSE English language rather than English. There has also been changes to the entry patterns of candidates.

“Approx 20,000 candidates from independent/selective schools moving to other qualifications, while overall, the entry was up.

“This is likely to be the result of fewer students entering early in the winter series and instead being included in the summer results.

“We are confident that standards have been maintained and that the grades awarded are right. The performance required to achieve each grade is the same as last year.

“Differences in pass rates reflect differences in the group of students taking the exams.”