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Dudley signs up to legal battle over GCSE grades
7:50am Monday 29th October 2012 in News
EDUCATION chiefs in Dudley have joined forces with councils all over the country in a legal battle over the English GCSE fiasco.
A legal challenge is being mounted after Ofqual, England’s exam regulator, vowed to “rigorously defend” its decisions over changing the grade boundaries which hit thousands of teenagers across the country.
Schools complained they had not be told in advance about the 10-mark grade difference to the English foundation paper which meant many young people received Ds rather than all-important Cs in the exam.
The lack of a C grade threatened students’ places at sixth form and college to study A levels, forcing many to take re-sits, in turn jeopardising their current studies.
Dudley is the latest of scores of local education authorities to sign up to support the legal action calling for a judicial review in the high court.
Although the borough’s cabinet members for children’s services Councillor Tim Crumpton said the exact number of Dudley students affected was not known, headteachers had indicated it had been a problem for many.
He said: “We believe a lot of kids were hard done to by this - it’s not just about the GCSE grade but about their futures.
“It also affects the reputations of the schools and it’s just morally wrong. The students are being treated like political footballs and that’s just appalling.”
He hopes the action will prevent Ofqual making similar changes in future years and offer affected schools some compensation.
Education secretary Michael Gove has denied claims that he influenced the examination boards moving of the goal posts to make the higher grades more difficult to achieve.
But teacher unions have argued that although some grade adjustment goes on routinely, they are minor and schools are informed about them, whereas this year they were kept in the dark about the scale of the changes.
In Wales, nearly 2,400 teenagers have had their grades increased as a result of an order by the Welsh Assembly to the country’s exam board.
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