Nottingham head teacher condemns decision not to re-grade English results
A HEAD teacher has slammed a High Court ruling not to re-grade last summer's GCSE English exams.
David Harris, principal of Nottingham University Samworth Academy, Bilborough, said the move was unfair on students and teachers.
He said some of his English teachers were in tears when pupils didn't get the grades they expected.
Now it has been revealed those grades will remain, in spite of claims they were marked too harshly.
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Mr Harris said: "I'm very disappointed with the announcement. It is unfair.
"My staff were distraught at the results because the English grades have a major, lifelong impact on students.
"When they apply for jobs in the future, they will be asked to fill in their GCSE grades."
The academy was one of many which saw a fall in the percentage of students who gained the benchmark of five A* to C grades, including English and maths.
It fell from 44 per cent in 2011 to 35 per cent in 2012.
It was revealed after the results were published last August that grade boundaries had been changed, leading to thousands of students not getting the results they expected.
It led to a legal challenge from head teachers' groups and unions, which ended in the High Court. The court heard claims that grade boundaries had been manipulated upwards in an attempt to avoid too many pupils being awarded higher GCSE grades.
Lawyers representing the challengers called for the exams to be re-graded. But a judge ruled in favour of the exam boards AQA and Edexcel. The judge said that though the boundary changes were unfair, they were not illegal.
Ivan Wels, secretary of the Notts branch of the National Union of Teachers, told the Post: "The exams should have been re-graded. The kids took exams in good faith and then discovered that the goalposts had been moved. It is unfair on them, and on the teachers."
A statement from AQA said: "While all the exam boards increased grade boundaries and had modular qualifications, attention has focused on AQA because most students take English with us.
"We care deeply about the students that sit our exams and are acutely aware of the distress caused to candidates who were disappointed by their GCSE English results.
"Clearly there are lessons to be learned all round from what happened and we will work very hard with teachers, the regulator and the other exam boards to improve understanding and prevent something like this happening again."
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