Education Secretary Michael Gove has refused to say what outcome he wants from the ongoing GCSE row which has seen Leeds City Council leading a national campaign to get thousands of students’ papers regraded.
But he told the YEP yesterday (Jan 28) that planned exam reform would prevent the situation happening in future.
Campaigners are waiting to find out whether a legal challenge calling for English GCSEs to be remarked has been successful.
An alliance of councils, schools and pupils took action after claiming the way grade boundaries were moved between January and June by exam boards led to 10,000 students being denied C grades. The legal action was taken against the exam boards EdExcel and AQA and the exam regulator Ofqual who have defended their actions.
During a visit to the city yesterday, (Jan 28) Mr Gove declined to comment on the court case but did say that Ofqual had made “a compelling case”of what had happened. Mr Gove blamed the issue on the exams system which had seen pupils’ work being marked by schools in January through ‘controlled assessment’.
He said this had led to schools “banking” good grades. However he said he did not criticise these schools for acting in their own best interests.
Campaigners claim that some students had been the victims of a radical change in grade boundaries that occurred after Ofqual had given an instruction to exam boards to avoid “grade inflation”. AQA and EdExcel, and the regulator Ofqual all denied they acted unlawfully or unfairly in a court hearing last month.
Mr Gove declined to comment on the outcome of the case saying: “They appointed a very wise judge and he will make a very wise judgment.”
He also praised the work of Leeds City Council in its effort to raise standards in primary schools which were missing national targets.
The Education Secretary visited Horsforth School yesterday where he met members of the School Council.
During the meeting he told them he was reforming GCSEs and A-levels to ensure students could spend more time learning about subjects and less time being assessed.
He asked the pupils what they thought of the school and what the biggest pressures were facing young people today.
Pupils on the council praised the teachers for ensuring lessons were taught in a way they found interesting.
Youngsters listed exams and the negative portrayal of teenagers as some of the biggest pressures facing them.