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MP meets with Leeds schools to discuss exam fiasco

Stephen Twigg MP and Rachel Reeves MP chat to pupils whilst visiting Farnley Academy.

Stephen Twigg MP and Rachel Reeves MP chat to pupils whilst visiting Farnley Academy.

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg visited schools in Leeds to discuss the GCSE English grading fiasco and primary school places crisis with the city’s teachers and students.

He met with Farnley Academy headteacher John Townsley, who has been one of the country’s most outspoken critics of the exams, to discuss this year’s English results.

At least 369 pupils from 18 schools across Leeds have been identified as not reaching C or better in English.

After the meeting Twigg and Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves visited Five Lanes Primary, in Wortley, to discuss a growing shortage of primary school places.

More than 540 parents missed out on their choice of primary school in Leeds this year and official estimates reveal that the authority needs to find nearly 10,000 additional primary places by 2015,

Mr Twigg said:“At least 369 young people in Leeds alone have missed out on the chance to carry on studying or get an apprenticeship because Michael Gove refuses to intervene in the GCSE English fiasco.

“It is utterly disgraceful that the Tory education secretary, Michael Gove has left so many young people on the scrapheap.

“Labour is demanding a full independent inquiry to get to the bottom of this mess, and for children to have their papers fairly re-graded.

“At the same time, the Tory-led Government is making the huge shortage in primary school places even worse.

“David Cameron and Michael Gove must get a grip on this primary school crisis.”

Figures released yesterday show that the proportion of teenagers scoring at least five Cs at GCSE – including English and maths – has fallen for the first time by half a per cent.

A DfE spokesman said Ofqual is looking into the grading of GCSE English.

He added: “We know that there is a demand for good school places in Yorkshire and the Humber region, which is why we’re creating thousands more to deal with the impact of rising birth rates on primary schools.”

 

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