Hundreds of Leeds students to resit GCSEs after marking row

One in every 14 students nationally who took summer GCSEs will re-sit them next month.
One in every 14 students nationally who took summer GCSEs will re-sit them next month.
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Leeds City Council’s education boss says offering thousands of pupils the chance to resit their English GCSEs is “proof that they have suffered an injustice,” in the marking of this summer’s exams.

New figures show that one in 14 students nationally - more than 45,000 in total – who took the qualification this summer have opted to re-take exams next month.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s executive member for children’s services, warned that offering resits was an inadequate response and that campaigners were determined to get papers regraded.

Leeds has played a key role in a national campaign to get English GCSEs remarked after it emerged that exam boards had moved the grade boundaries between January and June.

It left thousands of students receiving a D grade this summer when the same work would have earned a C at the start of the year.

A national alliance of councils, including eight from Yorkshire, schools, pupils, and teaching unions are calling for a judicial review in order to get pupils exams marked in line with the January grade boundaries.

At a summit in Leeds earlier this week Coun Blake said 800 pupils in Leeds had been adversely affected by the situation.

She said: “These resits are an inadequate response. It is not appropriate for pupils to resit and it is likely to be the most vulnerable students who do not take up this opportunity.”

The row over the English exams broke out as national GCSE results were published in August. Ofqual conducted an inquiry into the fiasco, which concluded that January’s GCSE English assessments were “graded generously” but the June boundaries were properly set and candidates’ work properly graded. The regulator insisted it would be inappropriate for either of the sets of exams to be regraded. Instead, students have been given a chance to resit the GCSE.

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