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Published : 01/10/2012 00:00

Leeds head teachers hold urgent summit on GCSE grading

Head teachers in Leeds are calling upon education leaders to attend a summit to discuss and debate the national GCSE grading issue.

Being held at Leeds Town Hall on Tuesday 9 October, the summit will allow head teachers, subject leaders and other education professionals to raise their own issues, gain understanding of the national picture and discuss how they can work together to bring about change.

The focus of the summit will be on the unprecedented change in grade boundaries of the English GCSE between January and June this year. This resulted in many young people across the country being awarded a grade D when, if their papers had been marked in January, they would have received a C. Other issues which some schools are having with the grading of different subjects and other GCSE English grades will also be discussed.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s executive member for children’s services said:
“This will be an opportunity for head teachers and other education professionals to share their experiences and find out what we are already doing to try to remedy this travesty for young people across the country.

“Here in Leeds we determined to get a fair decision for our young people, which is why we are leading the national consortium calling for a judicial review.“

Simon Flowers Principal at Carr Manor community college said:
“This summit will allow myself and other head teachers who share my dismay that children can be treated so unfairly to look at how we can work together to get the grade boundaries reversed so children can be awarded their true grades.

“These children have been caught in a statistical exercise and their work has been devalued and unrewarded. This has been done to them regardless of the quality of their work. Thousands of children’s futures have been detrimentally affected and it has placed these children and their families at risk through no fault of their own.”

Leeds City Council was one of the first organisations to raise concerns into the grading of GCSE English, and has been actively campaigning for the fair treatment of all students who sat the exam. Leeds has been leading a consortium involving other local authorities, schools and professional organisations calling for a judicial review on the issue.

The national consortium which includes many Leeds schools as well as individual pupils has submitted a formal letter to the examination regulator Ofqual and exam boards AQA and Edexcel, and are currently awaiting their response.

People who wish to attend the summit, which is being supported by Leeds City Council and sponsors SSAT, NUT, NAHT and ASCL, should contact suzanne.caine@leeds.gov.uk, 07891 278 035. A fee of £45 plus VAT is payable, to enable the organisers to cover costs.

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk