Leeds City Council understands that one of the country’s main examination boards - AQA - have changed the grading system they use for English GCSE’s without informing schools. This means that, for example, two students who completed the same coursework/ test and achieved the same mark but had their work submitted at different times of the year (one in January and one in June) have been awarded different grades – eg a grade C in January has emerged as a grade D in June.
Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“This fiasco will have a devastating impact on so many young people’s futures, through no fault of their own. This means that some students could be denied places on apprenticeships or college courses because of their English grades and this just is not right.
“I am outraged that the lives of young people are being played around with in this way.
“The unfair method of grading the English GCSE by AQA is also decimating the overall results of many schools and could mean some are now not hitting their floor targets when yesterday they were confident they would.
“It is my understanding that all examination boards are required to ensure that they are fair to all pupils and that they are not advantaged or disadvantaged simply because their work is submitted to the board at different times of the year. We do not feel this basic principle of fairness has been adhered to in this case and will be looking with colleagues nationally at the possibility of raising a legal challenge to ensure Ofqual and the government put this right.
“We will also be contacting our local colleges and apprenticeship providers to ensure young people are not penalised because of this failure by AQA.
“We agree that standards must be raised and exams must be rigorous and testing, but they must also be fair. Moving the goal posts mid year is not acceptable.”
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713