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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Cumbrian headteacher planning to appeal GCSE results

A headteacher is preparing to appeal against the “unfair” GCSE English results handed out to his pupils.

Tom Ryan photo
Tom Ryan

Tom Ryan, of St Joseph’s Catholic High School in Workington, said he had a responsibility to take action on behalf of about 250 pupils who sat the exams at the school this summer.

It follows a national outcry over changes made to grade boundaries during the academic year which teachers claim resulted in many pupils who should have achieved a C getting a D instead.

Mr Ryan said: “It’s an absolute disgrace. We simply can’t accept something like that. It’s patently unfair on the children.

“Getting a grade C in English can be critical.

“We have got a child who’s not been able to take up his Gen II apprenticeship because he didn’t get a grade C.”

Mr Ryan said the issue had not only affected year 11 pupils, but also the school’s year 10 students, who took their English exams a year early.

But, while the year 10 pupils will get the chance to retake next year, Mr Ryan said many in year 11 will have had their choices for further education or work affected.

He added: “Decisions will have been made based on the grades so it will be difficult to undo things.”

Mr Ryan said he would wait to appeal until after today’s publication of an interim report by exams regulator Ofqual into what happened. He added that exam boards needed to learn lessons and ensure grade boundaries were not changed during the life of a GCSE course again.

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