Schools ready to appeal over change to exam marking

The headteacher of Henry Cort Community College in Fareham, Phil Munday.
The headteacher of Henry Cort Community College in Fareham, Phil Munday.

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HEADTEACHERS at schools across the area are planning to appeal to exam boards after many students fell short of their predicted grades in their GCSE exams.

It comes as the number of marks students needed to get a C grade in subjects such as English and sometimes maths, was raised higher – an unexpected move.

A total of 35 students missed out on a C grade in English at Henry Cort in Fareham.

Meanwhile, at Bay House School in Gosport, around 100 pupils were affected by the sudden change in grade boundaries.

Other schools affected across our area include Warblington in Havant, City Boys and City Girls in Portsmouth and King Richards in Paulsgrove.

Phil Munday, head of Henry Cort, said: ‘If the results had been what we had expected they probably would have been our best results. All the other subjects fitted with our expectations.

‘It’s not about bad marking it’s about the board changing the boundaries for higher grades by a large amount.

‘We’ve told students that that bit of work is good enough to get a C. We were fairly sure about what we expected from our results.

‘If they are going to change by a big amount we want to warn people – or they should make the change slowly over three or four years. It’s a big change.

‘I feel really sorry for the students. In some cases it might affect them going to college.’

Mr Munday will be writing to the exam board to appeal. He is also appealing to local colleges to explain that the students are of a good enough standard to attend.

It’s hoped the students could then resit part of the course rather than start a whole new GCSE course at college.

Headteacher of Warblington School Julia Vincent is set to appeal after seeing a drop in English grades.

She said: ‘A child last year who would have been a very safe B has suddenly dropped to a C.

‘We have gone into an exam not knowing where the grade boundaries are.

‘It’s difficult for teachers because they believe they are teaching to a grade B and then all of a sudden the grade boundary has gone. It has to be an open and transparent system.’

Exams regulator Ofqual admitted that there are questions about how grade boundaries were set and an investigation is being carried out.