Devon headteachers unite over “perverse” GCSEs

Sidmouth College and The King’s School join forces with 26 other institutions

SIDMOUTH College and The King’s School are among 28 institutions in Devon to join a national outcry over GSCE English marks.

The altering of marking boundaries in the subject – the levels students require to achieve different grades – was described by a group of united headteachers as “perverse”, “unfair” and “negative”.

Changes were made at the end of the year after the conclusion of the course.

Children who took early exams in January gained higher grades than those with the same mark who took the exams in June.

The group of schools, which also includes Colyton Grammar, represent more than 3,000 students who received their GCSEs last Thursday.

Most will be making individual appeals on behalf of students over grades, but said the grade boundaries should be reviewed as a matter of urgency.

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Many youngsters who would have achieved a C grade received a D instead.

In a joint statement, headteachers representing more than two-thirds of Devon’s secondary schools, said: “We believe this move to be perverse, unfair and to make a complete farce of the marking and assessment process.

“This has many negative outcomes; children are shocked and disappointed by marks which would have seen them pass only six months ago, teachers are left feeling stressed, unsure and angry at the way their hard work can be negated by the apparent whim of politicians and exam boards.

“We accept responsibility for teaching standards, behaviour and quality of resources at our schools, but year after year the biggest variable in results is how the exam board marks and grades the papers.

“This year has seen students taking exams in January receive Cs for marks which gained the students taking them in June Ds. This cannot be fair.

“This change affects the futures of thousands of students – we call for an immediate review of these grade boundaries. We also call on the Government to enter into a constructive dialogue over how to combat ‘grade inflation’ in a way which is positive, planned and brought in over a number of years, not one term.”

The Herald reported last week how Sidmouth College students achieved outstanding results despite the government gripe.

Seventy-five per cent of youngsters scooped five or more A* to C grades.

At The King’s School also celebrated fantastic grades with 86 per cent of teens landing five or more A*to C grades.

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