Council call for exam re-mark is rebuffed

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WIGAN Council’s demand for hundreds of GCSE papers to be re-marked after this summer’s grade controversy has fallen on deaf ears.

The local authority was one of many UK town hall and educational signatories calling for English tests sat in June this year to be re-examined because they were more rigorously marked than their January equivalents.

In Wales the June exams are now being re-assessed but there is still no sign of something similar happening in England. Examiners say that it was the January exam that was too easy rather than the June one’s being too hard.

The letter delivered to Ofqual, AQA and Edexcel had stated: “It is inconceivable that two cohorts of students enrolled for the same course in the same academic year, who have undertaken the same work and invested the same effort, and who will be competing in future for the same opportunities, should be subjected to such radically different standards of assessment and award.”

Responses to the challenge have now been received from all three bodies with each refusing to budge on the issue.

Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock, who has led the councils’ campaign, said: “This is maddening. Why can’t these people see sense? This is a clear-cut case where one group of young people have received treatment that is grossly unfair.

“I remain determined to press the case on their behalf. They are paying right now and continue to pay every day for the mistakes that have been made. The solution remains a simple one, re-grade now.”

Nick Hudson, Corporate Director, People Directorate - Children, Adults and Families, said: “Wigan Council is supporting the legal challenge and we have joined forces with other local authorities and national organisations in order to do so. It’s important for the future prospects of the young people  affected that we work together in order to do what we can to challenge the iniquitous situation which arose following this summer’s examinations.”

The alliance of councils, schools, pupils and professional bodies says it will now consider its next steps in taking this challenge forward.