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ASCL calls for review to stop repeat of GCSE 'fiasco'

12/10/2012 Joanna
The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has warned there could be a repeat of this summer's GCSE "fiasco" next year, unless steps are taken to address the issue.

This summer, thousands of pupils were affected by an apparent alteration of the grade boundaries between the January and June examinations - with those who took the later tests being marked more harshly.

However, so far, the examination board in England has not offered to re-mark pupils' papers.

Although in the wake of this controversy Michael Gove moved to replace the GCSE with the English Baccalaureate, this proposed transition will not happen until September 2015 at the earliest, by which time three more sets of GCSE results will have been announced in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

As a result, the ASCL is "fearful" that pupils sitting the exam in those year groups could be affected by the fallout from this year's problems - with the credibility of the exam itself having been called into question.

"We believe that a full and independent investigation remains the only way truly of getting to the bottom of this complex issue and preventing this kind of mistake from being made again in the future, whether in the current system or whatever replaces it," explained ASCL general secretary Brian Lightman.

This proposal has been intimated to the chair of the Education Select Committee, Graham Stuart MP, in an open letter, in which Mr Lightman asks him to consider the evidence that the ASCL has gathered when it receives the exam body Ofqual's own report. 

As for this year's crop of students, Mr Lightman told Mr Stuart that there is only one course of action that can be taken.

"[We] urge your committee to publically recognise the need for the results to be re-graded," he said.

Posted by Alan DouglasADNFCR-2164-ID-801468385-ADNFCR
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