PUPILS who were ‘downgraded’ and missed out on passing their English GCSE in the summer are resitting the exams after an investigation into marking found no discrepancies.,
England’s exam regulator Ofqual held an inquiry into the English exams and found that January’s GCSE English assessments were “graded generously” but the June boundaries were properly set and candidates’ work was graded properly.
It has been estimated by exam boards that one in 14 students will have to resit the exam - around 45,000 pupils across the country.
A number of those affected are students of Hemsworth Community College.
Pamela Massett, principal at the college on Station Road, said it was ‘disgusting’ the way pupils had been treated.
She said: “We have got a number of students doing the resit as we believe they should have passed in the first place.
“The threshold for gaining a C grade was made higher, so less students actually got the grade they deserved.”
Pupils and teachers are having to put in extra work at after school classes to keep them in the exam mindset ready for the resit in November.
She said pupils were having to juggle their new studies, such as A levels, as well as revising for the resit.
Mrs Massett said: “It’s putting extra pressure on everybody for something that should have been right in the first place.”
She said a lot of pupils needed the pass grade to get onto courses in further education, and especially those wanting a career in teaching – where a pass in English is essential.
She hoped the resit would give the students the marks they deserved.
Chief regulator for Ofqual Glenys Stacey said: “We have thought carefully about what should be done, and spoken with external assessment experts about it.
“Our job is to maintain standards over time, so grades awarded are comparable from one year to the next.
“We have spoken to exam boards and they have been very responsive.
“Recognising the strength of feeling, they will be offering early resits for students who sat the June units.
“We will now go through our analysis and evidence with the representative groups for schools and colleges, so they can see it for themselves.
“We will also talk with schools, exam boards and assessment experts to see what lessons can be learnt and what can be done better in the future.”
He was grateful to schools and colleges for bringing up the issue.