Letter released following row over GCSE English results
IN A LETTER to parents and guardians the headteacher of Robert Smyth Academy has said that students entering their sixth form will not be penalised for their English results.
The letter, sent to parents and guardians by Colin Dean, was as follows:
“As you know, there has been huge upset amongst students, parents and staff this year
following the confusion over the awarding of grades in the AQA English Language exam.
Many schools up and down the country have been affected and we are no exception.
Despite rigorous protestations and appeals from all quarters, Ofqual (the exams regulatory
authority) have decided not to take any action and so, barring any change, students’ results
in this subject will stand. This is extremely disappointing and frustrating, especially since
Ofqual have admitted that mistakes by the board have been made. Whilst students at all
levels are affected, it appears to have had the most devastating impact on those who were
working at a C level.
Even though Ofqual insist that they have upheld their prime duty to ensure comparable
outcomes with previous years, it is very difficult to see how this can be the case given the
sheer scale of outrage at the depressed results in English Language nationally. English is
one of our consistently high performing subjects and given the very positive feedback and
praise that the board has already provided to the Faculty in the examiner’s report, the
significant drop in A*- C grades is inexplicable; over 40 students who were comfortably
predicted a C in English have received a D. This has had, of course, an impact on our whole
school 5 A*- C (incl. English & Maths) too and, whilst this is disappointing, it is not
disastrous and is nothing compared to the disappointment of those students who have
received a grade that does not reflect their ability. In all fairness, we have decided to
accept students into our Sixth Form on the basis of their predicted English results rather
than what they actually achieved. We simply do not feel that they should be disadvantaged
by an unprecedented and unfair exam board decision. They will, of course, be required to
retake and pass the exam so that their further progression is not affected. We have also
submitted a sample of candidates’ work for remarking and currently await the findings of
I hope this clarifies the position for you. I will, of course, let you know of any developments
as they occur.
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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