GCSE English legal challenge due

 

A legal challenge over the GCSE English fiasco is due to be submitted to the High Court in the next week, it was announced today.

The unprecedented action is being brought by an alliance of pupils, schools, councils and professional bodies, angry at decisions which meant thousands of teenagers missed out on C grades.

A spokesman for the alliance said that following a meeting of legal representatives earlier today, it was decided that a claim for a judicial review will be put forward.

"We have now thoroughly examined the case that we have and we are convinced of the merits of our case, and the expectation that we will have a success to get the outcome we want - which is a re-grade for students," he said.

"We will be putting our claim together and submitting it over the next week."

Today's meeting came a week after Ofqual, England's exams regulator, responded to a pre-action letter sent by the alliance, vowing to "rigorously defend" its decisions over this summer'sGCSE English results.

The letter, which was sent to the AQA and Edexcel exam boards as well as Ofqual three weeks ago, set out plans for legal action over decisions by the boards to increase the boundary for a grade C in GCSE English between January and June.

It also proposed taking action against what they claim was a failure by Ofqual to address the situation.

Ofqual responded two weeks later with a spokesman saying the regulator was "rigorously defending our decisions".

"Our work to understand why some schools' results differed significantly from their expectations is continuing and we will report again shortly," he added.

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), which is part of the alliance, today said: "We are very disappointed that Ofqual and the awarding bodies have refused to take responsibility for their actions and to acknowledge that many thousands of young people's career ambitions have been undermined by a failure to implement the new qualification properly."

He said that the union, which represents the majority of secondary school and college leaders, is "determined to proceed to legal action and is working closely with other members of the alliance on this."

In its pre-action letter, the alliance argued that pupils who took GCSE English in June have been treated with "conspicuous unfairness".

It called for June's papers to be regraded in line with the January C grade boundaries.

If this does not happen, the alliance said it will seek a judicial review.

The row over the English exams broke out as national GCSE results were published in August.

Ofqual conducted an inquiry into the fiasco, which concluded that January's GCSE English assessments were "graded generously" but the June boundaries were properly set and candidates' work properly graded.

The regulator insisted it would be inappropriate for either of the sets of exams to be regraded. Instead, students will be given an extra chance to resit the GCSE in November.

In Wales, education minister Leighton Andrews ordered the WJEC exam board to regrade Welsh students' English papers.

As a result, last month nearly 2,400 pupils who took English with the exam board received better results, after a review of the marking system.

Mr Lightman said that the decision to offer pupils an early resit is "a completely inadequate response".

It is a damage limitation exercise that will only erode public confidence in the exam system further. We know that thousands of students who sat the exam in June and got a D grade achieved the same level of work as their fellow students who took the exams in January and received a C. It is only because of when they took the exam that they are being penalised and told to resit the exam. This is unfair."

Resits will affect students' immediate options, their academic records and future applications, Mr Lightman said.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning:The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier league

The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action

News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

KS1 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Supply Teacher re...

KS2 Teaching Supply Wakefield

£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

Year 1/2 Teacher

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

Primary Teachers Needed for Supply in Wakefield

£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam