GCSEs will be regraded for pupils in Wales - but Ofqual refuses to reassess the grades in England

Move piles pressure on Ofqual as it emerges that watchdog told exam board to raise the bar

Hundreds of teenagers in Wales will have their GCSE English papers regraded despite continued refusals to change results in England.

Leighton Andrews, the Welsh education minister, last night said pupils had been victims of an "injustice" following the row over students being awarded lower grades that expected last month. He has ordered the WJEC exam board to re-award its GCSE English language grades for around 1,000 students.

The move is likely to pile pressure on Ofqual, the exams watchdog, which has refused to reassess the grades in England. It emerged yesterday Ofqual told examiners to raise English GCSE grade boundaries two weeks before the results were published.

The revelation, which appears to contradict the findings of the watchdog's initial investigation, led to calls for the head of Ofqual, Glenys Stacey, to resign. The demand from the headteacher John Townsley, a former Ofqual board member and principal of two academies, came ahead of Ms Stacey's evidence today to an investigation by the Commons Select Committee on Education.

In a series of letters between Ofqual and the Edexcel exam board, it emerges that Ofqual demanded the boundaries be raised despite examiners insisting they were "fair".

Ms Stacey concluded the eventual grade boundaries were correct and set by examiners "using their best professional judgement, taking into account all the evidence available to them". However, the letters, obtained by the Times Educational Supplement, revealed their judgement had been overruled. The last-minute changes led to up to 65,000 teenagers failing to gain a C grade pass. Last night Mr Townsley, executive principal of Morley and Farnley academies in Leeds, accused Ms Stacey of "bullying" the exam boards.

Ofqual's director of standards, Dennis Opposs, wrote to Edexcel on 7 August, concerned the board was about to award results for GCSE English that would see the proportion of pupils with C grades rise by 8 per cent. He called on it to act "quickly" and "produce outcomes that are much closer to predictions. This may require you to move grade boundary marks."

Edexcel replied on 8 August that its grade boundaries were "fair". Ofqual replied saying it was obliged to ensure the results were consistent with other boards, which were nearer to predictions. Last night Edexcel confirmed it had made "certain reservations" known to Ofqual.

new round of teachers' strikes looms

Fresh strikes by teachers and other public sector workers moved closer yesterday, putting the unions on collision course with both Labour and the Coalition Government.

Amid growing calls for anti-Government protests at the TUC conference in Brighton, Ed Miliband warned union leaders last night that strikes would not win public support. He said: "It's what's happening in our economy that makes so many people angry with the Government. The question is how best to get them to change course?"

Members of the two biggest teaching unions will begin a work-to-rule on 26 September. The TUC's general council backed a call to consider the practicalities of a strike over pay and pensions.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

Foundation Primary Teacher

£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are looking for Founda...

Psychology Teacher

Main Teacher Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Teacher of Psychology An en...

Geography Teacher

£19200 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?