Parliament and Politics: Minister rejects criticism over GCSE results row

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The Independent Online
A CLEAR signal that the Government intends to secure changes to the GCSE was given as the six examining bodies met for their annual conference in Belfast today, writes Donald MacLeod.

Baroness Blatch, Under-Secretary of State for Education, rejected criticism that ministers had overreacted to a report by HM Inspectors which said standards could have eroded since GCSE was introduced in 1988.

In a letter replying to John Sutton, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, Lady Blatch questioned whether he had read the inspectors' report or the comments by John Patten, Secretary of State for Education, with proper care. Mr Sutton had accused Mr Patten of undermining public confidence in 'a highly successful examination'.

Lady Blatch said: 'Our concern is with the rigour, objectivity and consistency of the procedures for examining and grading.'