Headteacher of Bury St Edmunds school ‘determined but not optimistic’ following meeting with exam regulator today

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THE headteacher of a Bury St Edmunds school said he is more determined than ever to fight for ‘unfair’ GCSE grades to be remarked after meeting with exam regulators today.

Geoff Barton, head at King Edward VI school met with Glenys Stacey, chief executive of Ofqual.

“I was able to show Ofqual that there really is a human dimension to this,” he said.

“We were able to show pupils at this school that had been effected and lots from other Suffolk schools and it became clear how major a problem it is.

“If students sat their lower foundation tier exams in January they had a one in three chance of getting a C grade. Those that sat them in the summer had a one in ten chance which is frankly bizarre given that they had nearly half a year of extra teaching.

“I think common sense would tell anyone that this is not right.

“I didn’t really get an answer though.

“I just think it is a question of fairness and I have come away even more determined to get things overturned.

“I don’t feel massively optimitic from today. They seem determined not to change what has happened.”

Mr Barton said students ‘who have been let down’ by the controversial changes to grade boundaries.

The meeting followed the regulator’s decision to stand by the new grading system, which saw many students predicted a grade C in English receive D. Even education secretary Michael Gove admitted pupils had been treated unfairly.

Mr Barton, who joined members of the Association of School and College Leaders for the meeting in Coventry, said ahead of the meeting: “It isn’t acceptable for the head of Ofqual and Secretary of State to acknowledge there’s a problem, to say it’s unfair and not to put it right.

“It’s a real betrayal of young people.”

Hugh O’Neill, head at St Benedict’s Catholic School, said they plan to appeal to the exam body AQA to ask it to reconsider how grades were awarded. They are also considering individual appeals against the marks.

Graham Newman, cabinet member for education at Suffolk County Councl, said he wanted to see papers remarked rather than exams resat.

He added: “It isn’t good for pupils to wait until next year to find out whether they’ve got that pass.”