Hull and East Riding schools join GCSE grades row
SCHOOLS across East Yorkshire are among hundreds considering legal action over this year's GCSE English paper.
Several schools in Hull and the East Riding saw their overall GCSE results dramatically fall after exam board AQA raised grade boundaries in its English papers.
Stewart Edgell, of Endeavour School, says he will be part of legal action which is being planned by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT).
At Endeavour, 18 per cent of pupils gained five A* to C grades including English and maths, a 15 percentage point decrease on the previous year.
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He said 20 papers from the school had been resubmitted to AQA for re-marking.
He said: "We have done the calculations for what the students would have got if they had sat the exam in January.
"They have come out exactly where we said they would come out."
Had the grade boundaries not moved late in the year, 37 per cent of pupils at Endeavour would have got the benchmark five A* to C grades including English and maths – a record for the school.
He said: "Through my professional association with the NAHT, we will be part of a class action against Ofqual and AQA.
"We are trying every avenue. We will persist with this.
"If 650 senior doctors around the country were all telling the Government there is something wrong with some treatment, they would do something about it.
"Why, when 650 head teachers, including some of those running top-level schools, are saying something is wrong, are they not putting it right?"
Mr Edgell said his concern was for the students who had missed out on the C grade.
After Endeavour's results dropped dramatically, he sent a letter to parents explaining the situation.
He said: "We have had some students in and some of them are in a difficult situation in regards to going to college.
"We are trying to negotiate on their behalf."
John Readman, director of children's services at Hull City Council, said the authority was talking to schools and would support what actions they wanted to take.
He said: "We are working with each of the schools to understand the implications and we are working with our regional neighbours.
"We are very supportive in terms of regional action and will take part in that action and representation."
In the East Riding, of the four schools affected, one third of English papers have been sent back for re-marking in those schools.
Like with their counterparts in Hull, the authority is still talking to schools to get their individual positions.
The biggest loser in the East Riding was Beverley High School, whose results fell 26 percentage points to 49 per cent.
At Bridlington School Sports College, there was a three percentage point drop from last year with 39 per cent of pupils gaining five A* to C grades including English and maths.
It meant the school fell below the Government floor target of 40 per cent.
Sarah Pashley, head teacher at Bridlington School Sports College, said: "Students at Bridlington School did exceptionally well in their GCSEs generally this year, with the majority achieving at least five GCSEs at grade C or above.
"We have identified those students who we believe should have achieved a grade C in English but achieved a D instead and are submitting their exam papers for re-marking.
"We are hopeful their grades will be upgraded to a C.
"We have also submitted data to the local authority and the teaching union ASCL to support their investigations into the national situation with English GCSE results."