More than 100 pupils in Islington will not see D grades in English bumped up to crucial Cs after legal challenge fails
PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 February 2013 | UPDATED: 10:00 20 February 2013
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More than 100 teenagers who hoped to see their GCSE grades bumped up will be disappointed after a legal challenge failed – but Islington’s schools chief says the borough was right to “put up a fight”.
Islington Council was calling for some English papers to be re-graded because it believes they were marked unfairly last summer.
But the legal challenge, brought in conjunction with other councils, schools and teachers’ groups up and down the country, was dismissed at the High Court last Wednesday.
Cllr Richard Watts, Islington Council’s executive member for children and families, said: “We’re very disappointed with the result. We were absolutely right to put a fight and I’m pleased we stood by our young people.
“Lots of Islington’s young people lost out on A-level places or getting on to the right courses.”
The council insists some pupils who sat their English exams last summer faced tougher marking than those who took the same papers last January.
It says 133 pupils in Islington were given D grades when they should have got Cs, which are required to get on to many college courses.
Town hall officers have also estimated that 60 per cent of pupils would have achieved the benchmark A* to C in five subjects including English and maths, up from 54 per cent.
Judges admitted in their ruling on Wednesday that there was “an element of unfairness” in the marking system, but that it was not unlawful.
Cllr Watts added: “We’re very disappointed that the judge found it was unfair, but not unlawful. Nothing that the judge said has changed our view of what happened. The judge agreed there were different standards to marking between January and the summer.”
A decision over whether to appeal has yet to be taken.
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