Sep 21 2012 By Ian Proctor
BRENT Council is threatening to launch legal action with other local authorities to overturn an alteration of GCSE grade boundaries that "adversely affected" up to 100 local students.
The Labour-run authority is among a number of councils, schools, pupils and professional bodies to have signed a letter sent to examinations regulator Ofqual and examination boards AQA and Edexcel yesterday giving them seven days' notice that an application for a judicial review of the changes will be lodged at the High Court.
The broad alliance, led by Lewisham Council and Leeds City Council, want judges to quash the decision to raise the threshold for a C grade on the GCSE English foundation written paper by 10 marks that was implemented some time between the test sat by a minority of students in January and the test sat by the majority in June.
Raising the bar meant that pupils could attain identical scores in both but gain a lower grade in the latter - the one that actually mattered.
Brent Council said a thorough survey of all its secondary schools suggested up to 100 pupils boroughwide were "adversely affected" by the boundary change and so achieved a D grade.
Its lead member for children and families, Councillor Mary Arnold (Labour), said: "We believe that the AQA and Edexcel exam boards altered their grades between January and June of this year which resulted in a marked difference in students' predicted and actual grades.
"On behalf of the hundred or so students affected in Brent and the many thousands of other young people across England we are whole heartedly behind the legal challenge to Ofqual for a thorough investigation into this matter."
It is not clear if Brent Council has contributed to any fighting fund being set up to underwrite the cost of the application for a judicial review.
Ealing Council and Hounslow Council are two of the other 36 councils involved.