Dec 13 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
AN ALLIANCE of teachers, authorities and pupils from across the country is waiting to hear if GCSE papers can be remarked.
The group, including Brent Council, took a challenge to the High Court after exam results in the summer were affected by a grade boundary change.
Many pupils got lower grades in the summer results than were awarded for the same percentages earlier in the year.
On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, the alliance took its case against the regulator, Ofqual, to the High Court and a decision is expected before Christmas.
Hank Roberts, Brent secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and national chair of the union, said: “Education secretary Michael Gove has more or less given up consulting with unions and is getting things wrong all over the place.
“I hope that the court case will be successful. If it isn’t, it will not stop opposition growing against these changes which are fundamentally flawed.”
Brent’s lead member for children and families, councillor Mary Arnold, said: “It is very sad that we find ourselves in the position of having to join other local authorities in challenging the regrading of last summer’s GCSEs.
“But we are pleased that the case is finally being heard and we very much hope the court grants a judicial review.
“We are confident it will result in the June exams being regraded in line with those for January and all the Brent students who were predicted to achieve grade C and above in the GCSEs will finally be awarded the results they worked so hard for.”
Judges can rule the decision from Ofqual was unlawful, but this does not mean papers will be remarked.
Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, which represents 80 per cent of secondary heads, said: “The only fair course of action is to regrade the papers. While many students will have moved on to college or other options, their grades will remain with them for years to come and that is unjust.”