Fresh calls to regrade students' GCSE exam papers in Wales
CALLS for all English language GCSEs in Wales to be regraded have been made by head teachers and politicians.
Yesterday, thousands of pupils across Wales received new and improved GCSE results.
It followed an instruction from Education Minister Leighton Andrews for the WJEC examining board to remark papers.
More than 2,300 pupils in Wales went up a grade.
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But several schools do not sit WJEC exams — in Swansea they are Cefn Hengoed, Bishopston and Daniel James — and these pupils’ results remain unchanged.
And this has led to calls for all pupils’ papers to be re-examined.
Plaid’s education spokesman Simon Thomas said: “I’m delighted these students have now been given their proper grades, but it is clear there remains a very serious shortcoming in the system. We understand the Ofqual changes were across all exam boards in England and yet only the WJEC has been changed in Wales.
“There could be many more students in Wales with unfair grades. Plaid Cymru will continue to press for answers until we find out what went wrong with this paper, and will continue to call for a reform of qualifications in Wales to ensure a fair, consistent and transparent system for Welsh students.”
And head teachers have joined together in calling on Ofqual — the exam regulator in England — to instruct English exam boards to follow suit with a regrade.
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “What was already a manifestly unfair situation has become even more so after this regrade. It beggars belief that identical marks now receive different final grades according to whether a student sat the exam in England or Wales. We congratulate the Welsh Government on its decision to restore fairness to this shambles and call on Ofqual to follow suit and regrade papers accordingly, to award fair grades to English students and also to those five per cent of young people in Wales who sat the AQA exam.” A Welsh Government spokesman said: “95 per cent of candidates in Wales took GCSE English language with WJEC.
“The remaining five per cent took their qualification with AQA. Following consideration of the evidence available, the conclusion of the report was that it was not clear that AQA’s candidates in Wales had been similarly disadvantaged when compared with WJEC’s candidates.
“While we remain open to considering further evidence we are also continuing discussions with Ofqual, which is responsible for over 99 per cent of AQA’s candidates.
“Schools who took AQA English language GCSE in Wales and feel that they have been disadvantaged should contact the department.”