Mother's anger at GCSE exams marking as son misses key grade
A MOTHER has accused GCSE examiners of "penalising pupils" following a national row over marking which resulted in more than a thousand complaints.
Edwina Shore, of Ffynnonwaun, Johnstown, said her 16-year-old son Luke Maddox had lost out on going to study A-levels at the town's QE High School after his expected result in English Language fell when marked.
Luke was predicted a C grade but ended up with a D, meaning he did not achieve the 5 Cs needed to enter the school's sixth form to study A-Levels.
She is also upset at being unable to speak to teachers at QE High about the issue since Luke received his results on August 23.
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The marking has affected thousands of students, it is understood, with the WJEC receiving more than 1,000 complaints across all subjects.
Parents, including Mrs Shore, have until September 20 to appeal.
The Welsh Government is launching a review into performance in English Language at this year's GCSEs with Education Minister Leighton Andrews wanting answers as to why results fell.
Mrs Shore said: "Luke wanted to go to sixth form in Carmarthen because the school is only down the road from where we live. Now we have enrolled him at Coleg Sir Gâr's Graig campus to study an Edexcel course, giving him the equivalent of three A- Levels."
Mrs Shore said the situation does not make sense.
"Luke was predicted a C but it seems the marking guidelines have changed and affected all these pupils at the end of their courses.
"If there was going to be restructuring then why not do it at the start of the next academic year, not penalise pupils when they have already done all their work for two years."
She added: "I only have until September 20 to appeal yet I cannot get hold of anyone at the WJEC or at Luke's school, just the answerphone giving me the school opening times."
Mrs Shore said Luke was told on the day he opened his results by staff at QE High that he would not be eligible to enter the sixth form as he did not have 5 C grade GCSEs."
Luke's long-term goal would have been to complete his A-levels in Carmarthen and then move to New Zealand to work at a relative's business.
WJEC spokesman Wyn Dafydd said: "It is clear from the collective experience of these qualifications that the new specifications have posed challenges for the regulatory bodies, centres and awarding organisations.
"WJEC is undertaking its own investigation of outcomes in the recent GCSE English and English Language series, and once this is completed we propose to share our conclusions with centres in a way which will hopefully be useful when considered alongside the other information that has already been provided."