Mum welcomes exam regrades after pupils left in 'black hole'
THE mother of a teenager refused entry into sixth form at his school has welcomed the decision for English GCSE papers to be regraded.
Under the move demanded by Welsh Education Minister Leighton Andrews, pupils could see their grades bumped up from a D to C for example.
Edwina Shore, of Ffynnonwaun, Johnstown, said despite the regrading, pupils were left in a "black hole" without any help following the results row.
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.
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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.
The grading has affected thousands of students, it is understood, with the WJEC receiving more than 1,000 complaints across all subjects.
She said: "I'm all for the papers being regraded, they should be, but also there's a part of me that feels it's all a little too late.
"Luke is now at Pibwrlwyd College in Carmarthen doing an administration course.
"Ideally he wanted to go back to QE High and I still want to appeal the original exam grading.
"I have until September 20 to appeal but I cannot get any answers as to where to appeal."
She added: "The whole situation is a mess. Pupils who sat their exams this summer have been left in a black hole now, all because the goal posts were shifted on the grading boundaries."
Mr Andrews told the WJEC to regrade English GCSEs after a report by his officials found the way grade boundaries had been set was "unjustifiable and almost certainly unfair to candidates".
Mr Andrews said he had acted on evidence and advice to ensure the interests of pupils in Wales were met.
The WJEC was expected to complete the regrading of all GCSE English papers sat by Welsh pupils by last night — the deadline given by Mr Andrews.
A WJEC spokesman said: "Results are expected to be made public this week.
"Anyone wishing to still appeal against the original exam results can do so by contacting the exam centre or school where the papers were sat."
Carmarthenshire Council head of governance and inclusion Gareth Morgans said: "We would support regrading because there are a few pupils who have missed out because of what has happened in the English GCSE.
"Regrading is a national agenda, and we support the minister in his attempt to ensure pupils get the grades they deserve. If exams are regraded the WJEC would inform the schools."