Plymouth City Council set to take legal action over GCSE results
THE fight surrounding English GCSE results has taken another turn with Plymouth City Council agreeing to take legal action.
Plymouth City Council will join a number of local authorities challenging the examinations regulator Ofqual and two GCSE English examination providers Edexcel and AQA over the June 2012 GCSE English results.
The unprecedented legal action will be submitted later this week and is being brought by an alliance of pupils, schools, councils and professional bodies led by Lewisham Council.
The challenge aims for students' papers to be re-graded because the boundary for a grade C in GCSE English was raised between January and June this year. This meant that the exam became much harder to pass for students who took it in June.
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Councillor Nicky Williams, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "It is absolutely right that we join this fight.
"Students have received lower grades than they rightfully deserve, so much so that we've already written to the Secretary of State to urge him to step-in.
"Now we are one of the councils across the country to challenge the legality of what has been done.
"You can't simply be allowed to change the goal posts half way through a match! It's ridiculous and unjust."
It is hoped that the court will reach a decision by Christmas – subject to agreeing to deal with the issues on an urgent basis.
Last month council leader Tudor Evans and South West Devon Tory MP Gary Streeter raised their concerns with Mr Gove.
David Farmer, chair of Plymouth Learning Trust and headteacher of Plymstock School, said: "I am very pleased the council is supporting the students who could miss out when they didn't deserve to.
"At the moment it seems everyone is trying to move on with the English Baccalaureate but we can't.
"Some students will re-sit exams in November but for many that is not an option.
"How fantastic would it be the students to be given the grades they should have got.
"A lot of Plymouth schools are supporting Plymouth City Council and legal action is the last chance many students will have to get the grades they deserve."
Schools in Plymouth have seen results drop by up to 18 per cent from the change in English marking boundaries.
Achieving a C grade for GCSE English is the minimum requirement for many FE and University courses, meaning thousands of students had to rethink their futures as they couldn't move on to the courses they hoped.