'Exam grading catastrophe has skewed tables'
GRADING of this year's GCSE English papers has been a hot topic since the results were released last year.
Controversy surrounded this summer's results, in which grade boundaries were moved mid-year.
A number of schools in the city were affected by the changes and a row broke out in August after it emerged papers taken in June were graded more harshly than those in January.
Plymouth joined a consortium of other Local Authorities, Professional Associations and schools to challenge the exam watchdog Ofqual and two exam awarding bodies.
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The outcome of the judicial review is expected this month.
Cllr Nicky Williams, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "It was absolutely right that we joined the grade boundary fight.
Students received lower grades than they rightfully deserved, so much so that we wrote to the Secretary of State to urge him to step-in.
"Now we are one of the councils across the country challenging the legality of what was done.
"You can't simply be allowed to change the cut-off points for grades half way through the academic year.
"It's ridiculous and unjust, and it disadvantaged schools that took end of year exams in June, as many of the 'C' and above grades had already been awarded to students who took the same exam in January.
"It is therefore very difficult to compare school performance this year."
Headteachers are also behind the fight.
Isobel Bryce, headteacher of saltash.net school, said students should not have had the misfortune to have been caught up in the "lottery" whereby results were affected by which exam board and particular syllabus a school had selected.