Leaders lobby for English re-mark
CITY leaders are lobbying education secretary Michael Gove in a push to see GCSE papers remarked, writes Claire Jones.
Controversy broke out last month when students who took English exams in June received lower grades than expected.
Some are being allowed to retake the papers later this year, after it emerged that those who took the exams in January were marked more leniently.
But now several influential figures are demanding they be marked again, labelling the fiasco as "effectively cheating our children".
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Council leader Tudor Evans and South West Devon Tory MP Gary Streeter are among those to raise concerns with Mr Gove.
Cllr Evans told The Herald: "Our students have been let down by this country's educational policy makers. It's time they admitted it was a mistake to tamper with exam marking.
"They are effectively cheating our children out of the grades they deserve and we are not going to stand quietly by and let them do it."
In his letter, Cllr Evans said: "This has divided students and blighted the life chances of so many eager and previously re-engaged vulnerable young people.
"I urge you to use your significant political influence to ensure a fairer outcome by simply asking for all English papers to be re-marked, in the expectation that those judged on the June boundaries are given the same grades as those marked in January."
Cllr Nicky Williams, the council's Cabinet member for children and young people, said she, too, was "outraged".
David Farmer, chair of Plymouth Learning Trust and headteacher of Plymstock School, who wrote to Mr Streeter with his concerns, added: "The situation is unfair, and affects the most vulnerable students disproportionately and state schools in particular, as their commercial counterparts often do more traditional examinations favoured by Mr Gove."
In his response to Mr Farmer, Mr Streeter said: "I share your concern about the apparent discrepancy in GCSE marking this year and feel greatly concerned for the children involved.
"I have already contacted Michael Gove about this situation, asking for him to investigate this issue and put right what appears to be a significant problem."