On Tuesday the case concerning GCSE English exam results came to the High Court.
Some exam boards, without any correction from the Government’s regulator, Ofqual, moved the grade boundaries for a GCSE ‘C’ grade between the January and summer exams. This meant that identical marks would have got a student a ‘C’ grade in January but a ‘D’ grade in the summer. That’s a crucial difference, because a ‘C’ grade is essential for entry on to most courses and into many apprenticeships.
The scandal became a fiasco when the Welsh government imposed a regrading, but Michael Gove refused to do so.
So now the same mark would not just get you a different grade depending on whether it was January or June, but whether you sat the exams in Wales or England!
Leeds Labour Council has been at the forefront of action on this since the scandal first broke in August.
From the start, Leeds Council was determined to back these young people all the way – to judicial review if necessary.
As Judith Blake, Leeds’ Council Deputy Leader said in August, the way this has been dealt with ‘has seriously disadvantaged the life chances in Leeds of a minimum of 600 people [who were predicted at least a C in English and received a D].”
Speaking outside the High Court this week she emphasised “We’re here on behalf of the thousands of young people who we believe have been treated grossly unfairly. We’re here to seek justice on their behalf. We do not believe it’s right that the incompetence of Ofqual and the exam boards should be picked up by them.
“There are many young people who have not been able to gain access to their apprenticeships, the course that they wanted as a result of this.”

Leeds council has joined schools and other interested parties to ask for regrading on the same basis as January exams. Let’s hope for good news soon.

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