By Gary Smee 23/08 Updated: 24/08 10:06
PERSHORE High School's headteacher has demanded a remark of dozens of GCSE English exams after up to 60 pupils received lower grades than expected.
The Station Road school saw just 50 per cent of its students achieve the benchmark figure of five or more GCSEs including English and Maths graded A* to C - a dramatic drop of 16 per cent from last year.
The school's head Clive Corbett described the results as nonsense and said he had spoken to headteachers elsewhere in Worcestershire and the rest of the country who had experienced similar problems.
"Instead of celebrating a marvellous set of GCSE results we are trying to get justice for the young people whose futures are being played around with," he said.
"It is a great shame this year that our overall performance has been significantly affected by a serious anomaly with our English Language results.
"I am going to be in touch with the exam board and other national bodies to talk about specific results and look at getting a remark or reconsideration to rectify this because this seems to be a national problem.
"It is just mad and a total nonsense and the English department and students who worked so hard are totally distraught."
The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said there seemed to be a particular problem with C/D borderline grades in English, with pupils who were expecting Cs ending up with Ds and blamed the exam boards for pushing up grade boundaries.
ASCL General Secretary Brian Lightman said: "What appears to have happened is that, halfway through the year, it was decided that too many students were going to get a C grade in English and the grade boundaries of the exam were pushed up very substantially.
"Standards in schools have not changed one iota. It is the grading that has changed. Students who were working at a C level throughout the year, who were told on their assessments that they were in line for a C, have found out today that this is worth a D. This means they may not get their places at college and sixth form."
In Evesham the headteachers at the two high schools said they were pleased with their results. Prince Henry's High School saw 68 per cent of its pupils achieve five or more GCSEs graded A* to C including English and Maths, 5 per cent up on last year, and at Evesham High School the figure was 54 per cent - two per cent down on last year. Excluding the core subjects 84 per cent of pupils at Prince Henry's achieved 5 or more A* to C grades, 79 per cent at Evesham High School and 70 per cent at Pershore High.
Dr Tony Evans, who takes over as Prince Henry's head in September, said: "These results highlight once again the outstanding standards here at Prince Henry’s, and they are a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the pupils, the quality of the teaching, and the continuous support provided from parents and families."
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