The NUT has come together with a number of other organisations to pursue a regrade of GCSE papers affected by the grading scandal (see here).
Meanwhile, it is important that we make MPs aware that this issue can't simply be brushed under the carpet and that, until their is justice for those whose results were arbitrarily changed, we will continue our campaign.
Dear Nicola Blackwood MP,
I am getting in touch to let you know of my concerns about this year’s GCSE examinations.
As a teacher, I think it is entirely unacceptable and grotesquely unfair that exam boards changed the grade boundaries in such a way that many pupils who would have gained a C grade in January attained a D in June for exactly the same work.
This arbitrary shift has potentially changed the lives of hundreds of students, many of them in Oxfordshire, and, unlike their counterparts in Wales where the education minister has ordered regrading, they have no possibility of receiving the grade that they earned. In addition, a number of teachers with GCSE classes have failed to meet the targets set jointly by themselves and the school, purely due to this change, and may be held to be underperforming where, had the goalposts not been shifted, they would have been judged as good. This may well have a damaging impact on their careers.
Finally, a number of schools (over 100 nationally) will fail to meet the floor targets as a result of this arbitrary and politically-influenced decision. Schools which otherwise would be recognised as doing the best for their students and supported to improve, will be put through a process of uncertainty and distrust. Having supported a number of schools through this process locally, I can assure you that, in the vast majority of cases, it does nothing to improve the experience of students or to enhance their learning.
If the speculation about the exam boards responding to political influence proves correct I think it is high time that assurances are provided that awarding bodies are able to act independently in the best interests of all their students when it comes to grading their examination papers.
I wholeheartedly support calls for an independent inquiry into the situation and an immediate regrade of the exams. Such quick and decisive action is needed if we are to restore confidence in the examination system for the new academic year.
I would be grateful if you could raise my concerns with the Secretary of State for Education and advise me of his response.