Private schools join unions in protest at exam ‘injustice’

In an article in the Times, 07/09/12, Nicola Woolcock reports on the alliance forged between HMC, teachers’ unions and state schools to call for an independent inquiry into problems with the marking of this year’s GCSEs.

The unprecedented alliance has been forged between the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC) — which represents 250 independent schools — most of the major teaching unions and an academy school chain. It puts more pressure on Ofqual, the exams regulator, to explain why papers sat in June were marked more harshly than those taken in January.

A spokesman for the new alliance, which is calling for an independent inquiry, said that the “grading fiasco” had been devastating for pupils’ hopes. “The situation echoes that of ten years ago when Ofqual’s predecessor claimed there was no case to answer after a similar outcry over A levels,” the spokesman said. “However, following an independent investigation, thousands of papers were regraded when the process was found to be unclear.”

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “The row is essentially about fairness. It is wrong for pupils to be graded differently for the same exam.”

By Nicola Woolcock, The Times. Click here to read the article  © The Times.