Row over GCSE grading

23/8/12    L to r..   Anna Greenshaw, Rachel Gilby and Harriet Ellis  pupils at Boroughbridge High School celebrate their GSCE results.

23/8/12 L to r.. Anna Greenshaw, Rachel Gilby and Harriet Ellis pupils at Boroughbridge High School celebrate their GSCE results.

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A row has broken out over GCSE English results, with schools and the council launching an investigation into how papers were marked.

Last Thursday saw thousands of students across Harrogate collect their long-awaited and hard-earned GCSE results.

But because of a “harsh” and “unfair” change to the way English papers have been graded, many have been disappointed after receiving a lower grade than expected.

Schools across the district have protested at changes to grade boundaries for GCSE English which have affected students’ results.

Some pupils, despite following the same syllabus, are getting lower grades than those who took the exam six months earlier.

Headteacher at St Aidan’s C of E School, John Wood, said the school had been affected more than some, especially in relation to the C/D boundary.

Boroughbridge High School headteacher Elaine Dixon also said she was determined to investigate: “It would seem that some of these exams have been marked more harshly than previous years as a quick fix to the long held assumption that GCSE exams are becoming easier.

“While the school recognises the need for rigour it seems unfair that these pupils are punished for something that is not their fault.”

Headteacher at King James School in Knaresborough, Carl Sugden, also said “harsh marking” had affected results.

“I do feel very sorry for students who, through no fault of their own, have had to reach higher pass marks for each grade than has been required in previous years,” he said.

North Yorkshire County Council said it too is to challenge the results.