Opinion Former Article

NUT: Welsh Government GCSE English Review

Wales’ largest teaching union has welcomed the Welsh Government’s recommendation that the WJEC seeks to re-award its GCSE English Language examination following the row over the way C and D grade boundaries were changed.

The changes, which were not communicated to students sitting the exam, or their teachers, resulted in thousands of pupils receiving D grades for the June assessment even though their results would have ensured a C grade if based on January’s criteria.

Welcoming the recommendation, NUT Wales Secretary, David Evans said:

“The NUT has been very vocal in calling for an immediate re-grading, not re-marking, of the English GCSE exam.  We are naturally delighted that the Welsh Government has recommended that this be applied for WJEC students in Wales.

“Between January and June, exam boards changed the grade boundaries in such a way that many pupils who would have scored a C in January, scored a D in June - for exactly the same work. This change was not explained and has disadvantaged many thousands of pupils and their schools.  That situation was simply unacceptable to the many pupils, parents and teachers who have been left feeling very angry at this action.

“The report published today by the Welsh Government recognises the injustice of the boundary grade changes and their impact on Welsh students.  Hundreds of Welsh learners have been disadvantaged by this change and we applaud the Welsh Education Minister for taking the action which he has today.”

Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“The NUT welcomes the decision of the Welsh Government to award grades to young people who sat GCSE in English on the same basis as their peers who sat the exam in January.

“The NUT calls on Michael Gove to follow this lead.”

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Contact Owen Hathway, NUT Cymru, Ty Sinnott, 18 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff CF24 5PJ.  Tel: 029 20491818. Mob: 07921146442 e-mail: cymru.wales@nut.org.uk

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