GCSE grading row: pupils were victims of statistical fix, court hears

Alliance of pupils, teaching unions, schools and councils asks court to declare unlawful last-minute shifts in grade boundaries.

Thousands of students missed out on the grade they deserved in GCSE English because of a crude "statistical fix" by exam boards desperate to obey instructions from the government's watchdog to avoid grade inflation, the high court has heard.

The two exam boards engaged in "what can only be described as illegitimate grade manipulation as a result of a statistical fix", meaning pupils who took exams in June this year required up to 10 marks more per unit to gain a C than those who took directly equivalent papers in January, said Clive Sheldon QC on behalf of an alliance of schools, local authorities, pupils and teaching unions.

The group is asking the high court to declare unlawful the decision by the exam boards, AQA and Edexcel, to toughen grade boundaries for GCSE English between the January and June sittings.


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