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Cornish headteachers hit out at GCSE grades 'political influence'
12:00pm Wednesday 12th September 2012 in Cornwall
HEADTEACHERS from across Cornwall have hit out at the “political influence” affecting grading of GCSE exams this summer.
The Cornish Association of Secondary Headteachers (CASH) has added its voice to the growing clamour nationwide over the marking row.
The group has also urged parents not to judge schools on this summer’s ‘flawed’ exam results.
A statement issued this week reads: “Over a third of Cornish secondary schools have been affected with many experiencing a drop of over ten per cent on their GCSE outcomes against grades confidently predicted on previously reliable data at the end of the summer term. “This situation is evident across all GCSE subjects and across examination boards, but English GCSE appears to be the most significantly affected.
“We believe that the changes that were made to examination marking and the grade boundaries between January and June are the result of political influence and do not reflect any change in either the abilities of Cornish students or of Cornish schools.
“One of the impacts of this situation is that it is very difficult for parents to compare the results of schools or even the results between different year groups because it is not an even playing field.
“All headteachers want high standards and rigorous examinations but children and young people deserve a marking and assessment system which is fair to everyone. “Ofqual and the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, have acknowledged the problems with the 2012 examinations but are too keen to blame the examinations themselves rather than the way they were marked. “As a result of being assessed differently at different times of the year, many deserving students are now without the results they need for successful entry into further education and employment while many of their peers have no problems because many were assessed more leniently earlier in the cycle.”
It added: “We hope parents in Cornwall will add their voices to the national debate and exercise the necessary caution before jumping to possible wrong conclusions about any individual school’s performance based solely on the 2012 examination series.”
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