Firstly, I would like to congratulate once again all the Calderdale young people who achieved good results in their GCSEs this year.
I know from talking to teachers and children just how much time and effort has gone into these results, which continue to show important improvements in many of our secondary schools. This however, is despite the unfair chaos that seems to have overtaken the grading of the GCSE English examination, which I am concerned will be proved to have harmed the future prospects of many local young people. So this is the second reason for writing – to record my dismay at this, and to voice my hope that the promised investigations into this by both the examinations regulator (Ofqual) and by the House of Commons Select Committee will rapidly lead to a review and re-examination of the way these exams have been graded. From listening to experienced teachers both locally and across the country, there can be little doubt that the goalposts moved substantially between January and June, resulting in young people who should have received a ‘C’ now being graded as ‘D’. These actions - which I believe may well be the result of implied political pressure from Education Secretary Michael Gove – are not only unfair, but also potentially damaging to the prospects of the young people who have been affected. The Secretary of State must act to right the wrongs that have been done.
Cllr Megan Swift
Labour spokesperson, Children and Young People’s Services