The chaos surrounding GCSE English grades took another step to incredulity. The Welsh Education Secretary “ordered” the WJEC board to re-examine the grades awarded in English.

Why is this chaotic? The WJEC version of English GCSE is offered to schools in Wales and England.

Put simply students who sat the exam in a Welsh school will get their mark re-examined, those that sat the exam in an English school will not. Same syllabus, same exam, same initial grade criteria, same score…possible different grade.

I know from our work that pupils in local schools such as The Towers in Ashford and St Anselms in Canterbury will be affected.

More importantly the faith that pupils, teachers and employers have in the exam system will be severely eroded. Whatseems to be overlooked in all this is that the Grade Criteria for all exams are set by the exam board, exemplar answers are provided to allow benchmarking of work. Clearly these markers that individual teachers work towards, and share with their pupils are compromised. What the exam board told us is worthy of a C grade is no longer appropriate, you lose the reference points that are needed to evaluate students work. If we are no longer sure what our students need to do to achieve a grade how can those students deliver?

This has turned into a political hot potato, with Michael Gove effectively putting his hands in the air and stating that it’s “nothing to do with me Guv”

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