Statement on GCSE English Results

Tuesday, 28 August 2012.
Statement on GCSE English Results

You may be aware that there has been considerable national press coverage relating to GCSE English results since the results were published last Thursday.

The statement below, issued by my professional association, the Association of School and College Leaders, gives further explanation of the issues which have arisen this year in GCSE English.

Over the weekend Ofqual, the examinations regulator, announced that it would be looking into these matters with some urgency and I have added a link below to the BBC News Education website article on this.

BBC news education

In common with many other schools across the country, we believe that some of our students have been adversely affected by these issues and we will be monitoring the situation closely and asking for remarking of students’ work where appropriate.

We will keep you informed via our website as to how these issues develop over the next few weeks. In the meantime, if parents or students have particular concerns please do not hesitate to contact us for advice.

Simon Thompson


Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL)

GCSE English/English Language results

Significant concerns have been raised about the GCSE English/English language results this summer.  As the professional body representing senior leaders in secondary schools, ASCL has had literally hundreds of emails from concerned members because many young people have not received the GCSE English or English Language grade that was expected. A much smaller number of comments have been made about the marking and grading of maths and science.

ASCL is taking this issue very seriously and we are having robust, frank discussions with Ofqual and the awarding bodies. We believe that we have identified the major issue and are in the process of checking this out against the evidence.

The major issue appears to be that students who took the examination or controlled assessment at an earlier sitting (eg January 2012) have been awarded a higher grade than those who produced the same standard of work in the June 2012 examination series. If this is shown to be correct then we believe that there will be a case for having many thousands of papers regraded. As with many other organisations we are currently collecting information and evidence to support our members’ case.

We know this is an extremely frustrating and difficult situation for lots of students who may now find their future plans at risk. ASCL is doing everything it can to get to the bottom of it. We already know that the Welsh Government has announced an investigation into the GCSE English results. It is a measure of how seriously we take this situation and the impact on students that we are working with other organisations to determine whether a legal challenge should be mounted against the examining groups.

The advice we are giving schools that are unhappy with the results is to go through the normal procedures for remarking and appeals. However, if we determine that a legal challenge is appropriate, the situation may well change over the next few days.

Brian Lightman                                                                                                                                 

ASCL General Secretary

24 August 2012