Council calls for judicial review of exam results.

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A LEGAL challenge to this summer’s GCSE English results has been launched by Northamptonshire County Council.

The council is among a consortium of councils, schools, students and other groups collectively taking a legal challenge to obtain a judicial review of the decision to increase the grade C boundary in the GCSE foundation paper by 10 marks between January and June 2012.

Although the council does not control all the schools in the county, including the two secondary schools in Daventry which are both now academies, it said it has a duty of care to all young people and is making the challenge on their behalf.

Alex Hopkins, Northamptonshire County Council’s director for customers, communities & learning, said: “It appears that students performing at exactly the same level in January and June have been given different results as a result of a decision to significantly adjust the grade boundaries. “This is a huge injustice to all those students who had every expectation of achieving a C grade without which their future opportunities, whether in learning or employment, could be compromised.”

The consortium is taking the legal action against the examinations regulator Ofqual and exam boards AQA and Edexcel. A pre-action letter delivered to them today on behalf of the consortium, and giving them seven days in which to respond, states: “It is inconceivable that two cohorts of students enrolled for the same course in the same academic year, who have undertaken the same work and invested the same effort, and who will be competing in future for the same opportunities, should be subjected to such radically different standards of assessment and award.”

The consortium is calling for GCSE English exam papers taken in June this year to be regraded now in line with the papers taken by their fellow pupils in January this year.

The consortium is made up of 113 schools, 36 councils, seven professional bodies and 180 students from across England.