Leeds joins national challenge into GCSE grading errors

Leeds City Council and schools across the city are joining forces with other education authorities and national professional organisations to launch a legal challenge over the unfair grading of GCSE English papers this year.

Leeds City Council was one of the first organisations to raise concerns into the grading of GCSE English, and has been actively campaigning for the fair treatment of all students who sat the exam. Leeds has been leading a consortium involving other local authorities, schools and professional organisations calling for a judicial review on the issue.

Now, Lewisham Council, which is leading the legal challenge on behalf of the consortium, has today taken the first steps towards legal action, by issuing a formal letter to the examination regulator Ofqual and exam boards AQA and Edexcel. This letter details the consortium’s legal challenge and gives the organisations seven days to respond.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s executive member responsible for children’s services, said:

“I am very disappointed that it has come to this point. The legal challenge was always our last resort. We already have over 50 other local authorities and professional organisations in the consortium as well as hundreds of individual schools, which gives massive weight to our legal challenge and proves that we are far from alone in this fight.

“From day one, we have been campaigning for all students to be treated fairly and despite the investigation by Ofqual and the work of the commons select committee no action so far has been taken to correct this injustice.

"This is an issue of fairness and nothing to do with grade inflation. We are issuing this legal challenge on behalf of all the students who we believe have been unfairly treated."

The legal challenge is being made on behalf of students nationally who would have received a grade C had their papers been marked in January, but were awarded a D because they were marked in June, because of an unprecedented change in grade boundaries. The aim of the challenge is to have these papers re-graded at the January level.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk