DOZENS of students from Worcestershire will be among 45,000 across the country re-taking their GCSE English next month.
Figures given to the BBC by exam boards show that about one in 14 who took the exam earlier this year will re-sit.
In Worcestershire, about 300 pupils, or five per cent, who sat their GCSE English in the summer did not achieve the grade C or above predicted after a last-minute decision to raise boundaries.
Michael Kitcatt, principal at Worcester Sixth Form College in Spetchley Road, said 39 of their latest 800-strong intake would be re-sitting this November, compared with 15 last year.
He said: “Accommodating the re-sit is no big deal. Where it did cause us an issue is at the start of the year, there were students coming who perhaps didn’t do as well as hoped.
“We had a flexible approach where if they’d generally done well we’d let them on to a course they might not have been technically qualified to do. We felt we needed to recognise the special situation.”
England’s exams regulator Ofqual refused to make the exam boards re-grade the papers under the old boundaries after its inquiry concluded that January’s GCSE English assessments were “graded generously”, but June’s boundaries were properly set and candidates’ work properly graded.
Students were instead offered the opportunity to re-sit the exam.
Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College has joined a national alliance taking legal action against Ofqual and exam bodies AQA and Edexcel in a bid to force to re-grade the summer papers in line with those taken in January this year.
Headteacher Sean Devlin called on Worcestershire County Council, students and parents to support the action.
He said: “The re-sit doesn’t address the key issue for this number of students who have gone into further education.
“A variety of schools and local authorities are going for a judicial review. There should be the same re-grading as there was in 1992 with A-levels.”
Councillor Jane Potter, Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for education and skills, said: “Worcestershire County Council’s concerns over the change in GCSE English grading boundaries were expressed through two letters, one from Gail Quinton, director of children’s services, to the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation, the other from myself to Michael Gove.
"The county council has no plans to take any further action. Re-sitting the exam is an option, although it is not an ideal solution.”