A FURIOUS Hartlepool headteacher is to appeal against the English GCSE grades his pupils received as a national row over ‘harsh marking’ intensified today.
Results across the country have caused outrage but Dyke House Sports and Technology College boss Andrew Jordon has taken the rare step of appealing against them saying he does not believe they are valid.
The furious head said he was baffled by the results after finding a 10 to 15 per cent increase in every subject other than English, which had “significantly dropped”.
Up to 300 schools have experienced a 20 to 30 per cent drop in English results, with teachers suggesting that harsh marking is the cause of the unprecedented fall.
Mr Jordon told the Mail: “There are too many anomalies.
“We have students who are A* students across the board who got a D.
“We don’t accept that they are valid results and are going to appeal against the grades.”
“When we first saw the results we looked at the reasons why that might have been.
“We have put a lot of resources into English this year, similar to other subjects where our results improved significantly.
“We looked at individual results and we found a lot of discrepancies.
“Our maths results have gone up by 17 per cent yet we see such a significant fall in English. “How does that happen?”
Mr Jordon said he normally expects between 10 and 20 students to be in a D grade having just missed out on a C.
This year the school has 77 in that bracket in English.
The school achieved 99 per cent A*-C grades in all subjects, an increase from 94 per cent last year.
An OCR spokesman said: “This summer is the first time we have certificated at specification level for GCSE English and English Language and also saw a far higher entry for the coursework units than at any previous exam series.
“Our responsibility is to ensure that, overall, we maintain standards as we move to the new specifications and this, inevitably, has an impact on the setting of the boundaries.
“Whilst significant increases in coursework or controlled assessment boundaries from one examination to the next are not desirable, all the examination boards needed to raise these this summer.
“Overall, the awarders were confident that the right standards had been carried forward for the new English specifications to meet the regulator’s expectations of comparable outcomes in these subjects.”
Despite his disappointment at the English grades Mr Jordon added: “I feel a huge amount of pride for these students.
“This year group has been affected by quite a lot of change with moving sites but they have worked incredibly hard and deserve their results.”
Katie Braham, 16, from Seaton achieved an excellent 15 GCSE grades, including eight A*s and four A*s.
She said: “It was very hard work, two years non-stop but it’s all worth it now.”
Kieran Smith, 16, who lives in Seaton was also celebrating after achieving five A* grades and two As while Olivia Maddison, 16, from Clavering, was also on the school’s high performers, achieving an A* in textiles and art, eight A grades and three B grades.