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Solihull Council defends GCSE paper stance

SOLIHULL’S education chief has hit back at questions about whether the council should have done more to challenge the Government over English GCSE grades being marked down.

SOLIHULL’S education chief has hit back at questions about whether the council should have done more to challenge the Government over English GCSE grades being marked down.

Schools across the country – including several in Solihull – were left fuming, after claims that tens of thousands of exam papers had been marked more harshly this year, in an effort to curb the year-on-year inflation in results.

Coun Joe Tildesley, cabinet member for children and young people, was asked last month why the Conservative-controlled council had not followed the example of other local authorities, and backed a judicial review of the decision not to regrade the papers.

Speaking at Full Council, Coun Tildesley said he had spoken to schools and decided it was better that those who were unhappy with the results pursued the matter themselves.

“I have spoken to every one of the headteachers at the 14 [state] secondary schools in Solihull, and asked them what they wanted me to do,” he told fellow members.

“Some are disappointed with the GCSE English grades, but I asked them specifically about whether they wanted the council to take legal action.

“I feel we have absolutely made the right decision to let schools move forward on their own.”

Coun Simon Slater (Lab, Shirley West) asked if Solihull should have joined with 36 other local councils and “taken legal action itself.”

He added it was entirely unfair that pupils had seen their exam papers suddenly subject to more stringent grading.

 

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