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Pershore High School GCSE marking Clive Corbett
11:50am Thursday 31st January 2013 in News
PERSHORE High School’s headteacher says the English GCSE marking fiasco is the main reason why results dropped by almost 20 per cent.
In the school league tables released last week, the number of pupils achieving five or more A* to C grades (incuding maths and English) at the school was 48 per cent – 18 per cent down on the previous year.
The figure is also well down on the years before that as Pershore High School was making good progress in achieving 61 per cent in both 2009 and 2010 and performing even better in 2011 when it reached 66 per cent.
Headteacher Clive Corbett has defended his school’s results. “The unusually low percentage of Year 11 pupils achieving five or more A* to C passes (including English and maths) was largely attributable to the effect of changes made to the grade boundaries in both examinations and controlled assessments in English language last summer.
“Had Pershore High students been entered early for the English language exam last January the outcomes would have been totally different and in line with our previous performance.
“I do not want to tread again the well-worn path that I did on several occasions in late August and early September, but this figure is completely out of kilter with both our historic performance from 2009 to 2011 and the trajectory of our current Year 11 cohort.
“Parents and students alike can be assured that the inequities of 2012 make all associated with Pershore High School determined to secure very strong outcomes this summer.”
The marking of English GCSE papers caused controversy as it emerged exam bodies had changed the grade boundaries mid-way through the year, making it harder for pupils to achieve a C grade.
The changes effectively meant that pupils who sat exams last January could have scored the same mark as a student sitting the exam in June, but would have been given a different grade.
Meanwhile, Evesham High School’s results dipped from 57 per cent to 53 per cent but Prince Henry’s High School in Evesham improved from 62 per cent to 69 per cent.
Nationally, Worcestershire was ranked 53rd out of more than 150 authorities.