Education Secretary Michael Gove will resist overruling the exam watchdog’s decision against re-marking GCSE papers in a row over changes to grade boundaries.
Gove told Sky News he had ‘enormous sympathy’ with pupils who sat GCSEs this summer, but refused to intervene to order regulator Ofqual to regrade papers.
He said: “I cannot and should not do that. Ofqual, the regulator, is independent. If I start telling them what to do they are no longer independent and exams are no longer robust.”
After carrying out investigations, Ofqual ruled the grading of English GCSE papers was fair.
In fact, the January exams in the subject were too leniently marked, it says, which may be a reason why the summer grades appeared harsh.
The finding will be a blow to schools such as Mandeville School and John Colet, which claimed exam boards had harshly marked the English exams and altered the grade boundaries.
But according to Ofqual, when exam boards set grade boundaries in June they were better equipped to make judgements, as there was more information available due to the larger group of students taking the assessment.
Students who took the GCSE English qualification in June are, however, being offered early re-sits.