John Spendluffe claims ‘justice’ after students bag stronger English grades

Students celebrate their results.
Students celebrate their results.

The John Spendluffe Technology College in Alford claims ‘justice’ has been done after some of its students received higher English grades after being allowed to re-sit the exam following controversial marking practices in 2012.

Last summer’s English exams were shrouded in controversy after it emerged that some UK students on the cusp of a ‘C’ grade had been marked down into a ‘D’ despite scoring the same percentage as those who had achieved the higher grade earlier that same year.

This took some pupils in the UK out of the coveted A-C grade bracket.

The bitter controversy that followed led to questions in Parliament, a media frenzy and anger amongst parents and the pupils who had been penalised.

But following the public outcry, and threats of legal action, pupils who were affected were offered a special English exam by Ofqual in November.

And 23 out of the 24 John Spendluffe students who sat it achieved a C grade.

“The original situation was clearly unfair and unjust,” said John Spendluffe head teacher Steve Beverley. “Our GCSE Maths results were the best ever by some margin and we knew our English results were equally as good.

“As recognition of the extraordinary nature of the situation, Ofqual instructed the exam boards to offer a special exam for English in November, specifically for those students affected.

“We are an 11-16 school but our commitment to our students, and the caring ethos of our school, resulted in us providing extra tuition from September for 24 students, of which 23 attained a C grade from the November entry.
“This is a huge success and far in excess of the national picture. They should never have had to retake the GCSE but it is of great credit to our former students that they returned to us.”

Mr Beverley added that the higher November results came out too late to appear in the latest league tables, published today (Thursday).

“This is highly frustrating for us, as it means that the information published about John Spendluffe is inaccurate,” he claimed.

“However, it is with pride that we can report that the injustice done to our students has been put right. The impact is that the college can report its best ever results with 47.5% of students achieving 5A*-C GCSE grades including English and Maths.

“Also both our Maths and English results were the best in the history of the college; and most importantly of all, our students can now access the courses and opportunities they deserve and earned.”