GCSEs: 1,000 appeal to WJEC over English results

Wales' main examining board says it has received 1,000 appeals about English Language GCSE results.

WJEC said in total, 1,500 complaints had been made across all subjects.

The Welsh government is launching a review into performance in English language in this year's GCSEs.

Derec Stockley, WJEC's director for examinations and assessment, says the regulating bodies had told the WJEC there was a concern about "grade inflation".

Those bodies include the Welsh government as well as Ofqual, which operates in England.

But there was no suggestion that the marking should be tougher.

"One would expect some variation in the market - some examiners slightly too severe, some too generous and we scale examiners because of that," he told BBC Wales.

"We have over 1,000 applications for enquiries about results from centres in England and Wales in the case of GCSE English."

Fall in grades

Students have until 20 September to appeal a result, although results can go down as well as up.

But Education Minister Leighton Andrews wants to know why results fell.

GCSE top grades across the board in Wales, England and Northern Ireland have dropped this year for the first time since replacing O-levels and CSEs.

And the gap in the number of entries earning A*-C has widened between Wales and other parts of the UK.

Wales had 65.4% achieving those grades, compared with an average of 69.4% across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Mr Andrews has accused UK Education Secretary Michael Gove of pressurising exam boards to mark more harshly, which Mr Gove strenuously denies.

But Mr Andrews opponents say he needs to take responsibility for poor results here.

Conservative AM Angela Burns, who looks after education said blaming Mr Gove was "an absolute nonsense".

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