Pembrokeshire headteachers question GCSE marking as results are hit by low grades

SOME Pembrokeshire headteachers are among those in Wales questioning unusually low GCSE English grades following a change to exams.

Welsh Government Education Minister, Huw Lewis, has been forced to review the grades after headteachers questioned their accuracy.

The exam had undergone changes following a row over GCSE English results in 2012 which led to thousands of papers being regraded.

Two Pembrokeshire Headteachers told the Western Telegraph that they had concerns about the way a particular question was marked.

Tasker Milward headteacher, Maggie Haynes, said: “We think the results are much lower than expected.

"Specifically, question 3 on the higher tier paper was marked ridiculously. The national mean scores for questions 1,2 and 4 were around the 50% mark, yet for question 3 it was just 28%. We saw a huge drop on question 3 on 94% of our papers.

"The WJEC (examination board) and the Welsh Government must act, as a matter of urgency, to ensure the young people of Wales are not sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.”

Frank Ciccotti, headteacher of Pembroke School, added: “It has had some effect on our grades, which are a little lower (than expected). On question 3 we were unhappy about the structure, which was different to similar question types in the past, and was vague.”

The WJEC responded by stating that they had adhered to a request made by the Welsh Government in 2012, to strengthen the English Language GCSE.

They said they had provided a qualification that met the revised subject criteria which had resulted in a number of changes to the content and the assessment of GCSE English.

The Welsh Government pledged to work with the WJEC and schools, over the next few weeks, to establish the issues that may have had an adverse affect on results.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

2:59pm Thu 13 Mar 14

ScoobyDooby says...

I am more concerned about the GSCE results in your print headline on Tuesday!
I am sure the teachers in the article are as well.
I am more concerned about the GSCE results in your print headline on Tuesday! I am sure the teachers in the article are as well. ScoobyDooby
  • Score: 2

8:25pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Kate Becton says...

I will admit that I do not have the professional expertise to understand the problems that are being experienced with the questions in the GCSE English results.

Can one of our experienced headteachers please explain it in words of one syllable - at the moment I can't help feeling that it is sour grapes which is clearly affecting the results of our young people - or does no one 'play to the he ref'' these days.
I will admit that I do not have the professional expertise to understand the problems that are being experienced with the questions in the GCSE English results. Can one of our experienced headteachers please explain it in words of one syllable - at the moment I can't help feeling that it is sour grapes which is clearly affecting the results of our young people - or does no one 'play to the he ref'' these days. Kate Becton
  • Score: -3

9:24pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Tttoommy says...

Could the lower results be due to realism ?

- does one REALLY think kids are getting brighter year on year - of course not , politicians and overpaid education staff justify ever increasingn budgets, taxes and managers have to justify their bonuses by so called success - whilst employers tell us that kids are getting more stupid.

Honestly WJEC was considered as good as Oxbridge exam results years ago BUT IF welsh education ministers tell them to grade everybody up so that they look good dose NO ONE any good - do we now think a welsh exam result is worth the paper it's written on?
Could the lower results be due to realism ? - does one REALLY think kids are getting brighter year on year - of course not , politicians and overpaid education staff justify ever increasingn budgets, taxes and managers have to justify their bonuses by so called success - whilst employers tell us that kids are getting more stupid. Honestly WJEC was considered as good as Oxbridge exam results years ago BUT IF welsh education ministers tell them to grade everybody up so that they look good dose NO ONE any good - do we now think a welsh exam result is worth the paper it's written on? Tttoommy
  • Score: 3

11:44am Fri 14 Mar 14

malcolm calver says...

I would suggest Kate that we have "mickey mouse qualifications" with primary schools passing on children of poor standards of education to secondary schools and secondary schools passing on children of poor standards to questionable universities.
Remember it was Blair and his slogan "education, education, education" that has resulted with so many with poor standards going into further education. The result has been a lowering of the value on some questionable degrees.
The value of apprenticeships is about to be lowered and reduced in value when most of the apprenticeships being offered now are for what is semi skilled work.
Bring back grammar and secondary schools and keep the leaving age for someone going into an apprenticeship to sixteen.
The latest exam results are lower because a higher level of accuracy has been demanded and rightly so.
Teachers will have to get over the shock and put some real effort into improving standards.
I would suggest Kate that we have "mickey mouse qualifications" with primary schools passing on children of poor standards of education to secondary schools and secondary schools passing on children of poor standards to questionable universities. Remember it was Blair and his slogan "education, education, education" that has resulted with so many with poor standards going into further education. The result has been a lowering of the value on some questionable degrees. The value of apprenticeships is about to be lowered and reduced in value when most of the apprenticeships being offered now are for what is semi skilled work. Bring back grammar and secondary schools and keep the leaving age for someone going into an apprenticeship to sixteen. The latest exam results are lower because a higher level of accuracy has been demanded and rightly so. Teachers will have to get over the shock and put some real effort into improving standards. malcolm calver
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Sun 16 Mar 14

Tttoommy says...

Teachers are having to work harder , my partner was a lecturer in England until it got too much for her - It's impossible to teach properly she said when senior managers just want "results" rather than an education .

By results I mean better exam rates passes BUT as more students meant more money they were happy to let the dross in which had no hope of success - this of course meant a bit of a conflict don't you think? SIMPLES, every one passes exams that are easier and easier

- This has meant that you now get qualifications for cutting a piece of wood rather than making a book case for example , you get computer degrees for just using Window applications rather than programming, my mrs. worked from 8am until 7pm, the skool hols one had to work through (so you got 5 weeks annual leave) and the best thing that was in the pipeline for her ? term time only contracts and zero hours contracts - You have been warned teachers and lecturers If you think things are bad now ....... :(

PS The only good news is "Educationalists" and other managers will get paid loads of money for doing sod tout - probably as much as Bryn ;)
Teachers are having to work harder , my partner was a lecturer in England until it got too much for her - It's impossible to teach properly she said when senior managers just want "results" rather than an education . By results I mean better exam rates passes BUT as more students meant more money they were happy to let the dross in which had no hope of success - this of course meant a bit of a conflict don't you think? SIMPLES, every one passes exams that are easier and easier - This has meant that you now get qualifications for cutting a piece of wood rather than making a book case for example , you get computer degrees for just using Window applications rather than programming, my mrs. worked from 8am until 7pm, the skool hols one had to work through (so you got 5 weeks annual leave) and the best thing that was in the pipeline for her ? term time only contracts and zero hours contracts - You have been warned teachers and lecturers If you think things are bad now ....... :( PS The only good news is "Educationalists" and other managers will get paid loads of money for doing sod tout - probably as much as Bryn ;) Tttoommy
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree