Southampton pledges cash for GCSE legal bid

City pledges cash for GCSE legal bid

City pledges cash for GCSE legal bid

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter

Southampton civic chiefs are financially backing a legal challenge to fight the fiasco over this summer’s GCSE English grades, the Daily Echo can reveal.

The city council has pledged £5,000 towards the court bid for justice for pupils left with lower than expected marks for the key subject because of unannounced shifts in grade boundaries by exam boards midway through the course.

It comes as hundreds of teenagers across the city and Hampshire prepare to resit their exams next month in a bid to get the crucial C grades they missed out on.

School and college leaders, unions and councils have reacted furiously to the scandal, which saw more than 130 youngsters in Southampton alone left with D grades, despite having appeared to be on course for higher marks, because exam boards shifted boundaries between January and July.

It meant some pupils with higher scores from summer assessments received worse grades than those who hadn’t done as well when they took the same tests earlier in the year.

Although schools and colleges have worked together to minimise the impact on individuals, many youngsters have missed out on courses or apprenticeships.

More than 45,000 students across England – about one in 14 who took the GCSE – will next month retake their English papers free of charge after exam boards offered a compromise over angry demands for remarking.

That is despite Welsh pupils having their papers regraded, after the country’s Education Secretary ordered an exam board to take the action.

Neither exams watchdog Ofqual or education Secretary Michael Gove has agreed to similar calls in England. Alice Wrighton, principal at Richard Taunton Sixth Form College, said the resits were adding more pressure on youngsters.

She said: “It is a fiasco, and of course the students are the innocent party and that makes me very angry. But it has put really unfair pressure and caused real additional anguish for them, and obviously inconvenience and extra pressure for us too.”

Southampton, which saw its proportion of pupils achieving the benchmark five A* to C English grades drop by nearly six percentage points because of the boundary changes, has now joined councils in Lewisham, Leeds and Manchester in backing the legal challenge. The cash has been diverted from the abandoned referendum on the plans to build a huge biomass plant at Southampton docks.

City education boss Councillor Sarah Bogle said: “I’ve said all along that Ofqual have some serious questions to answer over this and now with the combined will of our neighbours – and other councils around the country – we are determined to get justice for the pupils and schools that worked so hard only to have their hopes dashed.

“This debacle has had a detrimental impact on the plans and options for 136 pupils in Southampton. It has also affected the schools themselves, the morale of the teaching staff and has raised questions about how Ofsted inspections can work when grades are disputed.”

Comments (20)

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10:38am Fri 12 Oct 12

BenjiWinsor says...

Lets cut services for older people, people with learning difficulties, etc. but lets give £5000 to a needless cause. Get your priorities right SCC.
Lets cut services for older people, people with learning difficulties, etc. but lets give £5000 to a needless cause. Get your priorities right SCC. BenjiWinsor
  • Score: 0

10:43am Fri 12 Oct 12

Lone Ranger. says...

BenjiWinsor wrote:
Lets cut services for older people, people with learning difficulties, etc. but lets give £5000 to a needless cause. Get your priorities right SCC.
I dont think £5k is going to restore any of the already "cut" areas that you highlight ........ Perhaps you should express your concerns to Slippery Dave after all he was so inspired by the paralympics that he cut monies for the charities that help them.
[quote][p][bold]BenjiWinsor[/bold] wrote: Lets cut services for older people, people with learning difficulties, etc. but lets give £5000 to a needless cause. Get your priorities right SCC.[/p][/quote]I dont think £5k is going to restore any of the already "cut" areas that you highlight ........ Perhaps you should express your concerns to Slippery Dave after all he was so inspired by the paralympics that he cut monies for the charities that help them. Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 0

10:52am Fri 12 Oct 12

Shoong says...

Lone Ranger. wrote:
BenjiWinsor wrote:
Lets cut services for older people, people with learning difficulties, etc. but lets give £5000 to a needless cause. Get your priorities right SCC.
I dont think £5k is going to restore any of the already "cut" areas that you highlight ........ Perhaps you should express your concerns to Slippery Dave after all he was so inspired by the paralympics that he cut monies for the charities that help them.
Get yer cheque book out then.
[quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BenjiWinsor[/bold] wrote: Lets cut services for older people, people with learning difficulties, etc. but lets give £5000 to a needless cause. Get your priorities right SCC.[/p][/quote]I dont think £5k is going to restore any of the already "cut" areas that you highlight ........ Perhaps you should express your concerns to Slippery Dave after all he was so inspired by the paralympics that he cut monies for the charities that help them.[/p][/quote]Get yer cheque book out then. Shoong
  • Score: 0

11:13am Fri 12 Oct 12

The Watcher says...

BenjiWinsor wrote:
Lets cut services for older people, people with learning difficulties, etc. but lets give £5000 to a needless cause. Get your priorities right SCC.
With 130 students suffering a huge injustice and having to live with the cost of this debacle (missed courses, training schemes etc) I think your flippant dismissal is rather crass and ill thought out.

Additionally, with a large number of students also missing out on A & B grades which may well damage their Uni applications this is something that needs to be addressed to ensure young adults have the best possible chances to start their working life.

With something like 300 pupils affected, the £5,000 equates to under £20 per child. A small price to pay to ensure they are not compromised I their efforts to better themselves.
[quote][p][bold]BenjiWinsor[/bold] wrote: Lets cut services for older people, people with learning difficulties, etc. but lets give £5000 to a needless cause. Get your priorities right SCC.[/p][/quote]With 130 students suffering a huge injustice and having to live with the cost of this debacle (missed courses, training schemes etc) I think your flippant dismissal is rather crass and ill thought out. Additionally, with a large number of students also missing out on A & B grades which may well damage their Uni applications this is something that needs to be addressed to ensure young adults have the best possible chances to start their working life. With something like 300 pupils affected, the £5,000 equates to under £20 per child. A small price to pay to ensure they are not compromised I their efforts to better themselves. The Watcher
  • Score: 0

11:13am Fri 12 Oct 12

Roy S says...

Lone Ranger calls him 'slippery dave' more like greasy dave with his toffs!

Back to the subject, it was totally wrong of the exams board to change the specifications half way through the year and if the council wants to spend £5k of my council tax 'righting this wrong' then I approve.
Lone Ranger calls him 'slippery dave' more like greasy dave with his toffs! Back to the subject, it was totally wrong of the exams board to change the specifications half way through the year and if the council wants to spend £5k of my council tax 'righting this wrong' then I approve. Roy S
  • Score: 0

11:54am Fri 12 Oct 12

George4th says...

The mind Bogles! So, we are now only the 4th council to do this?!
>
Was this some vain attempt to deflect publicity from the dynamic duo of Morrell and Thomas?!
>
The bottom line is that the decline in Education in the UK has speeded up over the past 15 years and is reflected in the global league tables where we are almost 3rd World. We have dumbed down so much that the young in our country have been cheated of their future.
Those in Education (controlled by the Left Wing) itself should be ashamed, allowing this state of affairs to come about. And it is Education itself that is to blame because they could have done something about it!
Not only did Labour widen the gap between the have and the have nots, they also widened the gap between those who are educated and those who are not!
The mind Bogles! So, we are now only the 4th council to do this?! > Was this some vain attempt to deflect publicity from the dynamic duo of Morrell and Thomas?! > The bottom line is that the decline in Education in the UK has speeded up over the past 15 years and is reflected in the global league tables where we are almost 3rd World. We have dumbed down so much that the young in our country have been cheated of their future. Those in Education (controlled by the Left Wing) itself should be ashamed, allowing this state of affairs to come about. And it is Education itself that is to blame because they could have done something about it! Not only did Labour widen the gap between the have and the have nots, they also widened the gap between those who are educated and those who are not! George4th
  • Score: 0

12:27pm Fri 12 Oct 12

Bowmore says...

Spending money on this is a waste. These pupils got the correct grades, it was the lucky ones who sat the exams in January that were graded over generously.
Spending money on this is a waste. These pupils got the correct grades, it was the lucky ones who sat the exams in January that were graded over generously. Bowmore
  • Score: 0

1:25pm Fri 12 Oct 12

100%HANTSBOY says...

The Watcher wrote:
BenjiWinsor wrote:
Lets cut services for older people, people with learning difficulties, etc. but lets give £5000 to a needless cause. Get your priorities right SCC.
With 130 students suffering a huge injustice and having to live with the cost of this debacle (missed courses, training schemes etc) I think your flippant dismissal is rather crass and ill thought out.

Additionally, with a large number of students also missing out on A & B grades which may well damage their Uni applications this is something that needs to be addressed to ensure young adults have the best possible chances to start their working life.

With something like 300 pupils affected, the £5,000 equates to under £20 per child. A small price to pay to ensure they are not compromised I their efforts to better themselves.
It's their fault,they should have studied harder!
[quote][p][bold]The Watcher[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BenjiWinsor[/bold] wrote: Lets cut services for older people, people with learning difficulties, etc. but lets give £5000 to a needless cause. Get your priorities right SCC.[/p][/quote]With 130 students suffering a huge injustice and having to live with the cost of this debacle (missed courses, training schemes etc) I think your flippant dismissal is rather crass and ill thought out. Additionally, with a large number of students also missing out on A & B grades which may well damage their Uni applications this is something that needs to be addressed to ensure young adults have the best possible chances to start their working life. With something like 300 pupils affected, the £5,000 equates to under £20 per child. A small price to pay to ensure they are not compromised I their efforts to better themselves.[/p][/quote]It's their fault,they should have studied harder! 100%HANTSBOY
  • Score: 0

2:52pm Fri 12 Oct 12

Paramjit Bahia says...

Wow…. What a nice surprise… Eventually in our NuLabour run Council a councillor has done something right.

So congratulation to Cllr. Sarah Bogle on this issue. She deserves appreciation and full respect for making morally principled and correct decision.

By offering real help to the cause of youngsters who are the victims of some pen pushers having changed goal posts without any warning Sarah has certainly won respect.

Nice to know that even in Tory Disraeli inspired NuLabour there is little bit of old Labour still lurking around. Hope other fans of Disraeli in her Group won’t start picking upon her like they did in the cases of Don Thomas and Keith Morrell.

Perhaps if her Dear Leader led Group rather than trying to victimise Cllrs Don Thomas and Keith Morrell had appreciated the principles they exercised, then whole Group would also have been held in respect by most of us, the ordinary people.

But sadly by trying to send Don to Coventry NuLabour Group in the Council may not only have lost one of its best asset but may also have damaged the following of our exceptionally intelligent and hard working member of parliament Dr. Alan Whitehead, who had nothing to do with self inflicted wounds of NuLabour councillors local Group.
Wow…. What a nice surprise… Eventually in our NuLabour run Council a councillor has done something right. So congratulation to Cllr. Sarah Bogle on this issue. She deserves appreciation and full respect for making morally principled and correct decision. By offering real help to the cause of youngsters who are the victims of some pen pushers having changed goal posts without any warning Sarah has certainly won respect. Nice to know that even in Tory Disraeli inspired NuLabour there is little bit of old Labour still lurking around. Hope other fans of Disraeli in her Group won’t start picking upon her like they did in the cases of Don Thomas and Keith Morrell. Perhaps if her Dear Leader led Group rather than trying to victimise Cllrs Don Thomas and Keith Morrell had appreciated the principles they exercised, then whole Group would also have been held in respect by most of us, the ordinary people. But sadly by trying to send Don to Coventry NuLabour Group in the Council may not only have lost one of its best asset but may also have damaged the following of our exceptionally intelligent and hard working member of parliament Dr. Alan Whitehead, who had nothing to do with self inflicted wounds of NuLabour councillors local Group. Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

3:19pm Fri 12 Oct 12

loosehead says...

So basically the ones who passed in the January had an easy exam?
Whilst the council is slashing school budgets to restore pay I can't believe this.
Surely in exams you swat to be the best yet some how they now swat to just get through the test's with the marks they need?
If they aimed to get the highest marks on offer but actually need a lower mark they would be okay wouldn't they?
I was never told what score I had to achieve in any test in any company or further education to pass the course I just went out to achieve the highest possible score.
If the headmasters are saying it's not fair as the ones who took the tests earlier took an easier test fine retest them with the new one ( harder pass ) this would even it up wouldn't it?
So basically the ones who passed in the January had an easy exam? Whilst the council is slashing school budgets to restore pay I can't believe this. Surely in exams you swat to be the best yet some how they now swat to just get through the test's with the marks they need? If they aimed to get the highest marks on offer but actually need a lower mark they would be okay wouldn't they? I was never told what score I had to achieve in any test in any company or further education to pass the course I just went out to achieve the highest possible score. If the headmasters are saying it's not fair as the ones who took the tests earlier took an easier test fine retest them with the new one ( harder pass ) this would even it up wouldn't it? loosehead
  • Score: 0

5:44pm Fri 12 Oct 12

SaintM says...

money we have not got asted on kids who could not get a or b in such a simple exam, gcse are so easy they should never have failed and I know how easy they are, I did them and you only needed an inkling of a brain to pass them.
money we have not got asted on kids who could not get a or b in such a simple exam, gcse are so easy they should never have failed and I know how easy they are, I did them and you only needed an inkling of a brain to pass them. SaintM
  • Score: 0

8:22pm Fri 12 Oct 12

Lone Ranger. says...

SaintM wrote:
money we have not got asted on kids who could not get a or b in such a simple exam, gcse are so easy they should never have failed and I know how easy they are, I did them and you only needed an inkling of a brain to pass them.
If you passed them, then yes you are right ............ You just need an inkling of a brain
[quote][p][bold]SaintM[/bold] wrote: money we have not got asted on kids who could not get a or b in such a simple exam, gcse are so easy they should never have failed and I know how easy they are, I did them and you only needed an inkling of a brain to pass them.[/p][/quote]If you passed them, then yes you are right ............ You just need an inkling of a brain Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 0

10:41pm Fri 12 Oct 12

jonnyx says...

"an inkling of a brain" what a charming, but ultimately meaningless phrase - as is "the mind bogles!"
"an inkling of a brain" what a charming, but ultimately meaningless phrase - as is "the mind bogles!" jonnyx
  • Score: 0

11:07pm Fri 12 Oct 12

The Watcher says...

loosehead wrote:
So basically the ones who passed in the January had an easy exam?
Whilst the council is slashing school budgets to restore pay I can't believe this.
Surely in exams you swat to be the best yet some how they now swat to just get through the test's with the marks they need?
If they aimed to get the highest marks on offer but actually need a lower mark they would be okay wouldn't they?
I was never told what score I had to achieve in any test in any company or further education to pass the course I just went out to achieve the highest possible score.
If the headmasters are saying it's not fair as the ones who took the tests earlier took an easier test fine retest them with the new one ( harder pass ) this would even it up wouldn't it?
The council (of whatever political persuasion) aren't slashing school budgets, mainly due to them having no control over the funding of education.

Education funding is all centrally apportioned through an agreed funding mechanism.

Sadly, like many of the comments on this story, too many people simply haven't a clue as to what this issue involves.

Acadamies, state schools, independent schools and authorities of all political persuasions are involved in lobbying for a resolution to this unsatisfactory episode overseen by an inefficient and failing Quango (OFQUAL).
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: So basically the ones who passed in the January had an easy exam? Whilst the council is slashing school budgets to restore pay I can't believe this. Surely in exams you swat to be the best yet some how they now swat to just get through the test's with the marks they need? If they aimed to get the highest marks on offer but actually need a lower mark they would be okay wouldn't they? I was never told what score I had to achieve in any test in any company or further education to pass the course I just went out to achieve the highest possible score. If the headmasters are saying it's not fair as the ones who took the tests earlier took an easier test fine retest them with the new one ( harder pass ) this would even it up wouldn't it?[/p][/quote]The council (of whatever political persuasion) aren't slashing school budgets, mainly due to them having no control over the funding of education. Education funding is all centrally apportioned through an agreed funding mechanism. Sadly, like many of the comments on this story, too many people simply haven't a clue as to what this issue involves. Acadamies, state schools, independent schools and authorities of all political persuasions are involved in lobbying for a resolution to this unsatisfactory episode overseen by an inefficient and failing Quango (OFQUAL). The Watcher
  • Score: 0

11:23pm Fri 12 Oct 12

George4th says...

jonnyx wrote:
"an inkling of a brain" what a charming, but ultimately meaningless phrase - as is "the mind bogles!"
Might be a connection with Councillor Bogle?! Admittedly, it's stretching it a bit!
[quote][p][bold]jonnyx[/bold] wrote: "an inkling of a brain" what a charming, but ultimately meaningless phrase - as is "the mind bogles!"[/p][/quote]Might be a connection with Councillor Bogle?! Admittedly, it's stretching it a bit! George4th
  • Score: 0

12:00am Sat 13 Oct 12

Briar Rose says...

Sorry, but this is not what the council's money is for. There are hundreds of workers who have received possible redundancy letters and they are throwing money away on something that is not their responsibility. Please don't say it's 'only' £5000. That's a lot of money to waste and if they waste it like this they'll waste it elsewhere.
Sorry, but this is not what the council's money is for. There are hundreds of workers who have received possible redundancy letters and they are throwing money away on something that is not their responsibility. Please don't say it's 'only' £5000. That's a lot of money to waste and if they waste it like this they'll waste it elsewhere. Briar Rose
  • Score: 0

9:12am Sat 13 Oct 12

The Watcher says...

Briar Rose wrote:
Sorry, but this is not what the council's money is for. There are hundreds of workers who have received possible redundancy letters and they are throwing money away on something that is not their responsibility. Please don't say it's 'only' £5000. That's a lot of money to waste and if they waste it like this they'll waste it elsewhere.
This is about the Council sticking up for around 300 of its young citizens at an extremely crucial time in their development. Plus they do have a responsibility to ensure these pupils obtain a good education and the best qualifications as is possible.

Spending less than £20 per pupil and sticking up for their interests is exactly what a decent authority (whatever its political persuasion) should be doing.

They are serving these young citizens well and attempting to right a very poor injustice served up by a poor performing Quango.
[quote][p][bold]Briar Rose[/bold] wrote: Sorry, but this is not what the council's money is for. There are hundreds of workers who have received possible redundancy letters and they are throwing money away on something that is not their responsibility. Please don't say it's 'only' £5000. That's a lot of money to waste and if they waste it like this they'll waste it elsewhere.[/p][/quote]This is about the Council sticking up for around 300 of its young citizens at an extremely crucial time in their development. Plus they do have a responsibility to ensure these pupils obtain a good education and the best qualifications as is possible. Spending less than £20 per pupil and sticking up for their interests is exactly what a decent authority (whatever its political persuasion) should be doing. They are serving these young citizens well and attempting to right a very poor injustice served up by a poor performing Quango. The Watcher
  • Score: 0

1:37pm Sat 13 Oct 12

loosehead says...

The Watcher wrote:
loosehead wrote:
So basically the ones who passed in the January had an easy exam?
Whilst the council is slashing school budgets to restore pay I can't believe this.
Surely in exams you swat to be the best yet some how they now swat to just get through the test's with the marks they need?
If they aimed to get the highest marks on offer but actually need a lower mark they would be okay wouldn't they?
I was never told what score I had to achieve in any test in any company or further education to pass the course I just went out to achieve the highest possible score.
If the headmasters are saying it's not fair as the ones who took the tests earlier took an easier test fine retest them with the new one ( harder pass ) this would even it up wouldn't it?
The council (of whatever political persuasion) aren't slashing school budgets, mainly due to them having no control over the funding of education.

Education funding is all centrally apportioned through an agreed funding mechanism.

Sadly, like many of the comments on this story, too many people simply haven't a clue as to what this issue involves.

Acadamies, state schools, independent schools and authorities of all political persuasions are involved in lobbying for a resolution to this unsatisfactory episode overseen by an inefficient and failing Quango (OFQUAL).
Didn't you read the article about schools with Pfi buildings having their budgets slashed by the council?
Bitterne 54%?
Before you comment please read that article
[quote][p][bold]The Watcher[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: So basically the ones who passed in the January had an easy exam? Whilst the council is slashing school budgets to restore pay I can't believe this. Surely in exams you swat to be the best yet some how they now swat to just get through the test's with the marks they need? If they aimed to get the highest marks on offer but actually need a lower mark they would be okay wouldn't they? I was never told what score I had to achieve in any test in any company or further education to pass the course I just went out to achieve the highest possible score. If the headmasters are saying it's not fair as the ones who took the tests earlier took an easier test fine retest them with the new one ( harder pass ) this would even it up wouldn't it?[/p][/quote]The council (of whatever political persuasion) aren't slashing school budgets, mainly due to them having no control over the funding of education. Education funding is all centrally apportioned through an agreed funding mechanism. Sadly, like many of the comments on this story, too many people simply haven't a clue as to what this issue involves. Acadamies, state schools, independent schools and authorities of all political persuasions are involved in lobbying for a resolution to this unsatisfactory episode overseen by an inefficient and failing Quango (OFQUAL).[/p][/quote]Didn't you read the article about schools with Pfi buildings having their budgets slashed by the council? Bitterne 54%? Before you comment please read that article loosehead
  • Score: 0

8:35pm Sat 13 Oct 12

Lone Ranger. says...

The economic research institute said that public spending on education would fall by more than 13 per cent in real terms by 2014-15 - the largest cut in education spending over a four-year period since the 1950s.
.
Wasnt education protected from the cuts ....... along with the NHS.
.
Some posters would do well to remember this when they spout about previous governments policies on education.
.
The economic research institute said that public spending on education would fall by more than 13 per cent in real terms by 2014-15 - the largest cut in education spending over a four-year period since the 1950s. . Wasnt education protected from the cuts ....... along with the NHS. . Some posters would do well to remember this when they spout about previous governments policies on education. . Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 0

9:37pm Sat 13 Oct 12

loosehead says...

Lone Ranger. wrote:
The economic research institute said that public spending on education would fall by more than 13 per cent in real terms by 2014-15 - the largest cut in education spending over a four-year period since the 1950s.
.
Wasnt education protected from the cuts ....... along with the NHS.
.
Some posters would do well to remember this when they spout about previous governments policies on education.
.
Again you're wrong!
PFI's that were taken out by are last Labour council not Tory council weren't negotiated properly & are now way to expensive.
This isn't anything to do with cuts in Education by the Government but by a Labour council that's hammering schools for the last Labour council's mistakes.
Also Lone Ranger many NHS hospitals that were encouraged to take on PFI's to build new hospitals so the last Labour government could say look we're building new schools & hospitals are now to up the creek with out a paddle to the point one might have to declare itself bankrupt.
The Tories advocated this form of financing but didn't expect the government,councils or NHS trusts to negotiate such bad repayment terms
[quote][p][bold]Lone Ranger.[/bold] wrote: The economic research institute said that public spending on education would fall by more than 13 per cent in real terms by 2014-15 - the largest cut in education spending over a four-year period since the 1950s. . Wasnt education protected from the cuts ....... along with the NHS. . Some posters would do well to remember this when they spout about previous governments policies on education. .[/p][/quote]Again you're wrong! PFI's that were taken out by are last Labour council not Tory council weren't negotiated properly & are now way to expensive. This isn't anything to do with cuts in Education by the Government but by a Labour council that's hammering schools for the last Labour council's mistakes. Also Lone Ranger many NHS hospitals that were encouraged to take on PFI's to build new hospitals so the last Labour government could say look we're building new schools & hospitals are now to up the creek with out a paddle to the point one might have to declare itself bankrupt. The Tories advocated this form of financing but didn't expect the government,councils or NHS trusts to negotiate such bad repayment terms loosehead
  • Score: 0

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