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Lewisham pupils in GCSE row serve legal papers on Ofqual, AQA and Edexcel
AN alliance of 167 pupils, 150 schools and 42 councils, including Lewisham, have served legal papers on exam regulator Ofqual along with the AQA and Edexcel boards.
The papers detail a case for the regrading of GCSE English papers taken in the summer, when pupils faced a tougher grade boundaries than those sitting exams earlier in the year.
According to the group, around 10,000 students who took their English GCSE exam in June consequently missed out on a C grade as a result of the change.
The statement of claim says: "The decisions have prejudiced the life chances of thousands of children. The immediate effects of the decisions include children being unable to progress in education, losing vocational opportunities and jobs and being unable to gain employment.
"The children affected by the decisions were entitled to be treated in a fair, consistent and rational manner by the defendants. They were not.
"The decisions are incompatible with the most elementary principles of fairness, rationality and good administration. They are unlawful and should be quashed."
Headteacher at St Matthew Academy in Blackheath Michael Barry said: "Some of our students have missed out on the courses they wanted to do, changed their career plans completely, and may still be harshly judged in the future by colleges, universities or potential employers.
"This is our last chance to put this right and get the re-grading we need and our students deserve."
Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock said: "While it is plain to see to most reasonable people that what has happened is just not fair, Ofqual and the boards have refused the opportunity to clear up their own mess.
"We have no alternative now but to pursue this through the court to get justice for our young people."
The claim challenges the decision first exam boards to increase the C grade boundary and also the decision by Ofqual to approve, or fail to reverse, that change.
An Ofqual spokesman said: “We continue to prepare for the judicial review process and we will rigorously defend our decisions.
"Our work to understand why some schools’ results differed significantly from their expectations is continuing and we will report again shortly.”