Thousands of pupils across the UK will be experiencing a sickening sense of déjà vu as they prepare to receive their GCSE results for a second time this year following a re-sit.
Around 45,000 students re-took their GCSE English papers in November after exams watchdog Ofqual admitted raising the grade boundaries to avoid inflation.
The regulator, led by Glenys Stacey, bowed to pressure following protests, legal challenges and petitions by parents, students and schools alike who said the shift in boundaries had "destroyed lives".
Headteachers have deemed the re-sits a "gross injustice" and a fight to get the original papers remarked is currently playing out in the High Court.
Thousands of students received lower than expected results in GCSE English in the summer after grade boundaries were raised between the January and June exam sessions.
Ofqual conducted an inquiry into the fiasco and concluded January's GCSE English assessments were "graded generously" but the June boundaries were set correctly and candidates' work properly marked.
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In Wales, education minister Leighton Andrews ordered the country's WJEC exam board to re-grade the English Language GCSE, but students across the border have been left with no choice but to re-sit. Andrews' decision was heavily criticised by England's education secretary Michael Gove, who said it was a "regrettable political intervention".
Glenys Stacey came under fire after it was revealed GCSE grading problems were identified three years ago, but Ofqual failed to act. The watchdog has vowed to fight the High Court battle but during a commons select committee grilling, Stacey admitted communication "could have been better".
Mike Griffiths, president of the Association of School and College Leaders, said re-sits are "not the answer".
Griffiths, who forms part of the alliance challenging Ofqual in court, said: "Let’s not forget the tens of thousands of students who had their hopes raised by these resits only to have them dashed again."
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