Outrage as teachers become 'scapegoats' in GCSE marks debacle
A BRISTOL head teacher has hit back at claims that teachers abused the exam system to boost grades, causing a fiasco which saw thousands of pupils receive lower than predicted English GCSE marks this summer.
Chief regulator Glenys Stacey laid blame for the national debacle on intense pressure on schools to reach certain targets, which led to over-marking, as well as poorly designed exams and too much emphasis on work marked by teachers.
But David Carter, executive principal of the Cabot Learning Federation, which runs Bristol Metropolitan Academy in Fishponds, reacted angrily to the suggestion and said teachers should not be made scapegoats.
Mr Carter said: "The idea is that teachers have in some way compromised their integrity over this. They do the best for the kids and don't cross the line and cheat.
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"When you are making a piece of work, teachers would set the stimulus the child would work on and mark the essay using criteria set down by the exam board, then it is moderated by the exam boards.
"Ofqual's job is to make sure of the fairness and accuracy of the exam system. But standards were different between January and June so that bit remains unanswered."
Mr Carter said students at the academy had been revising over half term with teachers ahead of their exam retakes on Friday.
Tens of thousands of students, including 13 at Bristol Metropolitan Academy, expected to achieve Cs but ended up with Ds in the new English GCSEs which were based on written exam papers and coursework.