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Home Kent News Article
by Emma Grove
Almost 90 teenagers have received higher grades in their GCSE English language exam after academy bosses fought for a remark.
The change in results also brings a first for Sheppey as it means more than 40% of candidates gained at least five A* to C grades.
Following a national scandal about the way the papers were graded, The Isle of Sheppey Academy principal David Day demanded a remark.
Two inquiries saw papers sent back from exam board AQA with no change - but a third attempt was successful and 88 students have now had their papers remarked, resulting in higher grades.
The school is believed to be one of the first in the country to achieve this.
One pupil has gone from an A to an A*; 10 pupils from a B to an A; 23 from a C to a B; 39 from a D to a C; nine from an E to a D; four from an F to an E; one from a G to an F and one who had failed now has a G – which is a pass.
The news was announced to candidates, who had no idea teachers were trying for a remark, in a special assembly at the west site in Sheerness yesterday afternoon.
Of the 369 youngsters who took the exams, it means 150 (41%) have now achieved at least five A* to C grades, including English and maths.
This has not only put the school above the national target of 40%, but is also the first time the academy has achieved such high results.
Mr Day said: "What pushed me to keep trying was that I was convinced my teachers' assessments were correct.
"They had training in exam board assessment and in the actual marking procedure for this exam which they had followed to the letter.
"I'm delighted the students of the academy have now received the GCSE English language results they deserve.
"This is also vindication for the very accurate marking of the English teachers at the academy and the superb professionalism in preparing pupils for exam success.
"As far as I'm aware, we are the first school to have successfully taken this on.
"It's the first time ever in the history of secondary education on the Island more than 40% of children have achieved that.
"It means every youngster who has an A* to C can put on their CV and job applications that magical grade which will open the doors to a wide spectrum of employment opportunities."
A spokesman for the AQA exam board explained it is not the grade boundaries that have been changed, but that remarking has resulted in the grades going up.
"If schools are concerned about their marks, they can ask us to take another look and if they are unsatisfied with that outcome they can challenge it," the spokesman added.
"We have worked closely with the school and in this case a second moderator awarded higher marks, resulting in a number of grade changes in one part of the overall GCSE."
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