Students in Barking and Dagenham to re-take GCSE English after exam row

Up to 169 students in Barking and Dagenham could be retaking their English GCSEs next month after a nation-wide row over grades.

Pupils from England, Wales and Northern Ireland have been offered the chance to redo part or all of their GCSE English for free after complaining they had been downgraded.

Barking and Dagenham Council said potentially 169 students in the borough could re-sit, but was not aware at this stage how many will do so.

Meanwhile an alliance of heads’ and teachers’ unions is submitting a legal challenge to the High Court. They want the exams, taken in June, to be re-marked.

Valerie Dennis, head teacher of Eastbrook School in Dagenham, said 11 students of their pupils who got D grade in English would be re-taking their exams.

“They shouldn’t have to do re-sits, the exams should be re-graded,” she told the Post. “However, as it looks like this may not happen it’s important we give our students a chance to improve their marks.

“But through the unions we will continue to fight the matter.”

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The AQA exam board, which has the largest market share for English GCSE, has previously said it “followed the correct procedures and awarded the right grades” but understood students’ disappointment.