THE head of a Bradford school has called for GCSE exams to be re-marked after results showed that just one per cent of pupils got C or above in their English writing, despite 52 per cent of the same pupils making the grade in reading.
Jen McIntosh, head of Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise College, has called the results a "major discrepancy."
The unusually low results in one of the most important subjects mean many students may struggle to get into the post 16 courses they want.
When the results were released on Thursday, Mrs McIntosh sent a letter to parents and pupils saying: "The college has identified a major discrepancy in marking all Unit 2 writing papers for WJEC GCSE English language. For clarification, whilst 52 per cent of students entered gained grades A* - C for Unit 1 reading - taken on the same day - only one per cent were awarded the same grade for Unit 2 writing. The college is requesting re-marks for all students for unit 2. We expect the re-mark to have a significant positive impact on the final grades for GCSE language."
Alisha Iqbal was one of the pupils who sat the English exams. She gained a B in reading but a U, the lowest grade, in writing, which gave her an overall D. She needed a C in the subject to get the five C grades or above needed to get onto an arts course at Hanson Academy. She says she was told that just one pupil in the entire year group passed the writing exam, and added: "I was predicted a B so it is very disappointing. This has happened to everyone apart from one person.
"I can't get on to do the courses I want now because I needed that English C or above. Everyone is quite surprised."
Her mum Lynette Hanson said: "You need that English GCSE to apply for most things. I'm going to take her to (youth advice service) Connexions to see what we can do."
Cllr Ralph Berry, portfolio holder for children's services at Bradford Council, said he had been informed that the exam board had acknowledged the odd figures, and agreed to pay for a re-mark. He added: "The school have rightly challenged the marks. We won't know what the marks are for a few weeks, and I share parents' and pupils' anger about this and I think the school has done the right thing to challenge this. The school hasn't got things wrong, it looks like it was the examiners."
Bradford East MP David Ward said: "This is something that needs to be looked at, something is clearly wrong with these results - they defy any logical explanation. The results need to be reviewed."