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A-LEVELS: Cheney to appeal on 'harsh marking' of English and art
CHENEY School is preparing to challenge two exam boards over what it described as “scandalous” marking.
For the fourth year running the school in Cheney Lane, Headington will send English literature papers back to exam board AQA for remarking.
And it will also be asking questions about the marking of art papers by Edexcel.
While the pass rate remained at 98 per cent, those getting A* to A grades fell 31 to 30 per cent compared with 2012 while A* to B fell 57 to 52 per cent.
Head of sixth form Tim Lawrence said the results of 29 English and 25 art exam papers will be questioned.
He added: “It is a scandal.
“We have seen a pattern of very strong students who we are certain are ‘A’ students getting E and D grades.
“It is extremely demoralising for both students and teachers. It undermines our faith of teachers in the whole exam system.”
AQA spokeswoman Rose Obianwu said: “If schools are concerned about their marks, they can ask us to take another look via our ‘enquiries about results’ services and if they are unsatisfied with an outcome of that they can go through our appeals service.
“We will happily work with Cheney School on this matter.”
Edexcel said it had taken great care to ensure the fairest outcomes were achieved, and encouraged schools to request remarks if they had concerns.
Countywide, about 90 per cent of pupils are thought to have achieved at least two A-Levels, while about 45 per cent received two A* to B grades — a percentage point lower than last year.
Top of the state schools for a second year running was Oxford’s Cherwell School, with 36 per cent of all exams graded at A or A*, although that represented a four percentage point drop on the previous year.
Twelve students are going to Cambridge, and two to Oxford.
Among its top achievers was Harry Hudson, 18, from Headington, who got four A*s. He said: “Relieved I think is the word. The whole summer holidays seem to have been building towards this, it is nice to have it out the way.”
Headteacher Paul James said: “We are really pleased the students’ and teachers’ hard work has paid off. “ The Marlborough School, Woodstock, posted a huge increase in the top grades, with 34 per cent of exams marked at A* or A — 10 percentage points higher than last year.
At Henry Box School, Witney,16 pupils achieved three or more A and A* grades.
King Alfred’s Academy, Wantage, posted its best results in a decade, with 64 per cent of all entries a B or higher — and 33 per cent of those were A or A*s.
And there were improvements across the board at Oxford Spires Academy, with the proportion of A* and As rising from nine to 15 per cent, and Bs and above moving from 27 to 35 per cent.
There were some eye-wateringly impressive success stories at Oxfordshire’s top independent schools, with 12 per cent of girls at Oxford High School going on to study medicine, while at Abingdon School, 72 boys gained three or more A-Level passes at A or A*.
Oxfordshire County Council education head Melinda Tilley said: “I am pleased because although it doesn’t seem much different from last year, I think the marking system has got more difficult.”
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