‘If concerns are expressed, we look into them. We’ve done that.’ When Glenys Stacey appeared on Sky News this evening after Ofqual finally published its initial report into the gradings of the GCSE English exams, she had an air of finality about her. What the chief executive of the regulator was trying to suggest, as she discussed the report’s findings with the presenter, was that this was the end of the row.
Even though Ofqual’s report said the problem with last week’s GCSE results was not that the papers taken in June had been marked too harshly, but that those sat in January were marked too generously, this is not the end of the row by any means.
The unions continue to call for an independent inquiry. Meanwhile, Labour’s shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg is demanding that Gove make a statement to Parliament to ‘explain to the public how it came about that pupils could receive such different treatment from exam boards and to set out his plans for clearing up this mess’. Conveniently for Twigg, Gove has education questions on Monday, so even if the Speaker does not grant an urgent question, MPs can still use topical questions to grill the education secretary.
Gove could try to turn the row around to point to the long-term reforms that he is plotting that I blogged about earlier. He is not the sort of man to squirm under the pressure of even the angriest Labour frontbench wearing their very best angry frowns. But while his session in the Chamber is unlikely to cause him much discomfort, he still faces the threat of legal challenge from the Association of School and College Leaders.Tags: Education, GCSEs, Michael Gove, UK politics