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MP and students call for fairer English GCSE exam system in England

MP Phil Wilson has pledged his support to a petition set up by three students from Greenfield College in Newton Aycliffe demanding a fairer exam system for English Language and English Literature GCSE.


Aidan Wong (15), Melissa Foster (16), and Christine Davis (15) recently discovered that whilst state schools had to sit the new English GCSE, which is subject to 100% examination, independent schools can now opt to do the new International GCSE which retains a 40% course work component. The students, who were outraged at the disparity which they believe gives an unfair advantage to students at independent schools, launched their petition to try bring about change. They want everyone in England to know about the inherent unfairness in the new system, and hope people will sign their petition.

Their plight certainly caught the attention of local MP Phil Wilson, who was appalled by the differences between GCSE English in state and independent schools.

Mr Wilson said “All I want is for young people is , regardless of the type of school they attend, to be on a level playing field and have an equal opportunity to succeed.”

“The difference between the GSCE English which state schools have no choice but to teach, and the International GCSE which independent schools can opt to do, creates disparity and inequality in our education system, and that is totally unacceptable.’

Mr Wilson is therefore, asking for as many people as possible to sign Aidan, Melissa, and Christine’s petition.

A spokesperson for the students told the Newton News “We aren’t attempting to make it worse for Independent Schools, we are simply trying to make it the same for English State Schools.”

“Signing the petition is a small step to achieving equality in education.”

Head Teacher David Priestley told the Newton News “We are proud of these young people who are seeking support to challenge an injustice. The new English GCSE qualification appear flawed when only state schools in England have to do 100% final examinations with the rest of the UK and the independent sector retaining some element of course work in their examinations.”

Please sign the petition here.

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