I am not an expert, but I do possess some experience of GCEGCSE English which tells me, emphatically, that a sizeable proportion of candidates who obtained grade C in English this summer would have been struggling to gain a basic understanding of the sort of reading extracts the candidate of 20 years ago had to negotiate. The standards simply do not compare.
By all means let's acknowledge that the exams have changed; but let us not pretend that claims to have preserved a standard are any other than absurd. It is a scandalous attempt to disguise the grade inflation resulting from the competitive market ethos and the increasing imperative to satisfy fashionable obsessions of the politicians.
Washington, Tyne and Wear