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Happy ending for some pupils hit by grading fiasco

A quarter of pupils who re-sat the controversial English GCSE last month after being awarded Ds in the summer have gone one better and achieved C grades, new figures suggest. TES analysis shows that the pupils made their improvements despite grade boundaries being set at broadly the same highly contentious levels as they were for June's results, although it is not known whether the difficulty of papers was also constant. Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the fact that "so many thousands of students have improved so dramatically in a period of weeks is further proof that their teachers' original assessments were correct and that the summer results were not a true reflection of their achievement". Overall, 16,783 pupils re-sat GCSE English in November. Figures from all the boards show that 24.9 per cent achieved a C or better. Among the three boards based in England, of 9,140 candidates who gained a D in June and then re-sat, 25.8 per cent gained a C. These figures do not include less controversial English language results. The result of a High Court challenge to June's grades is now not expected until the new year.

DfE reveals what Spag boils down to

Details of the spelling, punctuation and grammar test (Spag) that will be sat by all Year 6 children next summer have been released by the Department for Education. The grammar, punctuation and vocabulary part will contain short questions and take 45 minutes. A further 15 minutes will be spent on the spelling test of 20 words. A level 6 test for the most able children has also been developed, which will include an extended piece of writing where children can demonstrate their abilities.

SEN statement replacement doesn't join all the dots

New joint education, health and care plans will not alone "be sufficient" to make the NHS cooperate with teachers to support children with special educational needs and disabilities, MPs have said. The plans will replace statements after 2014 but doctors will not be obliged to participate fully, the Commons Education Select Committee said in a report published this week. "The active involvement of the NHS in commissioning, delivery and redress is critical to the success of the legislation," the report said.

Wales gets sixth education director in seven years

The Welsh government has appointed a new head for its education department after a two-month search. Owen Evans, who was the government's director of skills and HE, will be the sixth director general for education and skills in the last seven years. Mr Evans will be responsible for all elements of education and skills in Wales, as well as the Welsh language.

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