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Private grudge

It is no surprise that David James celebrates the "demise" of GCSE ("A real result for pupils, TES, March 3). Twenty years after GCSE replaced the divisive CSEO-level system, it is a great success story with most students achieving at least five C grades, and so gaining access to post-16 education.

Many comprehensives get comparable results to private schools such as Mr James's. His response is to denigrate GCSE marking. Yet there is no evidence that marking of international GCSE is more reliable. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that elite private schools are adopting the international GCSE as a way of differentiating themselves from state schools.

John Hopkin

30 Greenhill Road

Moseley, Birmingham

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