Despite recording its best ever GCSE results the borough was also affected by the national problems around the marking of English GCSE.
Council Liam Smith, expressed his: “… frustration and disappointment” with the decision of the examination boards and highlighted the good work of teachers, Heads and pupils in Barking and Dagenham schools.
Marks needed to get a Grade C, an essential requirement for many Post 16 courses, were raised during the final part of the course. This meant pupils who sat the examination in June would need to get more marks than those who completed all of the examination components by January.
Councillor Smith said: “In a borough like ours where school results have risen year on year and our pupils are excelling against all odds, moving the goal post in this manner might in the long term jeopardise the futures of some of our young people.
“If the Education Secretary Michael Gove himself could admit that students who sat GCSEs this year were treated unfairly, then this issue needs to be looked at seriously. Although I do not agree with his assertion that it goes beyond his remit to order the grade boundaries be adjusted.”
Some pupils in most schools in the borough have been affected and head teachers have joined their Unions, pupils and parents in condemning the situation.
Speaking on behalf of Barking and Dagenham Head teachers, Sir Paul Grant, Head of Robert Clack School said: “We abhor what has happened to the prospects of young people in our borough. We feel they have been wronged and may lose out through no fault of theirs and because someone else decided to move the goal post.
“Here in Barking and Dagenham we take our responsibilities to our young people very seriously and we are determined to do all in our power to ensure the wrong done to these young people is put right and they can achieve their fullest potential – something we are confident they are capable of doing.”
Councillor Liam Smith added that: “We are very disappointed that young people have been treated in this way and we will be supporting the national campaign to get the achievements of these students recognized.”