Larne High head’s concern over grade boundary row

LARNE High School principal John Armstrong has said pupils, parents and teachers can be proud of a “sterling” set of GCSE exam results.

Top performers at the school included Jithin Kuriakose (five As and three Bs), an Indian pupil who came to the school in Year 10 with English as his second language. Other notable successes included Ashleigh-Louise Smith (one A*, two As, one B and three Cs), Alister Martin (one A, five Bs and one C) and Anna Carmichael (two As, three Bs and two Cs).

But Mr Armstrong was keen to point out that he is proud of all his pupils who achieved results to the best of their abilities.

“In the context of a secondary school, we take equal pride in pupils across a wide range of abilities. For example, someone who has special needs and obtains five Es at GCSE has achieved just as much as someone at a grammar school who got five A*s.

“I also want to congratulate all those young people in Larne Learning Community who have done so well and all the teachers involved.”

Meanwhile, Mr Armstong also expressed his concern with the ongoing row over grade boundaries for GCSE English.

It has been reported that certain exam boards raised grade boundaries for GCSE English this summer, leading to claims that pupils were marked too harshly, with many unexpectedly failing to get a benchmark C grade.

And Mr Armstrong has now joined a chorus of other head teachers across the country who are pressing for the English GCSE exams to be regraded.

“I am appalled at this situation, as it could well have negatively impacted the grades of a number of our pupils in a very important subject. Some pupils have been awarded a D when they were expecting a C, and I fear that many young people have been disadvantaged,” he concluded.