Hatfield school investigates concerns over GCSE science grades

PUBLISHED: 09:52 26 September 2017

Onslow St Audrey's headteacher Michael Harpham.

Onslow St Audrey's headteacher Michael Harpham.


A Hatfield school is investigating GCSE results in double science following complaints that grades were dramatically lower than predicted.

According to figures shown to Onslow St Audrey’s pupils, around 90 per cent of the class failed the subject with a U despite many of them having been predicted much higher.

Two parents, both of whom wish to remain anonymous, have contacted the Welwyn Hatfield Times saying that their children believed much of the material in the exam papers had not been covered in class at all.

One pupil had achieved a BB in her mock exams and an A* in her coursework, but on results day got a DD.

This was the highest grade awarded in that class.

The pupil had needed at least a C to be able to continue onto her chosen subject at A-level.

“My daughter was horrified - she’s just hit rock bottom,” said the parent.

“She revised so much. Lots of them did.

“I’m panicking and I know a lot of the other parents are panicking too.

“We don’t know where to turn.”

Another child achieved a B/C in the mock exams but got a U on results day.

Her mother said: “I know she worked hard because I revised with her.

“She came home from the exam and said there was nothing in the exam sheet that she had revised, which leads me to believe that they weren’t learning the right curriculum for the exam.”

Both parents called for an investigation into what happened.

“I’d like to either hear an apology or the fact that they’ll regrade the papers.

“An investigation is the least they can do,” said the mother.

Onslow St Audrey’s is an academy so is not regulated by Hertfordshire County Council.

In March this year, Ofsted gave the school an overall grade of “needs improvement”, with inspectors recognising that the school had recently been through a significant period of change.

The mother of the pupil who got a D says that the school has not yet given her child an answer on what action to take now.

“The school wasn’t any help on the day the results were put up,” she said.

“I’m just really concerned that the school is completely dropping the ball massively.”

Headteacher Mike Harpham said: “In the summer, our Sixth Form students enjoyed very successful results, with considerably more achieving the higher grades than in previous years, especially in BTEC qualifications.

“Similarly, our Year 11 students produced a number of success stories in their GCSEs.

“We had a 100% pass rate in the triple Science course with three students achieving two A’s and an A*, however, the achievement in the double Science award did not match the high standards we set of ourselves.

“As a result, we are now investigating these results.

“It would be inappropriate to comment until this process has been completed, but once it has, we will be taking the necessary steps to ensure all of our students achieve their full potential across the curriculum.”

More news stories

A Welwyn Garden City man is lacing up his running shoes to tackle the London Marathon in a bid to fight brain tumours after the disease took the lives of loved ones.


A woman has been ordered to pay more than £1,300 after driving without due care and attention in a Welwyn Garden City car park.

Yesterday, 12:22

Police have confirmed that a man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following a stabbing in Welwyn Garden City last night.

Yesterday, 17:51

There’s less than one week left to respond to Hertfordshire County Council’s Local Transport Plan, which the council says will mean a major shakeup of the county’s transport networks in a bid to help them cope in the future.

Promoted Content

Results Day may feel like the be all and end all, but the reality is that whatever is in that envelope – you now have choices. Chances to chase your dreams, try something new, challenge yourself, or step out of your comfort zone.

Read more

Digital Edition

Read the Welwyn Hatfield Times e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read stories

Local business directory

Hertfordshire's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards