SEVEN high schools have joined forces in a letter to The Bury Times to claim that English teachers have been unfairly tainted by Ofqual following a GCSE exams row.

The letter condemns the comments made by Ofqual that the controversy over English GCSE outcomes in June was the fault of teachers — who are said to have over-marked controlled assessments — and schools under pressure to achieve good grades.

It has been claimed that up to 67,000 pupils hoping for C grades in June’s English GCSE exams were instead awarded a D. Ofqual, the regulator of qualifications, examinations and assessments in England, stressed the grade boundaries in June were correct.

The letter sent to the Bury Times was co-written by Brian Roadnight, deputy headteacher at Ramsbottom’s Woodhey High School and his counterpart at Tottington High School, Imelda McLaughlin.

“Copies were sent to other high schools’ headteachers and they emailed me back to say they wanted to be included,” said Mr Roadnight.

The letter has been endorsed by Broad Oak High, Castlebrook High, Philips High, Parrenthorn High and Manchester Mesivta.

Mr Roadnight said that 91 pupils at Woodhey High School were among thousands nationwide who resat their English GCSE exam last week.

Mr Roadnight said he planned to send a similar letter, embracing the relevant points, to Ofqual.

In a letter on Ofqual’s website, written to a headteacher by its chief regulator, Glenys Stacey said: “We make it very clear in our report that we are not blaming teachers.”

On the question of whether Ofqual has evidence of over-marking, the chief regulator added that they did.

The letter added: “The issue is this: while over-marking was mainly within moderation tolerances, if a significant proportion of schools over-mark, even within moderation tolerances, there is an inevitable impact on grade boundary setting as examiners set grade boundaries by judging the quality of the work.”