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Thursday, 25 October, 2001, 08:15 GMT 09:15 UK
Examiner sacked over GCSE row
GCSE results
Jeffrey Robinson said the results were manufactured
A senior examiner who claimed GCSE were being systematically "dumbed down" has been sacked by his board.

Jeffrey Robinson, formerly a maths examiner for the Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations board (OCR), said improving results were down to lower pass marks, rather than harder work on the part of pupils.

Jeffrey Robinson
Mr Robinson is to mount a legal challenge against the ruling
He said exam boards were "massaging" pass rates as they competed for business from schools desperate for good results for school league table ratings.

Mr Robinson, 67, made the claims in August, as the number of pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland achieving grades A* to C rose by 0.5% on last year to 57.1%.

The OCR has dismissed Mr Robinson over his comments, but he plans to launch a legal challenge against the ruling.

Chief executive of Cambridge International Examinations, Ken Murray, said he would not go into details of the dismissal, which could jeopardise any future court action.

"He has been relieved of his duties because of breach of contract," he said.

He has been relieved of his duties because of breach of contract

Ken Murray, Cambridge International Examinations
Constructive dismissal

Mr Robinson said he was hoping to claim constructive dismissal and planned to take his case to an industrial tribunal.

"I feel sore and upset that after 16 years of service this chap who I've never met has just summarily dismissed me without a word of thanks or asking to speak to me or anything," said Mr Robinson.

He insisted he had not broken any confidentiality rules as all the statistics on which he had based his claims were already in the public domain.

"I was merely pointing out what happened over the last 10 years and therefore my solicitors think I've got a sound case, that the grounds on which I was dismissed weren't good enough."

Mr Robinson's comments led to calls for a review of GCSE standards.

Last week, the Education Secretary, Estelle Morris, said the inquiry had found GCSEs were harder now than they were in 1989.

See also:

18 Oct 01 | Education
Exams 'not easier'
23 Aug 01 | Education
Top GCSE grades 'a fix'
23 Aug 01 | Education
GCSE grades rise again
23 Aug 01 | Education
Learning after GCSEs 'a lottery'
21 Aug 01 | Education
Four passes out of one exam
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