Clive Sheldon QC on standby for GCSE judicial review

Clive Sheldon QC of 11KBW is on standby to launch a judicial review bid into the GCSE English marking fiasco for the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).

ASCL said a pre-action protocol letter had been issued and the full claim could be launched as soon as next week.

The letter, which was sent to the AQA and Edexcel exam boards as well as Ofqual, set out plans for legal action over decisions by the boards to increase the boundary for a grade C in GCSE English between January and June this year.

It is understood that more than 20 local authorities, including Manchester, Salford, Leeds, Brighton, Hackney LBC and Lewisham LBC, are considering whether to back the claim, which is being led by ASCL.

The action is expected to go ahead despite today’s announcement that more than 45,000 pupils will be allowed to resit the exam next month.

Sheldon, who will lead 11KBW’s Joseph Barratt, is regularly instructed for the Government. In the summer he was successful in preventing a judicial review of the decision to convert a school into an academy from going ahead, having been instructed by Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove.

He also represented the Government in defence of its decision to remove Sharon Shoesmith as director of Children’s Services at the London Borough of Haringey in the wake of the Baby P case (27 May 2011) and last year was instructed for the Government after it attempted to scrap budgets for the Building Schools for the Future campaign (11 February 2011).