Brighton and Hove City Council has added its voice to the growing number of local authorities, schools and teaching unions calling for legal action over GCSE marking.

Officials said the authority was standing up for students by backing a legal challenge over the grading of GCSE English examinations taken in June.

The alliance of councils, schools and unions is taking legal action against the examinations regulator Ofqual and exam boards AQA and Edexcel.

They are seeking a judicial review of the “unfair and irrational” decision to change the grade boundaries between January and June examinations without giving a specific warning to schools.

The grade boundaries were readjusted by ten marks for a C award for the foundation English qualification between the exams.

A council official described the change of boundary as “radical and totally unprecedented”.

Terry Parkin, the council’s strategic director of people, said: “It is vitally important that students and schools have confidence in the integrity of the examination system and the process of judicial review allows us to start rebuilding confidence where it has been shaken.”

“We accept that examining grading is as much an art as a science: we cannot accept that the processes that underpin it are as arbitrary as they appear to have been.”