Monday, 28 Sep 2020

GCSE results: How to appeal your results – Options explained

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Exams could not go ahead this year as planned due to coronavirus. And as results have started to be released this month, the grading system has caused a public backlash. On Thursday, August 20 students will be receiving their GCSE results in England.

In the absence of any exams this year, schools and colleges were asked to submit predicted grades for their students known as Centre Assessment Grades (CAG).

However exam boards in Scotland and England downgraded thousands of students based on a moderation algorithm.

Scotland scrapped this moderation system after a public outcry, as a disproportionate number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds were downgraded by the algorithm.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is also facing calls to resign after the Government made a U-turn on Ofqual’s moderation system earlier this week.

Ofqual have apologised for the “uncertainty and anxiety” caused by their approach to exams this year.

Oqual said in a statement: “Our goal has always been to protect the trust that the public rightly has in educational qualifications.

“But we recognise that while the approach we adopted attempted to achieve these goals we also appreciate that it has also caused real anguish and damaged public confidence.

“Expecting schools to submit appeals where grades were incorrect placed a burden on teachers when they need to be preparing for the new term and has created uncertainty and anxiety for students. For all of that, we are extremely sorry.”

The Department for Education has stood by the exam regulator, despite the chaos the body’s approach has caused for thousands of students across the country.

The Department for Education said: “As the Government has made clear, we have full confidence in Ofqual and its leadership in their role as independent regulator and we continue to work closely with Ofqual to deliver fair results for our young people at this unprecedented time.

“The decision they took to move from moderated grades to centre assessed grades was one that we agreed with.

“Our focus remains on working with Ofqual to ensure students receive their final GCSE, AS level and A-level results this week so that they can move on to the next stage of their lives.”

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How can you appeal an exam result?

Ofqual will award GCSE grades on the basis of what teachers submitted, rather than moderated grade calculations.

If you are not happy with your grade you will have the option of sitting an exam in November, and your higher result from either summer or autumn will be used for your final grade.

But like any other year, appeals will still be permitted for exam results this year.

The Ofqual guidance states: “In line with the direction given to us by the Secretary of State for Education, a centre may appeal to the exam board if it believes the centre itself made an error when submitting a centre assessment grade or rank order information or if it believes an exam board made a mistake when calculating, assigning or communicating a grade.

“We expect that any mistakes will be quickly found and corrected.”

You will need to go through your school or college if you would like to appeal your GCSE grades.

You will have the option to ask if your school will request a review, and to make an appeal to Ofqual on your behalf.

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