GCSE grades 2020: Appeals triple after exams cancelled

The number of upheld appeals for last summer's GCSE and A-level grades soared by over 500 per cent compared with 2019
17th December 2020, 10:56am
Catherine Lough

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GCSE grades 2020: Appeals triple after exams cancelled

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Gcse & A-level Results 2020: Huge Rise In Appeals Over Grades After Exams Cancelled

The number of GCSE and A-level grades that sparked appeals resulting in a grade change skyrocketed in 2020, new government data shows.

Overall, the number of appeals of GCSE grades almost tripled, with 2,215 in June 2020 compared with 745 in the same period in 2019.

The number of upheld GCSE appeals leading to a grade change also soared, leaping by 550 per cent to 1,755 in 2020, compared with 270 in 2019.


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At A level, the number of upheld appeals resulting in a grade change also rocketed by 563 per cent to 995 for last summer's assessment, compared with 150 in June 2019.

GCSE and A-level results 2020: Huge rise in upheld appeals

The percentage of GCSE grade appeals upheld in summer 2020 (83 per cent) increased compared with 57 per cent in summer 2019.

"The changes between summer 2019 and summer 2020 reflect the difference in the appeals process in summer 2020. Direct comparisons between years are not valid and need to be treated with caution," the government said in a statement. 

The generosity of the 2020 summer grades will be maintained for next year's exams, but averaged out across subjects.

Yesterday, MPs called on education secretary Gavin Williamson to provide a "route map" to ensure that grade inflation caused by temporary changes to GCSE and A-level assessment is not "baked" permanently into the exams system.

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