A levels and GCSEs will need appeals for mocks to count

More detail on last gasp DfE ‘triple lock’ plan to avert results backlash emerges, with Ofqual asked to work out the details

William Stewart

triple lock

Students wanting to make their mock A level or GCSE grades official will first have to get their school to appeal against results handed out by exam boards, it has been revealed.

The Department for Education is providing more details of its last-minute “triple lock” plan, announced late last night, aimed at quelling fears over results being issued tomorrow and next week.

The coronavirus cancellation of exams means the results will be based on calculated grades. But a similar process in Scotland has already provoked huge controversy leading to a government U-turn yesterday.  

Background: Mock A-level and GCSE grades to equal official results

U-turnSQA results: All downgraded results to be withdrawn

Revealed: A levels: 40% of teacher assessed grades changed

The DfE's mocks plan is an attempt to head off similar controversy in England. But it is now clear that the acceptance of mock grades for actual GCSEs and A levels will depend on appeals being made.

In a statement, the DfE says: “Students who would like to use a valid mock result will be able to do so through the appeals process, with individuals notifying their school or college who will provide evidence of their mock results to their exam board.”

But as students are not allowed to appeal results themselves, then the appeal to get a mock grade will have to come from schools.

It is not clear whether the rules will be changed so that pupils have an automatic right for these appeals for mocks to take place. Under the existing rules schools have the final say on appeals, so students might have to persuade them to go ahead.

The details will be for Ofqual to work out. The DfE says it has asked the exams regulator to “determine how and when valid mock results can be used to calculate grades”.

The Department says that under the “triple lock” students can “accept their calculated grade, appeal to receive a valid mock result, or sit autumn exams to ensure the achievements of young people are recognised”.

It says: “All outcomes will hold the same value for universities, colleges and employers, building on the significant number of students who will still progress as a result of their calculated grades.”

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Every young person waiting for their results wants to know they have been treated fairly.

“By ensuring students have the safety net of their mock results, as well as the chance of sitting autumn exams, we are creating a triple lock process to ensure confidence and fairness in the system.

“No one wanted to cancel exams – they are the best form of assessment, but the disruption caused by Covid-19 meant they were not possible.

“This triple lock system will help provide reassurance to students and ensure they are able to progress with the next stage of their lives.”

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William Stewart

William Stewart

William Stewart is News editor at Tes

Find me on Twitter @wstewarttes

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