GCSEs 2021: Schools have no 'discretion' over appeals

Students have an automatic right to appeal to exam boards, according to new Ofqual guidance

Catherine Lough

Exam appeals: SQA ‘on path’ to returning exam scripts to pupils

Schools and colleges will have "no discretion" over whether or not to submit appeals, according to new Ofqual guidance on grading of GCSEs and A levels for this summer.

In a new consultation on the guidance for grading, the exam board proposes that, unlike in other years, this year every student will be able to ask the school which determined their teacher-assessed grade to carry out a review and submit an appeal to the exam board on their behalf.

In previous years, students would request a review of examiners' marking of their script and then an appeal against their result, with the school able to decide whether or not a review or appeal should be pursued.

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The guidance adds that the school "will have no discretion whether or not to conduct the review or submit the appeal".

And in the case of a school not having necessary arrangements to conduct reviews or submit appeals in place, a student may complain to the exam board.

"The proposed guidance makes clear that should a learner’s review or appeal be delayed solely because of the actions of their [school] then we expect awarding organisations to apply appeal deadlines flexibly," the guidance adds.

In February, it was announced that most of the work on appeals would be dealt with by exam boards.

Teachers had been alarmed by the Department for Education and Ofqual proposals that they would decide on all these appeals. 

But, under finalised plans announced in February, schools will only be responsible for checking for errors in the process schools used to allocate grades, while most of the work will go to exam boards.

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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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