GCSEs 2021: Teachers relieved of appeals burden

Ofqual and DfE had proposed that teachers would handle GCSE and A-level appeals this year. But exam boards will deal with most of them

Catherine Lough

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Teachers will not have to deal with most work to do with students' appeals over this year's GCSE and A-level results after all.

Appeals over the teacher-assessed grades will be free of charge for students and a flood of them is expected.

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 today, most of the work will go to exam boards.

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Students will be able to appeal to their school once they receive their GCSE or A-level results in early August.

But schools will only be responsible for checking for errors in the process schools used to allocate grades - for example if a bereavement at the time of assessment was not taken into account, or the school had made a mistake when submitting data to exam boards.

Schools and teachers will not be asked to review their original judgements of students' work. This aspect of the appeals will be carried out by exam boards.

The boards would then check the original judgement, taking in all the evidence that the school had based the grade on – either through scanned documents or by visiting the school itself – and would be responsible for any final decision about the appeal.

Under the original proposals, appeals were going to be considered by a "competent person" appointed by the school "who had not been involved with the original assessment – this could be another teacher in the school or college or a teacher from another school or college".

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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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