GCSEs and A-level results 2020: How schools can appeal

Ofqual releases details of how schools and colleges can appeal grades this year

Catherine Lough

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Ofqual has released new details of how schools and colleges can appeal GCSE and A-level grades that were calculated this year due to the coronavirus cancellation of summer exams.


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In new information published today, the exams regulator says:

  • Schools can appeal if they believe something has gone wrong in processing their results – for example, if a school believes it made a mistake when submitting information, or if it believes an "exam board made a mistake when calculating, assigning or communicating a grade".
  • Schools can also appeal if "they can evidence grades are lower than expected because previous cohorts are not sufficiently representative of this year’s students".

    Examples of this might be where a single-sex school has become co-educational; if a school has had a leadership or governance change, which would mean previous cohorts' results were unrepresentative of this year's; and where a school has experienced a "monumental" event such as fire or flooding, meaning it had to move premises, which affected one year of its historic data.
  • Schools can also appeal on this basis where they were "expecting results this year to show a very different pattern of grades to results in previous years".

    "That could include where the grades of unusually high- or low-ability students been affected by the model because they fall outside the pattern of results in that centre in recent years," Ofqual said.

    It said that in most cases, this would only be apparent by reviewing school-wide data, and that therefore schools rather than individuals would be best placed to see if this had occurred. 

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author bio

Catherine Lough

Catherine Lough is a reporter at Tes.

Find me on Twitter @CathImogenLough

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