Number of appeals against GCSE and A Level results drops by quarter

21st March 2017 at 10:57
GCSE and A Level
But the number of successful appeals increased last year despite fewer schools challenging results, the data shows

The number of appeals made against GCSE, AS and A Level results fell by nearly a quarter last year.

A new report from exams regulator Ofqual has revealed that the appeals submitted dropped by 24 per cent – 355 appeals were lodged in 2016 compared to 466 in 2015. 

The fall has come at the same time that the number of GCSE, AS and A Level entries decreased by 5 per cent and the number of requests for reviews of marking dropped by 25 per cent, Ofqual noted.

An appeal can be requested once a school or college has gone through the review of marking and moderation process if they are dissatisfied with the outcome.

But despite the drop in appeals, the number of those that were successful increased last year; 3.2 per cent of all grades challenged at appeal in 2016 led to a grade change, compared to 0.7 per cent in 2015.  

The exams watchdog says the increase in successful appeals - from 31 to 46 - is in part due to a pilot study last year to test new grounds for appeal in three subjects.

For AS and A level geography, physics and religious studies, the grounds for appeal following a review were extended to allow an appeal on the grounds of a marking error that was not corrected during review. Traditionally, exam boards have only accepted appeals on the grounds of a procedural error.

Sally Collier, chief regulator of Ofqual, said: “The appeals pilot in three subjects is part of a set of wider changes we are making to the marking reviews and appeals system.

“The changes aim to make the system as fair as it can be for all students and to make sure students get the grade their performance deserved.

“We are evaluating the pilot before deciding whether to extend the additional grounds to other subjects.”

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