2. The Appeals Process

Can a student appeal against the grade they have been awarded?

Yes, but before doing anything else, please see the information we have provided about the detailed and robust process we have been through to arrive at these grades (CLICK HERE).

 

What if, having read the details of how grades were assigned, a student still wishes to appeal against the grade they have been awarded? 

Contact Mr Reid, our Exams Officer to discuss your concerns – CLICK HERE

 

If a student still wishes to proceed with placing an appeal after first discussing with a member of the leadership team, how does the appeals process work?

The appeals process is set out in two stages, the first is a ‘Centre review’ which considers whether an administrative or procedural error has been made, and the second is an ‘Exam board review’ which will consider whether the academic judgement made about a student's work was reasonable or not.

It is important to note that any appeal can result in grades going up, down or staying the same.

 

What is a stage 1 Centre Review?

This stage is managed by us as a school. An official form (available on request), must be submitted to the school. At this stage, an appeal can be made on the grounds that the schools has:

  • failed to follow our own procedures properly or consistently in arriving at the result, or;
  • made an administrative error in relation to the result.

We hope that the detailed quality assurance processes we have been through reassures you that we have minimised the opportunities for errors and that we have ensured consistency in our approach at every stage.

 

What is a stage 2 Exam board review?

All stage 2 appeals must first go through the stage 1 appeal process, above. If the stage 1 process has not resolved the concern, an official form is then completed by the student and submitted by the school to the exam board. 

A stage 2 appeal is made on the grounds that a student believes the school made an 'unreasonable exercise of academic judgement in the choice of evidence from which to determine the grade and/or the determination of that grade from the evidence.’

It is important to note that a student will need to set-out in writing the basis for their appeal. Students will have to provide: 

  • an explanation of the perceived administrative or procedural error: what it is that the student considers the school has failed to do, why that was a failure to follow our procedures, and why that failure was important to the determination of the grade. Or;
  • an explanation of their concerns about the evidence used to determine their grade, or;
  • an explanation of their concerns about how their grade was determined using the evidence.

It is also important to note that the grade awarded will only be considered unreasonable if it is felt that there is clear evidence that the grade awarded should have been higher or lower. Specifically:

  • "the independent reviewer will consider whether the original Teacher Assessed Grade decision was reasonable. The independent reviewer will not consider whether they would have given an alternative grade or whether an alternative grade could also reasonably have been given. The independent reviewer will consider whether the original Teacher Assessed Grade decision was reasonable on its own terms, not if any alternative proposition for the Teacher Assessed Grade or evidence put forward by the student, would be a more appropriate exercise of academic judgement. There may be a difference of opinion as to the assessed grade without there being an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement. The reviewer will only conclude that there has been an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement if the Teacher Assessed Grade was clearly wrong – i.e. there was no basis upon which the grade could properly have been given." (JCQ guide to appeals - available HERE).

 

What is the timeline for appeals?

Priority appeals are for students applying to higher education who did not attain their Firm choice (i.e. the offer they accepted as their first choice) and who wish to appeal an A-level or other level 3 qualification result. Priority appeals must be submitted by 16th August.  Students who choose to appeal should contact their preferred university or college straight away to make them aware of the situation. UCAS have extended their deadline for students to meet any conditions of their offer to 7 September to allow more time for appeals.

All non-priority appeals must be made by the 3rd September.

These deadlines are to allow schools time to prepare for appeals to the exam boards within the published time-frames.

Key dates for priority appeals:

10th August to 16th August Window for students to request a priority appeal
10th August to 20th August Window for schools to conduct stage 1 centre reviews for priority appeals
10th August to 23rd August Window for schools to submit stage 2 exam board reviews (for priority appeals)

 

Key dates for non-priority appeals:

From results day to 3rd September Window for students to request a centre review
From results day to 10th September Window for schools to conduct stage 1 centre reviews 
From results day to 17th September Window for schools to submit stage 2 exam board reviews

 

Please note that the awarding organisations will aim to complete Stage Two of the appeals process within 42 calendar days of the receipt of the application, but have indicated that, due to the nature of appeals this year, it may not always be possible to meet this target.

Please note that enrolment into the sixth form will be based on the grades a student has been awarded: a student cannot be enrolled onto a course on the basis of an appeal that has been submitted which might result in a change to their grade in a required subject.

 

Will students be able to sit exams in the Autumn?

If students are disappointed with their grade and would like to improve it, Ofqual has confirmed that exams will take place in the Autumn (in October for A Levels and in November and December for GCSEs).

The exams will be in a standard format and no adaptations will be made (other than reasonable adjustments for students eligible for such adjustments). All subjects will be assessed by exam except art & design which will be assessed by a task set and marked by the exam board.

The exams will assess students in the same way as had been planned for exams in summer 2021, including assessing a reduced number of topics for GCSE English literature and history. If a student gets a higher grade in the autumn exam than in the summer, a request can be made for the exam board to provide a new certificate showing the higher grade.

 

How do students appeal grades for qualifications studied at Holy Cross?

Information for students who have taken one or more of their subjects at Holy Cross can be found in the document below.