Teacher Assessed Grades – Results Day and Appeals

Aug 9, 2021

It might feel like the summer has barely begun, and for us teachers it has certainly crept up on us, but results days are here! Tomorrow at 8.30am A level results will be published, with GCSEs on Thursday at the same time. This article is a short summary of what to do if you are unhappy with your results, with some links to useful information on the next steps.

If your results were not as expected then it’s probably worth taking a little time out to let the grades sink in and reflect on them, even if it’s only going for a short walk. Maybe you already suspected what they would be, and they are no great surprise. We made the decision to inform all our students of the work that would be going into their portfolios, and so hopefully they knew roughly what they would be receiving. But if you think your grades are wrong, and there’s been a mistake somewhere along the line, you have a few options.

Firstly, your school should have published the process by which they will be conducting appeals. For our students, the policy is here. JCQ have also helpfully put the process into a student handout, which you can find here, together with the more detailed version here. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the policy or your school’s approach – it is not too complicated, and your school should have lots of people on hand to help you with the next steps. Jason, our exams officer, and I will be in the college all week to answer queries from students or parents, and all schools need to make sure they have plenty of staff ready to help out.

There are two main grounds for appeal – either for an error or mistake, or because you don’t agree with the academic judgement of the teacher awarding the grade. The first stage of any appeal is to work out if the school or college has made a mistake. This is called a ‘Centre Review’ and most schools will ask students to fill out a form to state what the issues are. The Centre Review will check for errors that were either procedural i.e. the school didn’t follow the process correctly, or administrative e.g. someone copied the grade out wrongly. We will be letting our students know extremely quickly if we spot any errors – likely within 24 hours – but other schools may take a little longer.

Once you have received the outcome of the Centre Review, you can then decide whether you want to continue your appeal. It may be that your Centre admits it made a mistake and applies to have the grade changed with the exam board. But if they say there hasn’t been an error and you are still unhappy, you will probably have to fill in a full appeals form. As above, you can appeal because you think there has been a mistake, even if your school or college say there hasn’t, or if you think the academic judgement in awarding your grade was wrong. If you haven’t already been told which work went into your portfolio your school will need to tell you, and you may appeal because you think they have chosen the wrong work, or missed something out. Or you may appeal because you agree on the selection of work that has gone into the portfolio but don’t agree with the grade awarded based on it. You’ll need to submit different types of evidence depending on why you are appealing – the guidance lists the types of things you will need, and our college policy sets it out as well.

The really important thing to know is that if you choose to either review or appeal your grade, then it may be raised, lowered, or stay the same. So make sure you make an informed decision before contacting your school, and discuss the situation with a parent or guardian first.

There’s lots more information in the JCQ guide, so please make sure you read it thoroughly. The final piece of advice is get moving as quickly as you can. If your grade affects the next stage of your education e.g. a UCAS offer, then it is a priority appeal, and you should make sure the appeal is sent off by Monday 23rd August at the latest. If it’s not a priority then appeals should be sent off by Friday 17th September. But your school may have different dates – those are the deadlines for when they need to submit your appeal by – so make sure you double check with them first. For our students, we need you to let us know by 4pm on Monday 16th August to request a Centre Review, and by 4pm on Friday 20th August for priority and 4pm on Friday 27th August for non-priority appeals.

Good luck all!

Joe Mattei, Principal

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