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GCSE 2021 - APPEALS PROCESS

In February 2021 Ofqual announced that externally assessed qualifications awarded in summer 2021 would be Centre assessed. The link below takes you to the full document, but the headline statements for the process that will be followed in Batley Grammar School are:

 

Assessment and evidence

Staff will assess their students’ performance, only on what content has been delivered to them by their teachers, to determine the grade each student should receive. We feel this provides an equitable system for our students, particularly when we were forced to isolate year groups.

As you know, unlike the 2020 process these grades will not be predictions, the school has sought to provide every opportunity for our students to produce assessment evidence that reflects their achievements in each subject.

Further information on this process can be found in:

Decisions on how GCSE, AS and A level grades will be determined in summer 2021

 

The Process

Schools and colleges were also asked to make sure that, unless there had been major changes in their school or college this year, the Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs) they submitted were broadly in line with the school’s previous results in a subject. This is because, although there can be some variation from one year to another, data shows that this is normally quite small.

At Batley Grammar School, we have closely followed Ofqual’s guidance on determining CAGs, this is a national requirement. 

The process we have undertaken is as follows:

  1. Senior leaders clarified the assessment process, standardisation and moderation providing specific training for staff;
  2. Teachers and subject leaders set assessments in line with exam board requirements, moderating these once completed;
  3. Students were made aware of the range of evidence that would be used to allow the teacher to make a holistic academic judgement on the performance of each student.
  4. Subject areas have retained an assessment portfolio for each student to support the CAG awarded;
  5. 5.Senior leaders reviewed all the proposed CAGs, moderating them as instructed by Ofqual.
  6. 6.The final agreed CAGs were submitted to the exam boards.

As mentioned above, the CAGs are therefore the schools considered assessment of the grade performed by each student in the assessment period between April and May, supplemented with appropriate historical assessments where appropriate.

It is important that students and parents are fully aware of this process before deciding to appeal a grade. Unlike previous years the grounds for appeal are limited, relating to one of two reasons:

  1. An administrative or procedural error by the school that has led to the school submitting the incorrect grade;
  2. An appeal to the exam board that the grade entered does not reflect the evidence base used to submit this. This appeal will require the school to share the assessment portfolio with the exam board who will consider whether, in its view, the grade reflected an appropriate exercise of academic judgement. If the exam board judges that it does not, the exam board will determine the grade that the evidence would support. The exam board will also check that the centre has followed its own processes.

 

Please note an exam board will only revise a student’s grade at appeal where the board finds the evidence on which the grade was determined cannot reasonably support that grade, rather than as a result of marginal differences of opinion. A student’s grade could go up or down following an appeal.

 

 Stages of the appeals process

If you feel you have grounds for an appeal as outlined above, you need to carry out the following steps using your school email account in order to ensure data security. These requests can only be submitted by the candidate.

  1. Send an email to exams@batleygrammar.co.uk, with the subject line: “Appeals request form”
  2. An appeals request form will be sent to your school email address and must be completed by you.
  3. The appeal form must be returned to the above email address no later than 12:00 on 3rd September 2021. This is a strict deadline, appeals received after this time will not be considered.
  4. An appeal form will need to be submitted for each subject.

Following the receipt of a completed appeals form, Batley Grammar School will:

  • Check the grade released by the exam board against the grade submitted.
  • If the school finds that there has been an administrative or procedural error, the school will inform the exam board and the student. School will request that the grade be corrected in line with the administrative error.
  • If the school finds no evidence of an administrative error, they will inform the student of this with 10 working days (please note school holidays do not count as working days).

At this point, the student can stop the appeal or by the 16th September 2021:

  • Request that the school lodge an appeal on their behalf by completing stage 2 of the original appeal form, based on the student’s belief that the grade awarded is not a reasonable academic judgment of the work used for the purposes of evidencing a student’s performance.
  • As students are aware of which evidence is used to base the grade upon, they will need to provide a reason for their grounds for appeal.
  • The school will then provide the exam board with the assessment portfolio to enable them to assess if the evidence supports the grade awarded.
  • The exam board will review the evidence and determine whether the appeal is upheld or rejected. If the appeal is upheld, the exam board will adjust the grade accordingly.
  • The centre will share the outcome of the awarding organisation appeal, and where appropriate the next stage of the process, with the student once they have been notified by the exam board.
  • Exam boards will adjust grades up or down depending on the findings of an upheld appeal.

 

Exam boards have undertaken to complete an appeal within 42 calendar days of the appeal request being lodged with them.

 Further guidance on the process of appeals can be found here:

https://www.jcq.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/JCQ_Appeals-Guidance_Summer-2021.pdf