25th August 2020
Dear year 11 or year 13 student,
Exam Appeals Process
Congratulations again on your exam results! I am very conscious that this has been a difficult time for students in year 11 and 13 students across the country, and we have been impressed with the fortitude of all our students. It has been a rapidly-changing situation and I thank you for your forbearance as we have dealt with the changes to guidance.
We have now received guidance on the appeals process for the Summer exams 2020 and I am writing to explain these to you. Attached to this letter is the guidance from Ofqual, which is the ultimate authority, and to which we refer below.
What are the grounds for appeal?
Ofqual have announced that a student “cannot challenge [their] school or college under the appeals process on the centre assessment grades it submitted or [their] rank order positions…” and that a student “cannot appeal because [their] mock result was higher than the grade [they] were awarded.” See page 5 of the attached Ofqual guidance for details.
The only grounds for appeal they have allowed is if an administrative error has been made either by the school in the submission of your centre-assessed grade or by the exam board when they published your result. Examples of these would be if we had mistakenly sent them the wrong grade for you, or if they have mixed up your result with someone else’s.
If you feel this applies to you for one or more of your grades then please inform us using the appeals request form attached, giving as much information as you can. The school will check our records and if it is found to be the case, an appeal will be submitted to the exam board. The guidance says that this will be investigated by the exam board and they will feedback to the school within 42 days of our submission. We will then let you know as soon as we hear.
The deadline that we have to meet to submit appeals to the exam board is the 17th September. To allow us time to check and submit an appeal on your behalf, please complete the attached form and return it to our exams officer Mr McVinnie either by post, by hand or by email on Michael.McVinnie@st-annes.uk.com to arrive by the end of Thursday 10th September.
What if I feel the centre-assessed grade submitted does not reflect my work and ability within a subject?
Any student that feels that they could have done better in an exam than the final grade they have received is able to sit the examination in the autumn series of examinations. Due to the length of time that an appeal may take, you may wish to enter the exam series too in case the appeal is not successful.
It is important to note that your highest result will stand if you enter for an exam, and you cannot end up with a result lower than that awarded in August 2020. Please contact our exams officer Mr McVinnie through Michael.McVinnie@st-annes.uk.com if you require support with this.
What if I feel that I have been subject to discrimination and/or bias in the production of my centre-assessed grades?
I would first refer you to the information we sent in July called ‘Exam Results in 2020 – a guide for students and parents’. This explains how centre-assessed grades were decided by the school. It is attached again to this letter for ease of reference.
If upon reading this guide from St Anne’s you feel that you may have been subject to discrimination and/or bias then I would urge you to next read the guidance from Ofqual from page 6 onwards. They state that the process is not an appeal, but a complaint to the school using the complaints process for the school: “If you think malpractice or maladministration might have affected you, then you should first discuss this directly with your school or college and raise a complaint through its complaints policy. If you feel that your concerns have not been addressed, you could then consider raising your concerns about malpractice or maladministration with the exam board. It is important to remember that this would not be an appeal, but rather an allegation (accusation) that malpractice or maladministration happened in relation to your centre assessment grades or rank order positions.” The guidance also has a number of examples of how exam boards might respond to such concerns. Our complaints policy can be found under policies on the school website. It is not clear how such a complaint would results in a change of grade, however.
I hope this clarifies the national appeals process. If you have any further questions or queries, I would direct you to our exams officer in the first instance, Mr McVinnie, whose email address can be found above.
I wish you all the best with your next steps.
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