A Levels and GCSEs 2021

The College Appeals Process 2021

This process is designed to support our pupils and to ensure that any genuine errors are addressed. 

There are two stages to the College’s appeals process as required by JCQ, although all appeals must start with the stage 1 process first.  The following JCQ Form should be used to request an appeal.

Appeals Form

Stage 1 Appeal – the Centre Review

The Centre Review will be based on two grounds only:

  1. A pupil feels we have made an administrative error, for example, where they believe we submitted an incorrect grade or used an incorrect assessment mark when determining their grade.
  2. A pupil feels we did not apply a procedure correctly, for example, we did not follow our Centre Policy, or did not undertake internal quality assurance or did not take account of access arrangements or mitigating circumstances, such as illness.

In order to conform with Ofqual and JCQ guidance, we have already shared with our pupils our Centre Policy and, the evidence the teachers used to determine pupil TAGs.  In that document we also shared any specific conditions that existed for our pupils.  This included the usual access arrangements, as well as any special circumstances raised at the time of any assessments, for example, bereavement.

Stage 1 appeals, using the JCQ form above, should be addressed, by email, to Mr Brooks.  The College will then undertake an investigation into its administrative processes or procedures and report back to the pupil and parents.  If we do find there were errors in our administration or procedures which affected a pupil’s grade, then we will inform the exam board and ask for that pupil’s grade to be changed.

If a pupil’s university place is dependent on the appeal, they must request a priority appeal; see timings below. 

Stage 2 Appeal – The Exam Board review

If, after the Centre Review, a pupil is still unhappy with a grade, they can move to Stage 2.  Here they appeal directly to the exam board, through the College, using the second part of the JCQ form above.  Stage 2 appeals should be addressed to the College Exams Officer, Mr Herbert, by email. A pupil can appeal for the following reasons:

  1. They believe the College made an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement in the choice of evidence from which they determined their grade, or in the determination of their grade from that evidence.   [JCQ tell us that a reasonable judgement is one that is supported by evidence.  They say that an exercise of judgement will not be unreasonable simply because a pupil considers that an alternative grade should have been awarded, even if the pupil puts forward supporting evidence. There may simply be a difference of opinion without there being an unreasonable exercise of judgement. At this stage, the exam boards say they will not mark a pupil’s individual assessments but will instead take a holistic approach based on the overall evidence.]
  2. Or a pupil may argue the College did not apply a procedure correctly, e.g. we did not follow the College Centre Policy, or did not undertake internal quality assurance, or did not take account of access arrangements or mitigating circumstances, such as illness.
  3. Or they may argue the exam board have made an administrative error, e.g. they changed a grade during the processing of grades.

In order to facilitate the appeals process, it is important to understand the following points:

  1. On appeal, a pupil’s grades can go up, stay the same, or go down.
  2. A pupil can withdraw from the appeals process at any time prior to a finding being made.
  3. The College will need a pupil’s written consent to appeal to the exam board on their behalf.
  4. If the pupil has a place at university dependent on the appeal, they should tell the university they are still hoping to go, so they can decide how to handle their offer. (They should also tell the College so we can ask the exam board to prioritise the appeal and in doing so should provide their personal UCAS ID number).
  5. A priority appeal is only for pupils whose university first or second choice is dependent on the grade(s) being appealed.
  6. The timelines for priority and non-priority appeals will be as follows:

Priority appeals timeline

  • 10th August to 7th September: priority appeals window.
  • 10th August to 16th August: pupil requests centre review.
  • 10th August to 20th August: centre conducts centre review.
  • 11th August to 23rd August: centre submits appeal to exam board.

Non-priority appeals timeline

  • 10th August to end of October: majority of non-priority appeals take place.
  • 10th August to 3rd September: pupil requests centre review.
  • 10th August to 10th September: centre conducts centre review.
  • 11th August to 17th September: centre submits appeal to exam board. 

Finally, if a pupil believes the exam board has made a procedural error in handling their appeal, they can apply to Ofqual’s Exam Procedures Review Service to review the process undertaken by the exam board.

If any parents or pupils have any queries, they should be addressed to Mr Brooks by email.