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Charles Darwin School

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Appeals Procedure for Summer 2021

Summer 2021 Appeals Process and Autumn Series

As a result of the government’s decision to cancel all examinations for Summer 2021, all schools have been required to submit grades to examination bodies based on Teacher Assessed Grades. (TAGs). Included below is an outline on how this has been conducted at Charles Darwin School and how the appeals process will work this year. All of this follows guidance produced by the Joint Qualifications Council ( JCQ), the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation ( Ofqual) and the Department for Education( DfE).

How were my / my child’s grades arrived at this year?

Grades this summer were based on Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs). TAGs were submitted to the exam boards based on an assessment of students’ performance in a subject using a range of evidence, following a rigorous process of assessment, moderation and quality assurance. This has been done in line with our Centre Policy,

https://www.cdarwin.com/page/?title=Awarding+Grades+2021&pid=519

Evidence used for the basis of TAGs was required to be as consistent as possible across all students taking a subject e.g the same assessment task or practice examination paper.

What do I do if I’m not happy with my / my child’s grade?

All students have the opportunity to appeal their grade if they meet the eligibility criteria (see below). It is important to note that an appeal may result in a grade being lowered, staying the same, or going up. So if a student puts in an appeal and their grade is lowered, they will receive the lower mark.

There is also the option to re-sit GCSEs and A levels in the autumn, which may be preferable to some students. The design, content and assessment of these papers will be the same as in a normal year.

What are the grounds for appeal?

There are five main grounds for appeal, as dictated by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). They are:

  • You think we have made an administrative error: an example of this would be putting the wrong information into a spreadsheet.
  • You think we have made a procedural error: this means we haven’t properly followed our own process, as approved by the exam board. An example of this would be where you’ve been told you should have received extra time for assessments but this wasn’t given in a certain subject.
  • You think the academic judgement on the selection of evidence was unreasonable: you think the evidence used to grade you was not reasonable.
  • You think the academic judgement on the grade you were given was unreasonable.

What does ‘unreasonable’ mean?

‘Unreasonable’ is a technical term in this context and means that no educational professional acting reasonably could have selected the same evidence or come up with the same grade. Independent reviewers will not remark or grade students’ evidence. Instead, they will look to see whether any teacher acting reasonably could have arrived at the same grade. In other words, if the original grade awarded is based on a reasonable judgement then the original grade will stand.

This also means that just because other forms of evidence may have been equally valid to use, so long as the selection of evidence is not unreasonable the original grade will stand. Because of the flexibility of the approach this year, every school and college will have used different forms of evidence.

What should I do before appealing?

Students must read the JCQ Student and Parent guide before appealing, which will be available on the JCQ website by results days.

We may not be able to offer as much advice and guidance on the likely success of an appeal this summer as we would in normal years, as we have already moderated and quality assured all the grades ourselves.

What are the two stages of an appeal?

All appeals, on any of the grounds above, must first go through a centre review. At this stage, we will check for any administrative errors, and check that our policies and procedures were followed correctly. Our policy has already been approved by the exam boards, so we are only ensuring that we followed this properly.

The outcome of the centre review will be communicated to students when made.

At the centre review stage, if we find that a grade should go up or down, we will ask the exam board to change it. They will then consider this request.

Following the outcome of a centre review, students may still choose to pursue an awarding organisation appeal. They must fill in the form below, which we will then send on their behalf to the exam boards. Students and parents cannot send appeals directly to the exam board themselves – it must come from us.

The outcome of the awarding organisation appeal will be communicated to students when made.

What will be the outcome of an appeal?

At either stage of the appeals process (see ‘What are the two stages of an appeal?’ below), a student’s grade may go up, stay the stay, or go down. When placing an appeal the student will have to sign a declaration saying that they accept the fact their grade may go down and they may get a lower grade than their original TAG.

Priority Appeals:

A priority appeal is only for Year13 students who are applying to higher education and have not achieved the required grades for their firm choice. Priority appeals MUST be submitted to the school between Tuesday 10th August and Monday 16th August by completing the correct form and emailing this to examsofficer@cdarwin.com . If the Centre Review outcome is unsuccessful an appeal may be made to the awarding organisation using the stage two section of the form, this appeal must be requested by Monday 23rd August.

Non-Priority Appeals:

Non-Priority appeals MUST be submitted to the school between Tuesday 10th August and Friday 3rd September by completing the correct form and emailing this to examsofficer@cdarwin.com . If the Centre Review outcome is unsuccessful an appeal may be made to the awarding organisation using the stage two section of the form, this appeal must be requested by Friday 17th September.

Please see links below for Appeals Forms. Both Stage 1 and 2 are covered on the same form.

Autumn Series

Any student who would like to improve their grades, will have an opportunity to take the full suite of GCSE and A level exams in the autumn

Qualifications for which a result has been issued will be available to learners in the autumn series

Only the examined units will be available, with the exception of Art and Design

Entries for the Autumn series of A level examinations must be communicated to examsofficer@cdarwin.com by Friday 1st October and examinations will take place between 4th October and 22nd October

Entries for the Autumn series of GCSE examinations must be communicated to examsofficer@cdarwin.com by Wednesday 8th September and examinations will take place between 1st November and Friday 3rd December

Mr M Boyden

Deputy Headteacher

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