2020 Year 11 SAR Appeals Guidance
You will be aware that as your child did not sit any GCSE examinations this summer, their grades, awarded by the examination boards have been informed by Centre Assessed grades. These grades were based on the grade in each subject that the school believed each student was most likely to get if teaching, learning and examinations had happened as planned. In addition, Curriculum Leaders and their teams were instructed to rank the students in order of performance for each grade to enable the exam boards to standardise judgements, allowing fine tuning of the standard applied across all schools. It is worth noting that the centre assessed grade submitted to the examination board may have informed the final GCSE grade your child has received, but is not necessarily the same as the final grade awarded.
A range of evidence was considered like classwork and homework; results in assignments and any mock examinations; any non-exam assessment or coursework students produced; and their general progress during each course.
This process was conducted with great care, integrity and deliberation to be as fair as possible. Eden is confident that the final grades that were submitted reflected as closely as possible the grades each student would have attained this summer if they had actually sat their examinations.
In any situation and despite every effort to ensure fairness inevitably there will be some students who will be disappointed. For such instances Ofqual has ruled that it is not going to be possible for a student to appeal directly to their school in respect of the grading or assessment made by them. The rationale for this decision is threefold:
- Any reassessment would have to be undertaken by someone better placed to know the student and their capabilities; this is not possible as the person with the best knowledge has already made the judgement.
- To make the appeal, the student would have to have access to the information used to make the assessment which Ofqual believe would compromise the reliability of the process.
- If there was an adjustment required, because of the ranking process, it would affect all the other candidates who in turn would then want to appeal.
The option for the student who feels that they have been wrongly judged is to take the exams again in the autumn and the higher of the two outcomes used as the final award.
When can appeals be made?
There are three instances where appeals can be made:
- Where the examination centre notifies Ofqual that it has made a mistake when submitting the information. This could presumably include administrative errors as well as errors of judgement.
- Where the centre believes that an examination board has made an error when calculating, assigning or communicating a grade.
- Where a student has evidence that the grading could be incorrect because of discrimination or bias. In this instance the student can appeal to the centre or direct to the exam board who could investigate for potential malpractice.
How to request information to support an appeal
If you wish to consider an appeal you may want to make a Subject Access Request (SAR) under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
In order to do this you would need to make a request, preferably in writing to ensure we know exactly what information you require. Please note that given the age of the students we would need either the student to make the request themselves or for them to provide written consent for their parent/carer to act on their behalf in this regard.
Any request should include the following:
- Pupil Name
- Date of Birth
- Contact Email Address
More guidance on SARs and exam results can be found here, https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/schools/exam-results/
Please try to limit your request to all information relating to the exam/grading process and do not ask for all information held about a student
We apologise sincerely if this comes across as unsympathetic but this is the advice that school has been provided with as the situation we find ourselves in is completely unprecedented. As a school that has taught, cared and nurtured these students through the last five years we feel their worry and anxiety acutely and would not have wanted their GCSE grades to be awarded in this way. We also have, as we are sure you can appreciate, to protect the school and our staff as well ensuring we have arrived at a fair judgement on each individual student’s potential performance.
This cohort of young people have and will continue to be given a great deal of care and attention as they continue to move through their education and training in the future as everyone fully understands and sympathises with the significant difficulties they have had to go through.