Appeals expected to rise
Ofqual has made it harder for schools to successfully appeal against exam results, but the added concern around grade volatility this year means that more challenges are likely.
This year, for the first time, Pearson, which owns the Edexcel exam board, will allow schools to download all the A-level and GCSE scripts for free on results day, which should make it easier for them to decide whether to challenge marks. “It is going to be very important for schools this year to call back scripts at key grades. This will be vital information for them,” says Barnaby Lenon, chair of the Independent Schools Council and an Ofqual board member.
Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, adds: “These changes have potentially huge implications for young people, but also for schools due to the high-stakes nature of the school accountability regime. This could well lead to a spike in the number of appeals.”
However, concerns over funding in the state sector may prove to be too big an obstacle, according to William Richardson, general secretary of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference. “In an ideal world, all schools would request mark reviews or make an appeal if they doubt the fairness of a result, but how many can currently afford to do so?” he asks.