Ap­peals ex­pected to rise

TES (Times Education Supplement) - - INSIGHT -

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.

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