As a bit of background, this year schools were given a pretty clear directive that long before results day they needed to tell students “where the marks are coming from, what those marks are…. Just don’t tell them the final grade or you’ll be in trouble.”
As a result of this, there is a hope that the number of appeals will be limited. Despite the ‘be open about everything’ approach, there are still bound to be a (large?) number of students who are not happy with their grades for one reason or another.
What are the pros and cons of appeals though?
The grade may end up being changed to a higher grade, although the grounds on which this can happen are VERY limited.
It will give peace of mind to the student that they exhausted every avenue in order to get the grade they need or feel they deserve. That feeling of being cheated and never knowing if the wrong grade was awarded is not great for their mental health.
The grade may end up being changed downward – the student has to sign a form to acknowledge this.
Students putting their faith in their grades going up in a system that appears to be designed to limit the amount of successful appeals could raise their expectations…… only to be dashed later on when the result of the appeal comes back.
Any appeals will not look at the way the various assessments that were used to come up with the final grade were marked. They will only look at the marks awarded and whether as a result of this, the correct grade was awarded. It’s fair to assume that schools / colleges will have been extra careful to make sure that this was done correctly.
The other issue is that this will be hanging over them, so they are not as focussed as they ought to be at the start of the next school year. There’s a strong argument for simply putting everything they’ve got into this next stage of their education instead (provided these results haven’t held them back in some way).
In summary, it seems that the best chance of succeeding with an appeal looks to be based around those debating the provision of agreed access arrangements/reasonable adjustments for an assessment.
If your child has access arrangements agreed, then have they have been applied correctly during each and every assessment that goes towards the final grade?
If the grade awarded is not reflective of the work the student has put in over the last 2 years (whether it be post 16 or GCSE), then the best hope of getting it changed appears to lie in the retakes that will be offered in November.
(With those students needing better grades for their firm or insurance places via UCAS, then looking at the places available via clearing is well worth investigating.)
We’re not saying ‘don’t appeal’, but we are suggesting that students should prepare themselves for the strong possibility that retakes offer the best chance to prove their teachers wrong.
Get a head start on Post-16!
How to avoid the common mistakes Y12 students make…