Summer 2021 Appeals process
As you know, students’ grades have been determined by schools and colleges this year as the Government believes that teachers are best placed to do this. The appeals process is a critical safety net in the event that anything goes wrong to ensure that each learner has an individual right to appeal their grades via a transparent process of review.
Arriving at Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs)
Students who would have been sitting exams this summer have been through a process to reach a Teacher Assessed Grade (TAG). Details of the evidence used and the process followed is available on this part of the website: https://www.msnsixth.com/tags-summer-2021
Students have had information about how their grades were to be determined this summer, so they can be assured the process has been fairly and consistently applied.
Reasonable adjustments, exam access arrangements and special consideration have been logged and considered, where appropriate.
The grades have been through internal quality verification processes involving the teachers, Heads of Department as well as the Senior Leadership Team and have been submitted to the awarding bodies by the deadline of 18th June 2021.
Our policy determining this process is available - https://www.msnsixth.com/tags-summer-2021
The appeals process for summer 2021 only allows students to appeal their grade where they believe there has been an error. The JCQ student guidance for appeals will be found at JCQ-Guidance-for-Students-and-Parents-on-Summer-2021.pdf and the MAT Appeals policy can be found here.
Awarding organisations have indicated that an appeal is an exceptional response, rather than the norm.
Please be aware that, as part of the appeals process, a grade may stay the same, or could be moved up or down as a result of a Centre or Exam Board review.
Who can Appeal?
Only a student may appeal their own case. A parent, guardian or other representative of the student is not permitted to appeal a TAG grade on a student’s behalf.
When can I appeal?
If you think there has been an error, you can ask us to do a centre review.
Results days are:
Publication of GCE A-level, Pre-U and Level 3 BTEC results – 10 August 2021
Publication of GCSE and Level 2 vocational results – 12 August 2021
Key Dates for priority appeals*
10 August to 16 August 2021 Window for students to request a centre review
10 August to 20 August 2021 Centres conduct centre reviews
21st August 2021 Deadline to request an exam board review
* A priority appeal is only for students applying to higher education who did not attain their firm choice (i.e. the offer they accepted as their first choice) and wish to appeal an A level, Pre- U or other Level 3 qualification result
Key dates for non-priority appeals
From result day to 3 September 2021 Window for students to request a centre review
From result day to 10 September 2021 Centres conduct centre reviews
From result day to 13 September 2021 Deadline for students to request a exam board review
How do I appeal?
First, consider the stages in the information below. If you consider you have a case to appeal, you need to complete the appropriate forms below.
We will come back to you with the result of the centre review and will then give you the option to proceed with the exam board review if you wish.
Please note that you cannot request an exam board review until the centre review has been completed.
Stage 1 – Centre Review
You must first ask your centre to review whether an administrative or procedural error has been made.
What constitutes an administrative error or procedural error?
✓ The incorrect grade has been uploaded to the awarding body site ie a typographical error
✓ The centre has not followed the process for determining and quality assuring grades (eg internal standardisation, authentication of student work) as outlined in the policy
✓ The centre has not considered relevant mitigating circumstances at the time of the assessment
✓ The centre has not put in place agreed access arrangements/reasonable adjustments for an assessment.
You cannot appeal your TAG grade if your only reason is:
✗ You are unhappy with your grade
✗ You wanted/needed a higher grade than you have been awarded
What if the centre identifies an error?
The school’s procedure has already been checked and approved by the awarding organisations; the focus of a review on procedural grounds will therefore be whether the centre followed its procedure properly and consistently in arriving at the grade being challenged.
In the event that there has been an error, the school will decide whether the procedural failure has affected/had an impact on the grade submitted. The outcome may be that the grade stays the same, is raised or lowered.
If the centre identifies an error with the grade it submitted, it is required to submit a revised grade with rationale for the grade change to the awarding organisation. At this point, we will ensure that the student concerned has a copy of the submission to the awarding organisation. If the awarding organisation is satisfied with the rationale presented by the centre and it considers it is appropriate to correct the result, it will issue a revised grade
Stage 2 – Awarding Organisation Review
If you still don’t think you have been awarded the correct grade, you can appeal to the exam board who will evaluate the evidence to determine whether:
the centre has made an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement in the choice of evidence from which they determined your grade and/or in the determination of your grade from that evidence.
(A reasonable judgement is one that is supported by evidence. An exercise of judgement will not be unreasonable simply because a student considers that an alternative grade should have been awarded, even if the student puts forward supporting evidence. There may be a difference of opinion without there being an unreasonable exercise of judgement. The reviewer will not remark individual assessments to make fine judgements but will take a holistic approach based on the overall evidence.)
the centre did not apply a procedure correctly, e.g. they did not follow their Centre Policy, did not undertake internal quality assurance, did not take account of access arrangements or mitigating circumstances, such as illness.
the exam board made an administrative error, e.g. they changed your grade during the processing of grades.
The onus is on the student to provide evidence that the grade they have been awarded is ‘unreasonable’. However, the school as your centre, will need to appeal to the awarding body for you and will provide all of the information they require relating to your TAG.
At both stages of the process you will need to submit your appeal to the school and give them your written consent to conduct the appeal or submit it to the exam board on your behalf. You can do this by completing the forms below.
It is important to remember that your grade can go down, up or stay the same through either stage of the process. There is no option to remain at the current grade if the outcome of the review gives a lower grade.
The awarding organisation will decide whether the appeal will be accepted for evaluation or not. They will check whether the grounds you have indicated are within the remit of the appeals process and that the previous stages have been completed.
Forms to be used to request reviews:
Form to request a Priority Centre Review
Form to request a Standard Centre Review
Form to request a Priority Exam Board Review
Form to request a Standard Exam Board Review
TAG information for the centre - https://www.msnsixth.com/tags-summer-2021
MAT Appeals policy - https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1u6HuUEtkJS1i3IGwgs49MsuBnTWYfda2