In this blog and vlog, we are going to explore:

1. The different options available to your child so they can continue on their academic journey.

2. The different criteria used in creating a grade for your child.

3. To gain insight into the different exam boards and what you can do if you are dissatisfied.

After watching the video and going through this resource, you will be able to empower your child in the face of the cancellation of the exams.

Overview:

Officially, all the summer exams of 2020 have been cancelled. However, there will be an opportunity for students to re-sit the exams in the Autumn. Primarily, these re-sits will be for the core subjects: English, Maths and Science. For the rest of the exams they are most likely going to be held in the summer of 2021. However, exam boards are looking to create more opportunities in the Autumn to re-sit exams and in January 2021, but this has not been confirmed.

Therefore, looking at what we do know, these are the opportunities for your child to ensure that they achieve the grades they deserve.

1. Liaise with teachers and staff at the school

 If you and your child are concerned that the predicted grade and/or the mock exam results do not reflect your child’s ability, then get in touch with the teachers. They may be able to reassure you of what they are going to do to ensure that a fair grade is formulated. Encourage your child to continue with their studies. By doing this, they will build a portfolio of work that the teacher can see. The Principle of Recency states that the most recent information a person receives is more likely to be recalled and have impact. Therefore, although teachers and Exam Centres have been advised to tread lightly with work received after the official school closures on the 23rd March, they will still look at it. Moreover, if your child is hoping to continue their studies, then by going over the materials, particularly in subjects they want to continue study, will set them up in good standing for the next stage of their academic career.

2. Appeal

 If you are unhappy with the grade that you receive, you can appeal it. It is important to be aware that this may result in your grade being lowered or raised. Hence it is important to be realistic and honest with yourself and with your child. Do you think the grade is a true reflection of their abilities? Do you think the grade is perhaps a reflection of how they performed throughout the two years of their studies?

There are a few options for you to have the exam re-examined:

  • Clerical re-check: all the administrative procedures are checked to ensure there are no mistakes.
  • Review of marking: marking of papers and work is re-looked at to ensure it is done to a standard.
  • Access to scripts: usually you would be able to see the exam scripts; however, since exams have not been sat, you may be able to request to see the mock papers if you have not seen those already.
  • Post-results review: the whole marking is taken into review.

There are two stages of appeal:

  1. Appeals part 1: If there is belief that there has been a marking or moderation error then an exam board officer will look at the complaint.

  2. Appeals part 2: If the school or college believes that an error has occurred and are unhappy with the outcome of the appeal in part 1, they can request a hearing so that all parties concerned can put their case forward. 

It is also worth noting that there is a fee to appeal. The cost is determined by the exam boards. They may also waiver the fees. 

Here are links to the cost of appeals for different exam boards:

  • AQA

https://www.aqa.org.uk/exams-administration/after-results/post-results/appeals

  • OCR 

https://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/554414-post-results-services-fees-2019-20.pdf

https://www.ocr.org.uk/administration/general-qualifications/post-results/appeals/

  • Edexcel

https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/support/support-topics/results-certification/post-results-services/post-results-fees-august-2019.html

  • WJEC

https://www.wjec.co.uk/media/w0dgesub/appeals-a-guide-for-centres.pdf?language_id=1

  • CCEA

https://ccea.org.uk/examiner-centre-support/exams-support/pre-examination-information/fees-charges-notes

3. Re-sit

 Although it is called a re-sit, Sixth Forms, Colleges and Universities will not regard these exams as ‘re-sits’, since they are aware that the Summer (2020) exams have been cancelled. Thus, there are no negative associations with a child sitting the exams in Autumn (2020); or, in Summer (2021).

4. Liaise with Colleges, A Levels and Universities 

 It is worth noting that for students who are home-educated but who are affiliated with an Exam Centre, they will have a grade created for them. This is because the Exam Centres have seen sufficient amounts of work to create a grade that they feel reflects the student’s abilities and that they feel the student would have achieved had they sat the exams in summer.

Unfortunately, for students who have been home-educated and who are not affiliated with an Exam Centre, they will have to sit the exams in the Autumn (2020) and in the Summer (2021).

For year 10 students who were sitting their exams in the Summer (2020), they will have to re-sit them. This is because by not sitting the exams this year, they are not hindered in terms of their progression on to the next stage of their academic career.

Here are useful links for how to appeal:

https://www.gov.uk/appeal-exam-result

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/regulating-gcses-as-and-a-levels-guide-for-schools-and-colleges/reviews-and-appeals

Note, that exam boards have stated that they are not taking appeals lightly due to the extreme nature of the circumstances. They also feel the criteria in which teachers have been asked to create a grade are fair, reasonable and justifiable.

Here is data of the number of appeals from previous years:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/794519/Appeals_for_GCSE__AS_and_A_level_summer_2018_exam_series.pdf

Important dates:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gcses-as-and-a-level-awarding-summer-2020

The earliest date that teachers can submit grades to exam boards is 29th May. This means that parents and pupils can work with teachers and staff to ensure all the necessary information is collated to create a grade that is truly reflective of students’ abilities.

If you want to appeal the grade, you will have 21 calendar days to appeal.

Grading Criteria

To create a grade the following information will be used:

  • In-house assessments: these are tests taken throughout the year;

  • Homework completed throughout the two years.

  • Classwork completed throughout the two years;

  • Mock exam results;

  • Predicted grades given at the start of year 10;

  • Comparative marking of exam results achieved in 2019.

Overall:

Just remember, your child may be greatly relieved; or, they may be incredibly disappointed. Consider how you would feel if you were studying for two years to have it cancelled last minute? Allow your child to fully express their feelings. But, then, reassure them of the options open to them. Remember, it might not be ideal, but they can defer entry into Uni, College or Sixth Form. No Sixth Form, College or University will hold it against them.