Following the decision by the government in January 2021 to cancel public examinations this summer, we have worked to put in place robust arrangements for awarding centre assessed grades. Your teachers have used a range of evidence in order to determine a fair grade for each student; the evidence that has been used to make these decisions in each subject is outlined below in the relevant evidence plans. These grades have been subject to thorough quality assurance processes as laid out in the schools Centre Policy (Centre Policy – Summer 2021) so that students, parents, colleges and employers can all have a high degree of confidence in the outcomes.
All students who were assessed as needing special requirements for the normal examination series were afforded these arrangements in all controlled condition work undertaken after March 8th. During all formal assessment periods prior to March 8th special considerations were also in place. In a small number of incidences where assessment was carried out in lessons, completed prior to Jan 2020, and it is part of an evidence base the special considerations may not have been in place. Where this has occurred the assessment of the work has been appropriately adjusted to reflect this.
Evidence Based Information for Courses:
GCSEs & Level 2 BTECs
- GCSE Art (CMB) Evidence Plan
- GCSE Art (NW) Evidence Plan
- GCSE Biology Evidence Plan
- GCSE Combined Science Biology Evidence Plan
- GCSE Business Evidence Plan
- GCSE Chemistry Evidence Plan
- GCSE Combined Science Chemistry Evidence Plan
- GCSE Dance Evidence Plan
- GCSE Design Technology Evidence Plans
- GCSE Drama Evidence Plan
- GCSE English Language Evidence Plan
- GCSE English Literature Evidence Plan
- GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition Evidence Plan
- GCSE French (11A) Evidence Plan
- GCSE French (11D) Evidence Plan
- GCSE Geography (1) Evidence Plan
- GCSE Geography (2) Evidence Plan
- GCSE History Evidence Plan
- GCSE Italian Evidence Plan
- GCSE Maths Evidence Plan
- GCSE Music Evidence Plan
- GCSE PE Evidence Plan (PTI)
- GCSE PE (RDA) Evidence Template
- GCSE Photography (CMB) Evidence Plan
- GCSE Photography (NW) Evidence Plan
- GCSE Physics Evidence Plan
- GCSE Combined Science Physics Evidence Plan
- GCSE RE Evidence Plan
- GCSE Spanish Evidence Plan
- GCSE Turkish Evidence plan
- BTEC Level 2 Home Cooking Skills
- BTEC Y10 Video Production Evidence Plan
- BTEC Y11 Video Production Evidence Plan
- BTEC Sport Science (Y11B) Evidence Plan
- BTEC Sport Science (Y11D) Evidence Plan
A Levels & Level 3 BTECs
- A level Art Evidence Plan
- A Level Biology Evidence Plan
- A Level Business Evidence Plan
- A Level Chemistry Evidence Plan
- A Level Dance Evidence Plan
- A Level Design Technology Evidence Plan
- A Level DT Fashion and Textiles Evidence Plan
- A Level Drama Evidence Plan
- A Level English Language and Literature Evidence Plan
- A Level English Language Evidence Plan
- A Level English Literature Evidence Plan
- A Level Geography Evidence Plan
- A Level History Evidence Plan
- A Level French Evidence Plan
- A Level Law Evidence Plan
- A Level Maths Evidence Plan
- A Level Music Evidence Plan
- A Level PE Evidence Plan
- A Level Philosophy Evidence Plan
- A Level Psychology Evidence Plan
- A Level Physics Evidence Plan
- A Level Sociology Evidence Plan
- BTEC (Y12) Broadcast & Studio Evidence Plan
- BTEC (Y13) Broadcast & Studio Evidence Plan
- BTEC Level 3 Food Science and Nutrition Evidence Plan
- BTEC Level 3 Sport Evidence Plan
Download Student Guidance to the Appeals Process and Appeals Form:
- JCQ Appeals Form and Guidance for students (pdf)
- JCQ Appeals Form and Guidance for Students (doc)
- JCQ Appeals Guidance Summer 2021 – Guide to Academic Review
Appeals Frequently Asked Questions
How were my/my child’s grades arrived at this year?
Grades this summer were based on Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs). TAGs were submitted to the exam boards by us as a holistic assessment of students’ performance in a subject, following a rigorous process of assessment, moderation and quality assurance.
These grades were then approved by the relevant exam board, following external quality assurance checks.
In some cases, the TAGs we submitted may have been reviewed by the exam board, who may have asked us to submit an alternative grade. However, any changes to the grades we submitted were done by professional teachers or reviewers; this year no grades have been changed as a result of an algorithm.
What do I do if I’m not happy with my/my child’s grade?
All students have the opportunity to appeal their grade if they meet the eligibility criteria (see below). It is important to note that an appeal may result in a grade being lowered, staying the same, or going up. So, if a student puts in an appeal and their grade is lowered, they will receive the lower mark.
There is also the option to resit GCSEs, A Levels and some AS Levels in the autumn, which may be preferable to some students. The design, content and assessment of these papers will be the same as in a normal year.
What are the grounds for appeal?
There are five main grounds for appeal, as dictated by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). They are:
- You think we have made an administrative error: an example of this would be putting the wrong information into a spreadsheet.
- You think we have made a procedural error: this means we haven’t properly followed our own process, as approved by the exam board. An example of this would be where you’ve been told you should have received extra time for assessments but this wasn’t given in a certain subject.
- You think the academic judgement on the selection of evidence was unreasonable: you think the evidence used to grade you was not reasonable.
- You think the academic judgement on the grade you were given was unreasonable.
What does ‘unreasonable’ mean?
‘Unreasonable’ is a technical term in this context and means that no educational professional acting reasonably could have selected the same evidence or come up with the same grade.
This means that, just because other forms of evidence may have been equally valid to use, the selection of evidence is not unreasonable. Because of the flexibility of the approach this year, every school and college will have used different forms of evidence.
It also means that the independent reviewers will not remark or grade students’ evidence. Instead, they will look to see whether any teacher acting reasonably could have arrived at the same grade.
What will be the outcome of an appeal?
At either stage of the appeals process (see ‘What are the two stages of an appeal?’ below), a student’s grade may go up, stay the same, or go down. When placing an appeal the student will have to sign a declaration saying that they accept the fact their grade may go down and they may get a lower grade than their original TAG.
What is a priority appeal?
Priority appeals will be handled more quickly than other appeals, where possible before UCAS’s advisory deadline of 8 September.
Priority appeals are only open to A Level students starting university this autumn, who have missed out on the conditions of their firm or insurance offer.
If you decided not to confirm a firm conditional offer and to go through clearing instead, JCQ cannot offer you a priority appeal.
JCQ cannot offer priority appeals for GCSE students, unfortunately.
When making a priority appeal, students will have to include their UCAS number so it can be confirmed that it is a genuine priority appeal.
What should I do if I don’t get into my first choice of university?
First, don’t panic. Speak to Mrs Swan about your options. You may wish to go through clearing, or sit the autumn exams or summer exams next year to try to improve your grade.
If you are going to appeal your grade, you must let your university know you are appealing. They will then let you know whether they will hold a place for you pending the outcome of an appeal (note that universities are not obliged to hold a place for you; this is at their discretion).
What should I do before appealing?
Students must read the JCQ Student and Parent guide before appealing, which is available on the JCQ and school website.
We may not be able to offer as much advice and guidance on the likely success of an appeal this summer as we would in normal years, as we have already moderated and quality assured all the grades ourselves.
What are the two stages of an appeal?
All appeals, on any of the grounds above, must first go through a centre review. At this stage, we will check for any administrative errors, and check that our policies and procedures were followed correctly. Our policy has already been approved by the exam boards, so we are only ensuring that we followed this properly.
The outcome of the centre review will be communicated to students when made.
At the centre review stage, if we find that a grade should go up or down, we will ask the exam board to change it. They will then consider this request.
Following the outcome of a centre review, students may still choose to pursue an awarding organisation appeal. They must fill in the appropriate form, which we will then send on their behalf to the exam boards. Students and parents cannot send appeals directly to the exam board themselves – it must come from us.
The outcome of the awarding organisation appeal will be communicated to students when made.
How do I make an appeal?
Following results days, students should fill in the first section of the JCQ form available on the school website and hand it to the school’s Exams Officer.
What are the deadlines for priority appeals?
The suggested deadline for requesting a priority appeal is 16 August (students cannot appeal before results day on 10 August).
We will attempt to complete the centre review by 20 August*. If students wish to progress this to an awarding organisation appeal, they must send the completed form to us by 23 August for priority appeals.
*At both stages of the appeals process, there may be the need for specialist, expert knowledge (e.g. subject teachers, SEND knowledge). This may not be possible in August. In such cases, we may have to wait until the start of term, but priority appeals will still be treated as a priority.
What are the deadlines for non-priority appeals?
Non-priority appeals are any A Levels, GCSEs or vocational qualifications, where a firm or insurance university place is not pending.
The deadline for submitting a centre review is 3 September; and the deadline for submitting an awarding organisation appeal is 10 September.
Appeals received after these dates may still be considered.