Appeals Process 2021

Making an appeal for a qualification in summer 2021


The aim of this page is to support Leventhorpe students who think they might want to make an appeal about the grade for a qualification awarded in on August 10th (Year 13 or 12) or August 12th (Year 11).  Making an appeal is complicated so please read this page carefully before making any decisions.

 

What is an Appeal?

Although, your teachers have recommended your grades this year to the exam boards who award them, there is an important process known as appeals which is there to support you if you think that the grade you have received might be a mistake or that there might be an unfairness in the way you work has been assessed that has led to you receiving the wrong grade.


Making an appeal is not about trying to improve on your grade, it is about correcting a clear mistake or unfairness. If you make an appeal, it is essential that you understand that your grade can go down as well as up.  Also, you can appeal successfully, and your grade can still stay the same.  There is also the potential that other students’ grades might have to be changed, for instance, if a mistake was discovered in the way scores were totalled up for the class.


An appeal is also not a conflict with us as your school, we want you to get the grade you deserve and will support your appeal.  If the appeal shows that we have made an error, we will correct it and it the exam boards advise us that we have been unfair we will make the changes necessary.
 

Who can make an Appeal?

Only you, the person receiving the qualification can make the appeal and you must give your consent to the appeal before it is taken to what is called “Stage 1”.  By giving your consent you accept that your grade might stay the same, go up or go down and that you cannot withdraw your consent once the appeal has begun, this means you cannot reverse the appeal if the result is worse for you.  Your parents can help you to complete the appeal, but they cannot do it for you.


There is a form that you have to fill in and send to us before the appeal can start, the appeal will not start until you fill in the form and post it to school or send it to us at jd@leventhorpe.net (Mr Dyke’s email).  If you send it via email, you must scan or photograph the page with your signature and then send the form as an attached document to an email.


A separate form is required for each grade that you want to appeal, you cannot appeal two grades on a single form.
This is an electronic version of the appeal form:
Examination Appeal Form 2021

The first two pages must be completed in full to start your appeal and this will take it to stage 1.
 

When can I make an Appeal?

There are two type of appeal; a normal one and a priority one.

All the appeals we receive will be important and we will deal with them as quickly as we can, however, Year 13 students whose firm offer of a university place in the UCAS process depends on their grades are called priority appeals.  We will deal with these first and they will be completed before 24th August if they are started by 16th August.
Priority appeals must be received by 16th August.

Normal appeals can be submitted up to 3rd September.  All appeals will be dealt with as quickly as possible and we will deal with ones that affect educational next steps, for example, sixth form or college entry requirements first, so that you have certainty as soon as possible.
 

What are Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3?

Stage 1 of the appeals process asks the question: “Has there been a mistake made in calculating my grade?”  By taking your appeal to this first stage, we as a school will check all of marks and grades we hold on your subject qualification to see if a mistake has been made.  We have been very careful and do not think there are mistakes, but lots of data has been collected and a human error could have occurred.  It is also possible that a mistake might have been made if you should have had access arrangements in an exam situation and you didn’t, or that you should have had special consideration and you didn’t.
Stage 1 appeals will be done by Mr Dyke and will result in Part B of the appeal form being completed and sent to you as the qualification candidate.  If you think that the school has been accurate but unfair, then Stage 1 still needs to be completed to check there have been no errors before Stage 2 can take place.  Grades can go up, down or stay the same after Stage 1.  If the grades goes up or down, the exam board will be informed, and your grade will change.  This changed grade will be your final grade for this qualification, even if it is lower than the first one given.


Stage 2 appeals can only begin after Stage 1 has been completed.  You do not have to take your appeal on to Stage 2 you can choose to stop the process once you have received the outcome in Section B.  If you go on to Stage 2, we as a school must and will send your appeal to the exam board.  They will make the decision on the appeal. This is because Stage 2 appeals question the systems we have used as a school.  We think they are fair, therefore someone outside of the school has to decide if our opinion on this is wrong.


There are five reasons that you can make a Stage 2 appeal:

1 An administrative error – this means you believe the school has made an error that it has not been able to find when it checked in Stage 1
2a A procedural error – this means you believe the school has not used the processes it said it would do when deciding on your grade
2b A procedural error due to not awarding access arrangement or special consideration
3a An unreasonable exercise of academic judgement has been made in deciding on the grade you should get based on the evidence you provided
3b An unreasonable exercise of academic judgement has been made in deciding on the selection of evidence used to determine the grade awarded

If you decide to take an appeal on to Stage 2, you need to fill in the Stage 2 section of the appeal form.  Because this will be read by people who are not in the school, you will need to explain why you think there has been an unfairness so that they can understand how things might have gone wrong.


There is a further stage of appeals called Stage 3 where it is possible to appeal against the decision made by the exam board in Stage 2.  For this to be successful the exam board would need to have made a mistake or committed an unfairness.
 

Is it worth appealing?

We want to be really careful with this question, because we don’t want to dissuade anyone from appealing, if it is the right thing to do.  However, appealing is detailed and potentially stressful process and so it might be worth pointing out some situations where appealing might not be necessary or worthwhile:

“My grade was close to what I thought I would get, but I wanted more” In this case it is not very likely that a Stage 1 appeal will find a data error or, if it does, it might be too small to affect the grade.
 
 “I heard about another school that did differently things to Leventhorpe” in this case it is not very likely that a Stage 2 appeal will be successful.  The exam boards have already approved the way that we have done things with school-based assessments and so they are not “unreasonable exercises of academic judgement in selecting evidence”.  All schools have done things a bit differently because they have been asked to do something they have never been asked to do before and had very little time to plan
“My tutor said, I might get a grade 7, but I only got 5”
 
This case is not likely to be successful at Stage 2 because the exam board will only correct the school grading decision if it would be “unreasonable” to give that grade.  It must be more than just a difference of viewpoints; the school would need to get it totally wrong
“Some difficult things happened due to Covid and it affected my learning”
 
This case probably will not succeed because everyone has been affected in the last two years.  Cancelling external exams is the step that has been taken across the country to deal with these problems for everyone
“I need a certain grade next year to do something”
 
This might be true, but it is not a case for appeal.  Your teachers have been given some freedom to grade you in a sympathetic way this year and if they think you haven’t yet reached a particular standard yet, you probably do need adjust your plans to recognise where you are now


 

Documents that you can read

There are a number of documents that we have put on our website that you might want to read to understand the appeals system better when making your case.  Most of them are guidance documents and policies that have been written by the exam regulators or the exam boards.

Ofqual Student Guide to Qualifications 2021 – this document is written for students, and we would recommend you start with this one.Student guide to awarding Summer2021

Joint Council for Qualifications, guidance on the appeal system - this document is written for school to explain the rules of the appeal system.Appeals Guidance Summer 2021

Joint Council for Qualification, official appeal form – you can only make an appeal using this form:

2021 Candidate Appeal Form

Joint Council for Qualifications, guidance on special consideration – this document is written for school to explain how they should deal with requests for special consideration.Guide to Special Consideration Process 2021

Leventhorpe Teacher Assessed Grade Policy 2021, this policy explains the way we have arrived at grades this year it is based on the JCQ policy with small changes to explain how we have done things in our school.Leventhorpe Teacher Assessed Grade Policy 2021

Leventhorpe Assessment Weightings of GCSE, this is a school document that lists the percentages of marks given to different assessment evidence we have used for Year 11.GSCE Subject Assessment Weightings

Leventhorpe Assessment Weightings of A level/BTEC, this is a school document that lists the percentages of marks given to different assessment evidence we have used for Year 13.
A Level/BTEC Subject Assessment Weightings

Help and advice

We understand that the appeal system is very complicated and difficult for a student to grasp in a short amount of time.  We want to be helpful and so if you want to speak to someone we will be able to do call you so you can get some advice.  Send an email with your question to Mr Dyke at jd@leventhorpe.net and he will either answer in writing, if the answer is straight forward, or call if it requires a long explanation.

At this moment we are not sure how many students might want to talk to us, so there will be a need to be patient.  While you are waiting, try to read all that you can from the list above and you may find you can get most of the information that you need.

If you have questions that are not really about appeals, but are about university entry or apprenticeships, or gaining a place in the sixth form, then please email Mrs Crosby at cac@leventhorpe.net