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Detail of outcome
Appeals pilot evaluation - June 2017
Following the evaluation of our summer 2016 pilot exercise in A level geography, religious studies, and physics, we found that additional grounds of appeal provided a better opportunity for errors in marking to be identified and corrected.
In the future, schools and colleges in England will have a second opportunity to challenge GCSE, AS level, A level and project results if they continue to have concerns about marking or moderation errors.
Starting in summer 2017, those who continue to have concerns about marking or moderation errors in AS and A levels or project qualifications, after the exam board has conducted its first review, will be able to ask exam boards to look again.
The opportunity to appeal on the grounds of a marking or moderation error will be extended to GCSEs in English language, English literature and maths in 2018, and to all remaining GCSE subjects in 2019.
Our full findings are published in ‘Evaluating the pilot of an additional ground for appeal: findings and decisions’.
Additional decisions - February 2017
We have announced the following additional decisions:
- We will introduce the requirements for key dates for the completion of reviews and appeals for the summer 2017 exam series. These ensure common, minimum timelines for centres and students.
- We will introduce the requirement for exam boards to grant students the ability to request results of centre-marked assessments for the summer 2018 exam series onwards. We will introduce associated requirements about how reviews must be conducted at the same time.
- We will introduce the requirement for exam boards to make marked GCSE scripts available to centres, before their deadline for requesting a review of marking, for the summer 2020 exam series onwards.
- We will introduce the requirement for exam boards to provide the reasons for review of marking decisions automatically for the summer 2020 exam series onwards.
- We will defer implementation of the removal of automatic grade protection that currently applies, following a review of moderation for at least two years.
Initial decisions - July 2016
We set out our decisions in the attached document. These decisions follow on from those taken at the end of May 2016 and reflect the findings of the consultation on changes to regulations for enquiries and appeals
We have listened carefully to the views submitted and have decided that, in particular:
- Reviewers, when deciding whether the first mark should stand, should consider whether the first marker made any administrative errors, properly applied the mark scheme and exercised their academic judgement appropriately.
- Exam boards must provide the reasons for marking review decisions on request, but there will be no express requirement to do this within a specific timescale in 2016. This decision acknowledges that the exam boards will need to change their systems before they can respond quickly to requests.
- A level physics, rather than maths, will be included along with religious studies and geography in the pilot exercise to test the new ground of appeal following a review. This is because of the potential complications at appeal from the strong relationship between maths and further maths.
We have also decided to defer decisions in a number of areas to a later date. These include:
- When the requirement for exam boards to make marked GCSE scripts available to centres should be introduced (in the meantime, exam boards may choose to make marked scripts available).
- The detail of the framework to be used by exam boards to set dates for completion of reviews and appeals.
- When the requirement for learners to be able to ask for the results of centre-marked assessments should be introduced.
- When the automatic grade protection that currently applies following a review of moderation will be removed.
We are continuing to gather evidence in relation to the impact of these requirements. In all cases we have put in place conditions that will allow us to implement our decisions at a later date. We will consult further on any revisions to these conditions as necessary.
Detail of feedback received
There were 19 responses to this consultation. We also received one submission which did not follow the structure of the consultation document, but made a number of specific points.
This follows on from our consultation on Marking reviews, appeals, grade boundaries and Code of Practice.
We announced our decisions and published the analysis of that consultation on 26 May 2016. We are now consulting on the Conditions and guidance we propose to put in place to implement the changes.
There are three areas on which we are now consulting which were not included in our original consultation. These are:
- Piloting a new ground on which appeals can be made (challenge marking or moderation on the grounds of a Marking Error).
- Retaining specific requirements for exam boards to train original markers and moderators.
- Producing statutory guidance on how reviewers determine a Marking Error has been made.