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GCSE results not what you expected? Here's what to do

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In England today pupils will be receiving their GCSE grades however; they will look extremely different to how many of us remember them.

This year students are the first to be awarded numerical grades for GCSE’s with 9 being the highest down to 1, instead of the traditional A* - G grades.

This change has apparently been introduced to improve the value of the top grades and allow future employers and colleges to better differentiate between candidates. The common consensus however is that these numerical grades are set to cause huge confusion with many uncertainties created.

If a student is of the view that they have not achieved the grade they deserved there are several options to try to rectify this situation.

Each exam board have their own procedure for appealing exam results. Essentially, the first stage is for the student to request that the School ask for the exam/coursework to be reviewed or looked at by a senior examiner. If the examiner finds that there are grounds for appeal, they will review the exam and the exam result may be amended. The student needs to keep in mind that the grade can be amended to a higher OR lower grade.

The second stage is generally a formal appeal in which the School lodge an appeal with the exam board in relation to the exam grade. 

The final stage, if the student still remains dissatisfied with the appeals outcome, is to complain to Ofqual – the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulations.

Since last year, when it was reported that “examiners are being told to only change a mark if there is a clear marking error rather than simply a difference of interpretation” it is set to become harder to be successful in appealing an exam result. Ofqual have also stated that “it is not fair to allow some students to have a second bite of the cherry by giving them a higher mark on review, when the first mark was perfectly appropriate”.

Therefore, it is essential that students present a robust appeal with solid reasoning showing a clear marking error, in order to ensure that their appeal is considered and their exam paper is remarked. As specialist education solicitors we have vast experience in preparing appeals in this area. If you wish to have a chat with someone today after your son or daughter has received their exam results, then please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on 02920 291704