ASCL comment on GCSE, AS and A-level exam appeals statistics

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the publication today of exam appeals statistics by Ofqual.
“Schools and colleges were presented with a difficult task when they were handed responsibility for awarding grades to their students last summer, after the government cancelled exams for the second year running due to the ongoing pandemic.
“Leaders and teachers stepped up to the plate admirably and did a fantastic job in extremely difficult circumstances, but it was inevitable that there would be more appeals than in normal years because the system for awarding grades was accompanied by a completely different and very accessible appeals process.
“What is remarkable is that in these highly unusual circumstances such a small proportion of grades were challenged – just 0.3 per cent of the six million grades certified for GCSEs, AS and A levels, and that only 0.1% of grades were changed following an appeal. This is testimony to the professionalism of teachers, who used their skill, judgement and knowledge of their students’ ability to ensure they received accurate grades in the vast majority of cases.
“The Education Secretary has been emphatic in his recent statements that exams will go ahead this summer and we look forward to receiving details on February 7 of the adaptations being made to reflect the varying degrees of disruption young people have suffered during the last two years. Providing them with advance information on the content of exams will help them focus their studies during the coming weeks as they prepare for these important exams. It is essential that these adaptations provide clarity and reassurance to students, parents and teachers.”