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Uxbridge High School

End of course results and appeals: Years 11 and 13 Summer 2021 

Results as final grades for examination courses studied will be issued in school on:  

  •  Tuesday 10th August for post-16 results  
  • Thursday 12th August for KS4 results  

Grades achieved will allow all students to move successfully to the next stage of their education, training or work.  To further support with this, staff will be on hand throughout the results week to confirm sixth form places for year 11 students and to assist year 13 students with their university acceptances.  There will also be a range of careers advice and guidance available to all.

These final gradings have been based on a range of evidence that your son/daughter has completed during their studies.  You can see a summary of the evidence sources here.

While it is the overall and final grade that is important, there is the opportunity for students to discuss the marks that each of their evidence pieces gained.  This can be requested prior to or after results days.  Any student wishing to do this can email the examinations officer on exams@uhs.org.uk to make an appointment with a senior member of staff.

We hope that students will be pleased and reassured by their final grades.  However, in exceptional circumstances where a student believes that an error or wrong judgement has been made, they are entitled to appeal.  In the first instance, appeals will be heard by the school as the examinations centre.  In the unlikely event that this occurs, students should complete the appeal form which can be found here.  Once this is received, the school will advise on the stages that will follow.

There are four grounds for appeal:

  1. Administrative error by the centre
  2. Procedural error by the centre
  3. Unreasonable exercise of academic judgement by the centre
  4. Administrative error by the exam board

The appeal process should not be used if students are disappointed by their grades; there are other options in these circumstances.  Students should be aware that there are three outcomes from an appeal:

  • The grade can go up
  • The grade can stay the same
  • The grade can go down

Before completion of an appeal form you must have: 

  • Read and understood the guidance at the start of the form
  • Read the Centre Assessment Policy (CAP)
  • Looked at and considered the evidence base and marks used to generate TAGs
  • Checked if any mitigation has already been applied to results

Students who want to appeal should email the examinations officer on exams@uhs.org.uk to make an appointment.  Initially a senior member of staff will meet with students to look at the marks that were used to generate TAGs and any special context or considerations that were considered.  Appointments are available for A-level students from 11th August and for GCSE students from 13th August between 9am and 12pm.  Students wishing to appeal should ensure that they book an appointment to review their grades on or before 13th August.  There are no appointments available during week commencing 17th August.  Requests to review grades after 13th August will be deferred to week commencing 23rd August.

Students may appeal all or any of their grades.  For each subject/grade appeal, a separate appeal form will be required.  If appeals are for reasons 3 or 4, an appeal under category 1 and 2 will be required first.

The deadlines for appeals are:

  • 16th August for internal priority A-level
  • 23rd August for external exam board priority A-level
  • 3rd September for all other internal
  • 17th September for all other external

Completed appeal forms should be emailed to exams@uhs.org.uk.  Students must use their school email account.  Use of this account will confirm that students themselves are appealing.

We will process appeals as soon as possible after receiving them and provide outcomes by email reply.

To double-check your understanding of this summary, please see below several FAQs with more detail.  We are also advised that a student and parent guide will be published by JCQ later this term.

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 the school 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. This year no grades have been changed because of an algorithm. 

What do I do if I’m not happy with my/my child’s grade? 

All students can 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. If a student puts in an appeal and their grade is lowered, they will receive the lower mark. 

There is an 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 four 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 incorrect information into a spreadsheet.
  • You think we have made a procedural error: this means we have not properly followed our own process, as approved by the exam board.  An example of this would be where you have been told you should have received extra time for assessments, but this was not 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 8th September. 

Priority appeals are only open to A-level students starting university this autumn, who have missed the conditions of their firm or insurance offer. 

If you decide 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.  

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 do not get into my first choice of university? 

Speak to a member of the sixth form team 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 will be available on the JCQ website by results days. 

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 appeal 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 Uxbridge High School. 

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 and send it to exams@uhs.org.uk.  Before you do this, please make an appointment to discuss the appeal with a senior member of staff.  You can request this meeting using the same email.

What are the deadlines for priority appeals? 

The suggested deadline for requesting a priority appeal is 16th August (students cannot appeal before results day on 10th August). 

We will attempt to complete the centre review as quickly as possible. If students wish to progress this to an awarding organisation appeal, they must send the completed form to us by 23rd 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 be processed as quickly as we are able. 

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 3rd September and the deadline for submitting an awarding organisation appeal is 10th September. 

You know my/my child’s grades. Why can’t you tell us? What if you know we have not met our university conditional offer? 

We are forbidden from disclosing the Teacher Assessed Grades to any third party, including students and parents, until results days. Any teacher or member of staff who does this is committing exam malpractice. 

Although students may have been given marks or grades on single pieces of evidence, we cannot disclose the final submitted TAGs.