HMC response to Ofqual announcement on additional GCSE, AS and A level grounds for appeal 28.06.17

28 June 2017
Posted by Heidi Salmons

Ofqual today (June 28) announced it will allow schools to appeal against exam results on the grounds of marking as well as process error.  The detail can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/additional-gcse-as-and-a-level-grounds-for-appeal

In response, Peter Hamilton, Chair of HMC’s Academic Policy Committee and Head of Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School said:

“Teachers have long been infuriated by the dysfunctional processes for challenging grades and providing a new way to question marking accuracy is a welcome additional security measure. It is not enough, however, to make the exam marking system safe.

“The most important thing for young people is trust that their exam grades are accurate from the beginning. That is still not happening; nearly 68,000 pupils had their exam results changed last year after challenges by schools and the true extent of unreliable grading is still uncertain.

“This year is a particular pressure point as the tighter boundaries across the new 9-1 GCSE grade-scale means there is more likelihood of wrong grades being awarded.

“HMC has long fought for more accurate and reliable grading from the outset.  A major overhaul of how grades are awarded is still necessary to ensure all children can rely on the exam results which are so important to their life chances.”

State school leaders’ association NAHT, HMC’s long term partner in campaigning for reforms to the accuracy and reliability of examination marking, issued this statement:

Russell Hobby, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“Pupils, parents and teachers want to be confident that all exam grades awarded are right first time. The first priority for any examination system is to get these basics right. Should mistakes occur then those affected rightly expect them to be put right swiftly and with the minimum of fuss.

“We welcome Ofqual revisiting this issue and their announcement to strengthen appeal arrangements. It is critical that these changes are widely publicised so that no mistake goes unchallenged, irrespective of background or circumstance of the pupils impacted – the importance of making the grade on future life choices is too great to leave to chance.”

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