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Ofqual announces new system for GCSE reviews and appeals

21/02/2017 Joanna

Examinations regulator Ofqual has provided details of a series of upcoming changes to the way it handles reviews and appeals pertaining to GCSE, AS and A-level exams.

The aim of the incoming changes will be to make the systems schools and colleges in England use to challenge exam results clearer, more consistent and fairer. The decision to make these adjustments was reached in July 2016, but firm decisions have been deferred until now so that more evidence could be gathered about their potential impact.

Having received feedback from a range of stakeholders, the regulator has chosen to introduce a requirement for exam boards to make marked GCSE scripts available to centres before their deadline for requesting a review of marking.

This new measure will be put in place from the summer 2020 exam series onwards; additionally, it will become necessary for exam boards to provide the reasons for any reviews of marking decisions automatically from this date.

Exam boards will also have to grant learners the ability to request results of centre-marked assessments for the summer 2018 exam series and beyond, while the planned removal of current automatic grade protection measures is set to be deferred to allow Ofqual to carry out a review of moderation that will take at least two years.

Through this process, the approaches exam boards take to moderation will be studied closely; only after doing this will Ofqual decide whether to remove this protection.

Finally, it was added that any decision regarding extending the grounds for appeal will be taken later this spring, once analysis of a pilot study has been completed. Official statistics on GCSE, AS and A-level result appeals are set to be published on March 21st.

The regulator said: "Ofqual has announced requirements for key dates for the completion of reviews and appeals. These will ensure common, minimum timelines for centres and students."

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