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Ofqual data shows drop in number of appealed exam results

23/03/2017 Kelly

The number of UK students launching appeals over exam results saw a decline in 2016, according to the latest data from examinations regulator Ofqual.

Figures from a statistical report on appeals for GCSE, AS and A level results relating to the summer 2016 exam series shows that there were 355 appeals against results made in 2016, compared to 466 in 2015.

This represents a year-on-year decline of 24 per cent, and occurred in against the backdrop of a fall in the overall number of GCSE, AS and A level unit entries, as well as a reduction in the number of requests for reviews of marking in 2016 compared to 2015.

Ofqual's data also showed that 211 grades challenged at appeal led to a grade change, or 3.2 per cent of the total. This was more than in 2015, where only 49 grades challenged under appeal were changed - 0.7 per cent of the overall sum.

This increase in successful appeals followed a pilot run in 2016 to test new grounds for appeal in AS and A level geography, physics and religious studies, extending the criteria to allow appeals on the grounds of a marking error that was not corrected during the review. Traditionally, exam boards have only accepted appeals on the grounds of a procedural error.

Appeals can be requested once a school or college has gone through the review of marking and moderation process if they are dissatisfied with the outcome. Ofqual said it is still considering the results of the pilot before it decides whether or not to extend the new criteria to other subjects.

Sally Collier, chief regulator at Ofqual, said: "The appeals pilot in three subjects is part of a set of wider changes we are making to the marking reviews and appeals system. The changes aim to make the system as fair as it can be for all students and to make sure students get the grade their performance deserved."

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