Island students given same grounds for grade appeals as UK

BAILIWICK students will have the same rights of appeal against exam grades – Level 3 results, including A-levels are released today – as their counterparts in the UK.

Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson waited until the last minute to change the criteria for A-level grades. Guernsey has decided to adopt a similar system. (Picture by PA Photo)
Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson waited until the last minute to change the criteria for A-level grades. Guernsey has decided to adopt a similar system. (Picture by PA Photo)

The UK Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson MP, announced earlier this week that valid mock exam grades would be allowed as an additional ground for appeal if schools and students believe that a grade did not reflect their work.

Education, Sport & Culture has decided to adopt the same arrangement for today's [Thursday's] results.

Exams regulator Ofqual is yet to define its requirements for a mock exam to be considered ‘valid’.

Earlier this year, when it became clear that the pandemic would prevent students from sitting their exams physically, Ofqual developed a mathematical model to calculate grades based partly on assessments provided by each school.

Recently, concerns have been expressed in England that adjustments to grades using this mathematical model may leave some students with grades which were unreasonably low and therefore unfair when compared with students in previous and future years. This led Mr Williamson to announce the changes he was making in England.

‘Students in the Bailiwick sit public exams which in the main are from exam boards in England and approved by the qualifications authority in England, said Education president Deputy Matt Fallaize.

‘This is partly to ensure that our students are not disadvantaged relative to their English counterparts when applying for university places or jobs.

He said that to ensure local students were not disadvantaged, ESC was adopting he changes announced by Mr Williamson.

‘Essentially, this means that valid mock exam grades will be an additional ground for appeal against the grades students receive on their results days.’

“In relation to A-levels and equivalent qualifications, appeal forms are being prepared for students in case they are needed and has started an analysis of mock exam grades to assist students where appeals are considered justified. He added that the committee has set aside funding for appeals and for students to sit their exams again in the autumn if necessary, although this is not a decision to be taken lightly and students and schools will go ahead with re-sits only where there is a good case for them and after full discussion.

Students and parents who have concerns or questions should discuss them with their school.

‘Universities are well aware of the situation this year and may exercise a greater level of flexibility for students whose grades do not meet the conditions on places offered. However, if any young person finds themselves in a position where they have sadly missed out on a university place, staff at The Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre and The Guernsey Institute will be available to offer advice,’ said Deputy Fallaize.

How did Ofqual calculate grades?

Teachers submitted a grade they expected a student to achieve. Within each grade, students were then ranked according to the level of certainty that they would achieve their submitted grade. This was then checked by at least one other teacher and then again by the school senior leadership team to ensure it was a true representation of each student’s performance. This information was then submitted to exam boards.

Exam boards then standardised this information – making adjustments to grades where needed to provide consistency between teachers’ judgements across all schools and colleges and to make results comparable with previous years.

For technical and vocational subjects there was consultation with providers prior to the final process being determined and The Guernsey Institute contributed to this.

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