Exam Appeal Procedures

Examination Officer: Julia M. Ashenden

External Assessment Appeals Procedure

This applies to GCSE, GCE, Key Skills and BTEC work that is assessed externally. In general it relates therefore to written papers, and also the few pieces of coursework that are wholly assessed externally.

It is possible to appeal against the procedures of an Exams Board in the conduct of an examination.

This is not to be confused with making a Result Enquiry, querying a mark. It is not possible to appeal against the outcome of Result Enquiry unless there is evidence that the exam board was not adhering to the code of practice.

An appeal might be against the inappropriate application of a mark scheme, or perhaps against a change in specification without properly making it known. In each case the Examinations Officer would need to look very carefully at the Code of Practice, to see if there has been a procedural error. The process is long winded, and probably has to go through all three stages before success is likely. The final conclusion may be 6 months after the exam results are published, by which time any changes in marks will be far too late for University purposes. Making an appeal is very rare.

Any appeal must be made through the School; submissions will not be accepted from individuals. The final arbiter is the Examinations Appeals Board.

Internal Assessment Appeals Process

This applies to GCSE, GCE, Key Skills and BTEC coursework, performance etc providing the work is assessed internally.

If at any stage during your exam courses you have concerns about the procedures used in assessing your internally marked work for public exams (e.g. controlled assessment/coursework / portfolio), then you MUST initially discuss this with your tutor, the teacher concerned, and/or the relevant Head of Department. Hopefully this will resolve the issue.

If the matter is not resolved then you should see the Examinations Officer as soon as possible to discuss whether a formal appeal could be made. Any appeal is very much a last resort, and a request for an appeal will not be accepted unless these other avenues have first been explored. It is expected that appeals will be extremely rare.

An appeal would be very weak if you have not kept to the agreed deadlines (unless this is what the appeal is about), or you have not tried to sort it out within a fortnight of the problem arising. You may not appeal against any mark that has been awarded unless you think that this has been because of a procedural error, and you must be able to identify the procedural error.

In accordance with the Code of Practice for the conduct of examinations, Robert Smyth Academy is committed to ensuring that:

  • internal assessments are conducted by staff who have the appropriate knowledge, understanding and skills.
  • assessment evidence provided by candidates has been produced and authenticated according to the requirements of the specification.
  • the consistency of internal assessment is secured through internal standardisation.
  • staff responsible for standardisation have been properly trained.
  • the School will comply fully with the Joint Council guidelines.

Appeals may be made to the School regarding the procedures used in internal assessment, but not against the actual marks or grades submitted by the School for moderation by the Awarding Body.

A pupil or parent wishing to appeal against the procedures used in internal assessments should contact the Examinations Officer as soon as possible to discuss the appeal, and a written appeal must be received by the School before the end of the exam season in question. In the summer, for example, the appeal must be lodged in sufficient time for the matter to be dealt with before the end of the Summer term, but should in reality be lodged much earlier.

On receipt of a written appeal, an enquiry into the internal assessment will be conducted by the Examinations Officer, the House Head, (or a representative if either is involved in the assessment in question) and one other Head of Department not involved with the internal assessment decision.

This enquiry will consider whether the procedures used in the internal assessment conformed to the published requirements of the Awarding Body.

The School would encourage the candidate to be supported by a parent, guardian, or friend in the presentation of their case. The appeal decision will be recorded and filed.

The candidate will be informed in writing of the outcome of the appeal, including details of any relevant communication with the Awarding Body and of any steps taken further to protect the interests of the candidate(s).