What do I do if I’m not happy with my grade?

All students have the opportunity to appeal their grade if they meet the eligibility criteria (see below). It is important to note that an appeal may result in a grade being lowered, staying the same, or going up. So if a student puts in an appeal and their grade is lowered, they will receive the lower grade.

There is also the option to re-sit in the autumn, which may be preferable to some students. Please email exams@workingtonacademy.org by Wednesday 1 September if you wish to be entered for the Autumn re-sit.


What are the grounds for appeal?

There are four main grounds for appeal, as dictated by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).They are:

  • You think we have made an administrative error: an example of this would be putting the wrong information into a spreadsheet.
  • You think we have made a procedural error: this means we haven’t properly followed our own process, as approved by the exam board. An example of this would be where you’ve been told you should have received extra time for assessments but this wasn’t given in a certain subject.
  • You think the academic judgement on the selection of evidence was unreasonable: you think the evidence used to grade you was not reasonable.
  • You think the academic judgement on the grade you were given was unreasonable.


What does ‘unreasonable’ mean?

‘Unreasonable’ is a technical term in this context and means that no educational professional acting reasonably could have selected the same evidence or come up with the same grade.

This means that just because other forms of evidence may have been equally valid to use, the selection of evidence is not unreasonable. Because of the flexibility of the approach this year, every school and college will have used different forms of evidence.

It also means that the independent reviewers will not remark or grade students’ evidence. Instead, they will look to see whether any teacher acting reasonably could have arrived at the same grade.


What will be the outcome of an appeal?

At either stage of the appeals process (see ‘What are the two stages of an appeal?’ below), a student’s grade may go down, stay the stay, or go up. When placing an appeal the student will have to sign a declaration saying that they accept the fact their grade may go down and they may get a lower grade than their original TAG.


What’s a priority appeal?

Priority appeals will be handled more quickly than other appeals, where possible before UCAS’s advisory deadline of 8 September.

Priory appeals are only open to A level students starting university this autumn, who have missed out on the conditions of their firm or insurance offer.

JCQ cannot offer priority appeals for GCSE students, unfortunately.

When making a priority appeal, students will have to include their UCAS number so it can be confirmed that it is a genuine priority appeal.


What should I do before appealing?

Students must read the JCQ Student and Parent guide before appealing, which is available using the link at the bottom of this page.

We may not be able to offer as much advice and guidance on the likely success of an appeal this summer as we would in normal years, as we have already moderated and quality assured all the grades ourselves.


What are the two stages of an appeal?

All appeals, on any of the grounds above, must first go through a centre review by completing the first section of the form below. At this stage, we will check for any administrative errors, and check that our policies and procedures were followed correctly. Our policy has already been approved by the exam boards, so we are only ensuring that we followed this properly. Our approved centre policy can be found here.

The outcome of the centre review will be communicated to students when made.

At the centre review stage, if we find that a grade should go up or down, we will ask the exam board to change it. They will then consider this request.

Following the outcome of a centre review, students may still choose to pursue an awarding organisation appeal. They must fill in the second section of the appeal form, which we will then send on their behalf to the exam boards. Students and parents cannot send appeals directly to the exam board themselves – it must come from us.

The outcome of the awarding organisation appeal will be communicated to students when made.


How do I make an appeal?

First of all speak to Mr Bedford or Mrs McAllister. If you still wish to appeal you must complete the first section (page 2) of the JCQ form, which is available using the link at the bottom of this page, and email it to exams@workingtonacademy.org


What are the deadlines for priority appeals?

The deadline for requesting a priority appeal is Friday 13 August. Please complete section 1 of the appeal form (page 2) to start your appeal and email to exams@workingtonacademy.org.

We will complete priority centre reviews as soon as we can so if students wish to progress this to an awarding organisation appeal, they must complete section two of the form and send the completed form to us by Friday 20 August for priority appeals.


What are the deadlines for non-priority appeals?

Non-priority appeals are any A levels, GCSEs or vocational qualifications, where a firm or insurance university place is not pending.

The deadline for submitting a centre review is Wednesday 1 September; and the deadline for submitting an awarding organisation appeal is Thursday 16 September.


Where can I find more information?

More information can be found on the JCQ website.

Appeals Process: https://www.jcq.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/JCQ_Appeals-Guidance_Summer-2021.pdf

Student Guide: https://www.jcq.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/JCQ-Student-Appeals-Guide-2021.pdf

Appeals Form: https://www.jcq.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/JCQ_Appeals-Guidance_Summer-2021_Appendix-B.pdf