Criteria for appealing exams suspended by Ofqual just hours after launch

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Changing the review call system (Photo: Getty / Rex / Shutterstock)

The national examining regulator has suspended its criteria for students in hopes of appealing their A-level results, after nearly 40% of grades were downgraded on Thursday.

Ofqual made the announcement in a brief statement released on Saturday evening, adding that more information would be released “in due course”. It came just hours after setting the criteria for certifying exam results using mock exam scores – a move Conservative MP Robert Halfon called “a huge mess.”

Hundreds of thousands of students have had their expected grades reduced this week, sparking a debate and a protest outside Downing Street.

Due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions, no A-level or GCSE students were able to take exams this summer, meaning their final grades were calculated using mock scores, teacher predictions, and of the Ofqual standardization process.

Ofqual had previously said that students could appeal if their fictitious result was higher than their final grade. On Saturday, they then said they would consider teacher assessments if a simulation had not taken place.

However, a statement posted late last night on the regulator’s website read: “Earlier today we published information on the results of mock exams in the appeals. This policy is under review by the Board of Directors of Ofqual and more information will be released in due course.

The image shows students, teachers and parents holding signs and wearing masks to protest downgraded A-level results due to Covid-19.

Students, teachers and parents protested the deterioration in A-level results (Photo: Getty)

The image shows a student holding a pen, writing an exam with others

No A-level or GCSE students have been able to take exams this year, due to the coronavirus lockdown (Photo: Shutterstock / AimPix)

The government’s performance management has been increasingly criticized by students, parents and teachers, with protesters calling for the resignation of Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

In response to Ofqual’s sudden reminder of the appeal criteria, MP Robert Halfon told BBC News: “This is a huge mess. Goodness knows what’s going on at Ofqual. It’s the last thing we need right now. It is simply unacceptable in my opinion.
Conservatives accused of rape may return to Commons GettyTory MP accused of rape may return to Commons after being released on bail“Students and teachers are extremely anxious – especially students who are worried about their future. It needs to be fixed.

“Ofqual shouldn’t put things on websites, remove them, confuse things. It just isn’t and needs to be changed.

Prior to the publication of the results, the Ministry of Education had set a ‘triple locking’ commitment that would allow students to use the highest mark based on their teachers’ predictions, their false exam results or the result. of the exam in the fall.

Conservative MP Robert Halfon has called Ofqual’s criteria to stay appeals a ‘mess’ (Photo: PA)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by DW Images / REX (10717891j) Education Secretary Gavin Williamson arrives in Downing Street for a Cabinet meeting at the Foreign Office Politicians in London, Westminster, London, UK - July 21, 2020

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has calls to step down (Photo: DW Images / REX)

However, Labor noted that, using the now suspended Ofqual criteria, some students could not use their mock results as the basis for an appeal if the assessment did not meet the criteria.

Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green said: “Gavin Williamson promised to give students a triple lock, but instead he left many devastated by unfair exam results, and now his commitment to give them another chance wears off quickly.

“After promising that students will be able to use a valid fictitious result, the reality is that many will not receive these marks even though they represent a student’s best result.

“The latest chaos is the inevitable consequence of this government’s chaotic approach to exams, which saw solutions devised on the back of a pack of cigarettes and announced barely a day before young people received their results. “


What were the attractiveness criteria using simulated exam results?

  • Conditions: Examinations must have been supervised, invisible and undertaken under conditions intended to make work as a student safer.
  • Form of assessment: Either previous evaluations produced by the relevant examination committee, or evaluations prepared by teachers
  • Duration: Taken under timed conditions
  • Period of time: Completed before March 20, 2020, when schools and colleges were closed
  • Programme: Examinations must have “substantial coverage” of the specification for the given subject
  • Marking: The examinations must have been marked according to a scoring system provided by the competent examination board
  • Ranking: Scored in accordance with the Examination Board Exam Standard
  • Evidence: Schools appealing with dummies must produce proof of the given grade and that the correction was made before the date of submission of teacher predictions

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