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Inspiring Young People

Examinations 2021

This section will provide important information and resources regarding public examinations as they are issued by the Examination Boards.

  1. Year 11 Subject Evidence Booklet
    DOCX File
  2. Year 13 Subject Evidence Booklet
    DOCX File
  3. Appeals policy
    DOC File
  4. Letter to Parents regarding Appeals for 2021
    DOCX File
  5. FORM FOR STAGE ONE Centre Review
    DOCX File
  6. FORM FOR STAGE TWO Appeal to Awarding Organisations
    DOCX File
  7. JCQ_appeals_guidance
    PPTX File
  8. JCQ_Appeals-Guidance_Summer-2021
    PDF File
  9. JCQ-Summer-2021-FAQs-Appeals
    PDF File
  10. Upton-Hall-School-Centre-Policy
    DOCX File

Below are important details for candidates in readiness for Examination Results in August.  Please read this information carefully.

Grades this summer are based on Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs). TAGs were submitted to the exam boards by us as a holistic assessment of students’ performance in a subject, following a rigorous process of assessment, moderation and quality assurance.   We are currently in the ‘external quality assurance’ window which means the exam boards are checking that we have determined grades in a fair way. 

After the period of external quality assurance, the exam board will issue grades ready for Results Day.    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 requests an appeal and their grade is lowered, they will receive the lower mark.  This letter will give you key information about this process. 

What are the grounds for appeal?

These are the 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 are the two stages of an appeal?

All appeals, on any of the grounds above, must first go through a centre review. 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.  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 Stage Two 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 the school.  The outcome of the awarding organisation appeal will be communicated to students when made.

What will be the outcome of an appeal?

Unlike last year, there is no grade protection.   At either stage of the appeals process (see ‘What are the two stages of an appeal?’ above), a student’s grade may go up, stay the same, or go down. 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.

JCQ state that it is possible that an administrative or procedural error can be found but that this may not mean the original grade was wrong. 

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.

Priority 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.  If you decided not to confirm a firm conditional offer and to go through clearing instead, JCQ cannot offer you a priority appeal.

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 if I don’t get into my first choice of university?

First, don’t panic. Speak to Mrs Hall about your options. You may wish to go through clearing, or sit the autumn exams or summer exams next year to try to improve your grade.

If you are going to appeal your grade, you must let your university know you are appealing. They will then let you know whether they will hold a place for you pending the outcome of an appeal (note that universities are not obliged to hold a place for you; this is at their discretion).

What should I do before appealing?

Students must read the JCQ Student and Parent guide before appealing, which will be available on the JCQ website by results day as well as the Upton Hall Appeals Policy for 2021.  

You should be aware of most of the information you would need already.  The school’s Centre Policy is on the website and you will find it useful to refer to the evidence booklet which was sent in May.   We will do our best to provide you with any information to help you decide whether to appeal or not.  If you want to request any information please fill in this google form

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.   Please remember we have been told to use grade descriptors rather than grade boundaries so it is not a case of being ‘one or two marks away’ from the next grade.

How do I make an appeal or request a centre review?

Following results days, students should fill in the forms found on the school website  and send it to   More detail can be found in our Appeals Policy.

What are the deadlines for priority appeals?

The deadline for requesting a priority appeal is 10 am on 16 August (students cannot appeal before results day on 10 August).

We will attempt to complete the centre review for priority appeals as soon as possible and certainly by the 19th August*. If students wish to progress this to an awarding organisation appeal, they must send the completed form to us by 10 am on 20th August for priority appeals.  These deadlines are in place to ensure that the school is able to process reviews and appeals within the windows set out by JCQ. 

*At both stages of the appeals process, there may be the need for specialist, expert knowledge (e.g. subject teachers, SEND knowledge). This may not be possible in August. In such cases, we may have to wait until the start of term, but priority appeals will still be treated as a priority.

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 1st September; and the deadline for submitting an awarding organisation appeal is 14th September.

Appeals received after these dates may still be considered.

You know my/my child’s grades. Why can’t you tell us? What if you know we haven’t met our university conditional offer?

We are forbidden from disclosing the Teacher Assessed Grades to any third party, including students and parents, until results days. Any teacher or member of staff who does this is committing exam malpractice.   Although students may have been given marks or grades on single pieces of evidence, we cannot disclose the final submitted TAG.

During the external quality assurance process taking place in June or July, our submitted TAGs may be moved up or down.   We only know what a student’s conditional offer is if they have chosen to share that information with us. It has not formed part of our objective grading of students. Where we do know this information, we must not let students know their submitted TAGs, even if they haven’t met the conditions of their offer.

Are there opportunities to resit in the autumn??

There is also the option to resit GCSEs, A levels and some AS levels in the autumn, which may be preferable to some students. The design, content and assessment of these papers will be the same as in a normal year.  The deadline for A Level entry is 7th September and for GCSE the 30th September.  Entry forms  and information  will be available from the Exams Office after Results Day.


Where can I find more information?

The JCQ website includes more information including

Our school policy on Appeals, together with the form, can be found on the website as can our Centre Policy which explains the procedures we followed.