Commenting on guidance
from the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) on the appeals process for this summer’s A-levels, GCSEs and other qualifications, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“We’ve talked extensively to the Department for Education, Ofqual and JCQ about this issue over the past few weeks, and with them have collectively tried to make the best of difficult circumstances.
“Our main concern over the appeals process is the extra burden it places on schools and colleges after they have already shouldered the responsibility of assessing and submitting grades following the cancellation of public exams.
“While some of the appeals process is being picked up by the exam boards there is still a lot that is being landed on schools and colleges.
“The process entails them having in place systems, resources and staffing from results days onwards in August for priority appeals from students in danger of missing out on university places.
“Then in September, when schools and colleges are managing the start of the new school year, they will also have to deal with all other appeals. As appeals are free and available on demand, there is a risk that schools and colleges may face very significant extra workload at a time when they are already at full stretch.
“The DfE has recognised the implications in August and has told us that funding will be made available for schools and colleges to bring in staff during the summer holiday period, and we appreciate that gesture.
“However, we remain very concerned about the overall situation and the fact that schools and colleges are once again left having to pick up the pieces in a grading system that has been hastily constructed because the government didn’t have a contingency plan in place in the event of public exams being cancelled.”