More than 90,000 exam grades changed

Dec 10, 2015 by

More than 90,000 GCSE and A-level results were changed after challenges to grades awarded this summer – the highest on record and an increase of 17% compared with last year.

Exam regulator Ofqual says there were more than 572,000 queries over grades – an increase of 27%.

Head teachers have complained about the quality of marking and the damaging impact of incorrect grades.

Ofqual is set to launch a consultation to overhaul the appeals system.

The annual figures from Ofqual show another increase in the number of grades being challenged and changed at both A-level and GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It means that the number of grades changed after re-marking has almost doubled in three years.

A-level and GCSE grades challenged
Grades challenged Grades changed
2010 189,950 34,800
2011 233,350 38,450
2012 291,100 46,250
2013 329,750 54,400
2014 414,850 77,400
2015 572,350 90,650

“Every child sitting an exam deserves to trust that their paper will be marked accurately. So it is very disappointing to see yet another huge upsurge in false GCSE and A level grades,” said Chris King, chair of the Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference group of independent schools.

“The implications for pupils are grave – for some it has meant they have wrongly missed out on a place at their preferred sixth form, further education college or university of choice.”

But Mr King said the “true statistics are likely to be even higher, as we know many state schools do not have the time and resources to put in lengthy, complicated and expensive appeals”.

There have been warnings from head teachers’ leaders that because of the cost of re-marking, fewer appeals are likely from state schools.

Figures from the OCR exam board published by the BBC earlier this year showed that independent school exam centres accounted for a disproportionate number of inquiries.

The Joint Council for Qualifications, representing exam boards, said only a small proportion of exam grades had been changed, in a system with 50,000 markers and 15 million individual scripts.

“As data published today by Ofqual shows, each year over 8 million GCSE and A level grades are awarded to a high level of accuracy. Although the number of enquiries about results increased in 2015, the proportion of all grades changed was 1.1%,” said the JCQ’s director general Michael Turner.

Source: More than 90,000 exam grades changed – BBC News

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