New legal and practical guidance issued about today’s GCSE exam results for students and schools

20th August 2020

3PB’s specialist education  barristers Alice de CoverleyAlice de CoverleyCall: 2014 and Matthew WyardMatthew WyardCall: 2014 have co-authored a two-part report, for students and schools separately, about today’s GCSE results day (20 August 2020). This follows their A Level advice guide and webinar earlier this week.

The Department for Education (“DfE”) changed its approach in a major U-turn five days after the A Level results were released. The switch to centre assessment grades (rather than the standardised/moderated grades) will apply to both AS and A levels and to GCSE results. The DfE stated that “Students awaiting their GCSE grades on Thursday will receive their centre assessment grade from their school … If students’ calculated grades were higher than the centre assessment grade, their calculated grade will stand”…and ”schools and colleges will receive students’ final GCSE grades on Wednesday 19 August 2020, meaning they will be available to young people on Thursday as planned.”

Alice de Coverley and Matthew Wyard have stated in their guidance that “we believe there may be some delays. It is fair to say that any further delay in issuing grades for GCSE pupils will have a knock-on impact on schools and colleges who would normally start their enrolment process after results are issued…so get in touch with your future school/college and ask them what they are doing about GCSE results”…..and “Already the BTec results have been delayed after Pearson, the exam body that award BTecs, announced a need to re-grade the exam results following the algorithm anarchy.“

The guidance offers tips for students and their parents about the GCSE grade that students will receive; the appeals process in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; Exam results Helplines available; Subject Access Requests for finding out information to support you in pushing for an appeal; grounds for appeals; Centres’ duties to students/learners.

The report also addresses various questions that schools and colleges might have today - including students’ rights to access personal data and tips on dealing with requests;  options for assisting students with appeals;  schools and colleges review process if request for an appeal is refused; complaints and the risks and likely success of litigation, particularly claims in negligence for how centre assessment grades were awarded and claims of bias/breaches of the Equality Act 2010; and for private schools, the added risk of a claim in breach of contract.

To read their full report click here.