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15 August 2020

Nick Gibb writes to all headteachers and college principals about A and AS level and GCSE results

Sub-theme: Education


In this letter, Minister of State for School Standards Nick Gibb acknowledges the concerns that schools and colleges have about how the A and AS level results were 'arrived at and the impact' on their students. The letter says that Nick Gibb is confident that the results are 'fair for the vast majority of students' but that the triple lock process will give students 'an added safety net'. It goes on to say that any process for calculating grades will inevitably produce results that need to be queried, which is why a robust appeals process is needed. It refers to the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) and Joint Council for Qualifications (JQC) guidance on the appeals process. Appeals must be submitted by the school or college, rather than by the individual student or their families. The letter summarises the grounds for appeal, including:

  • if they believe something has gone wrong in processing their results
  • if they can provide evidence that grades are lower than expected because previous cohorts of students are not sufficiently representative of this year’s students
  • or where a student has a valid mock result which is higher than the grade they have been awarded.

The letter says that universities have been asked to hold open places for students who are dependent on the outcome of an appeal in order to meet the terms of their offer. When this is the case, exam boards are committed to 'doing all that is possible to resolve appeals by 7 September [2020]'. It concludes by confirming that all appeals will be free.


Gov.uk guidance