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Young People’s inability to appeal exam grades directly this year is grossly unfair and must be overturned, say Children’s Commissioner

24 Jun 2020

Commenting on CCEA’s decisions, following a consultation on the appeals process for the awarding of GCSE, AS and A Level qualifications this summer, Koulla Yiasouma, Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People said not allowing young people to appeal their grades directly with CCEA on the basis they are unhappy with the grade their teacher and school has given them must be overturned.

“While young people can approach their school to make a complaint on the basis of an ‘administrative error’ either on the school’s or CCEA’s part, they would be doing so fully aware that it may have been the teacher/school they are actually approaching that awarded them the grade they are unhappy with. Young people are telling me that they are very unlikely to do that, especially if pupil/teacher relationships have been strained.

“CCEA have not provided clarity, and therefore little comfort, to young people that they are putting anything in place to mitigate against teacher bias or address the variation and range in evidence upon which teachers and schools will make their assessments. Nor has sufficient information or reassurance been provided on how schools and CCEA will standardise grades and whether the final grades will be a fair and accurate representation of what students would have achieved, had they been able to sit their exams.

“In fact on the issue of potential teacher bias, while CCEA recognised this could occur, they have offered no avenue for young people to raise this with them and instead are asking pupils to raise any concerns directly with the school.

“I’m calling on a complete overhaul of these arrangements and will be addressing this with CCEA directly.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

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