Appeals should normally be lodged on the basis of whether the awarding body used procedures that were consistent with the regulatory requirements (see links below), and applied its procedures properly and fairly in arriving at judgments. The appeals office may refuse to accept an appeal if no procedural ground is specified.
General Conditions of Recognition
Pre-reform GCE Qualification Level Conditions and Requirements
GCE Qualification Level Conditions and Requirements
GCSE (A* to G) Qualification Level Conditions and Requirements
GCSE (9 to 1) Qualification Level Conditions and Requirements
The procedures which are open to investigation include the full range of processes involved in, and leading to, the award of grades:
- the setting of papers
- marking and moderation
- the grade award
- EARs and administrative arrangements.
The appeals process is not generally directly concerned with making judgments about the quality of candidates’ work, as this is the responsibility of senior examiners and moderators.
Therefore appeals do not normally involve the further review of marking or moderation of work, unless the initial appeals investigation suggests that procedures were not followed during the EAR.
For AS and A level and Project qualifications only, Ofqual has extended the grounds of appeal so that schools and colleges can make additional grounds that:
- a marking or moderation error was not corrected during the review of marking or moderation; or
- a marking or moderation error occurred during the review of marking or moderation.
It is important to note that if you are appealing on these extended grounds, you must indicate exactly where you are contending that there has been a marking or moderation error and what that error is. If you are unable to do so, we may not be able to carry out an appeal investigation.
In considering whether or not to appeal, it is important to note Ofqual’s ‘Guidance on considering marking errors on a review or appeal’, which states that:
‘Following a review or an appeal, a reasonable mark should not be replaced with another such mark, simply because those carrying out the review or the appeal would have given a different mark if they were the original Assessor. We do not consider that one such mark should be replaced with another (often higher) mark, as then Learners who request a review or appeal would be unfairly advantaged over those who do not. A review or appeal should not be an opportunity for a Learner to have a second go at getting a better mark. Such a review or appeal should only interfere with a mark where there has been a Marking Error.’
Ofqual has defined a marking error as:
‘The awarding of a mark or the arrival at an outcome of Moderation which could not reasonably have been given or arrived at given the evidence generated by the Learner(s) (and for Moderation, the centre’s marking of that evidence), the criteria against which Learners’ performance is differentiated and any procedures of the awarding organisation in relation to Moderation or marking, including in particular where the awarding of a mark or outcome of moderation is based on: an Administrative Error, a failure to apply such criteria and procedures to the evidence generated by the Learner(s) where that failure did not involve the exercise of academic judgment, or an unreasonable exercise of academic judgment’.
For additional information, please refer to the Joint Council for Qualifications notice
Centres may also appeal against decisions made by Pearson concerning special consideration cases, including cases where an aegrotat award has been made, and access arrangements. In these cases, the centre may contact the appeals office directly, without first requesting an EAR.
Removal of OPTEMS
In order to help increase security, and also allow more time for centres to process and submit their centre assessed marks, from Summer 2017 we will only be allowing centres to submit those marks online; via Edexcel Online or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
This will be in keeping with other Awarding Organisations, and will offer the following advantages:
- you will be able to submit marks right up to the deadline
- a reduction in the amount of paper being sent through the system, and stored in centres
- it will eliminate the risk of OPTEMS being lost or damaged in the post
- Edexcel Online will display the latest allocated moderator details, capturing any late changes
If your teaching staff usually complete their own OPTEMS forms, please see the guide below on how you can give senior teachers or Heads of Department the relevant access to Edexcel Online to complete their own electronic submissions.
The only exception to this change will be for Entry Level Certificate (Academic) which will continue to have marks submitted via OPTEMS, as these qualifications are not on Edexcel Online.