The normal appeals process, when exams and marking have taken place, cannot happen this year as there are no exam scripts to review or mark. Below, you'll find details of the appeals process that has been specifically designed for Summer 2020 results.

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Update (12 August): We understand that schools, parents and students will want to know more about the Secretary of State's announcement regarding the use of mock grades. We're working with Ofqual and the Department for Education, and will make further details available as soon as we have more to share. Ofqual intend to publish further information on this early next week. If centres wish to appeal on the basis of mock examination evidence, you should wait until you've seen this further guidance before submitting your appeal. Other types of appeal, using existing appeal grounds, can be submitted from 13 August.

This appeals process applies to GCSEs, AS, A levels, Extended Project Qualifications and the Advanced Extension Award in maths. It also applies to International GCSEs, International Advanced levels (IAL), vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) and Functional Skills qualifications where we have used a calculated approach to award qualifications this summer.

Where internal assessment has taken place for VTQs (including where it has been adapted), the usual appeals process will apply, with appeals being managed through the centre’s appeals process. Where these appeals then need to be escalated to us, the Internal Assessment Reviews and Appeals Policy will continue to apply.

To check which appeal arrangements apply to specific qualifications, please see our Guide to Appeals for Summer 2020 .

Decision maps

Before progressing to an appeal, please click on a 2020 results decision map below for schools and colleges or students, to determine if your centre has grounds for an appeal.

Schools and colleges

Summer 2020 results decision map for schools and colleges
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Students

Summer 2020 results decision map for students
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The visual guide below will also provide you with an overview of the appeals process:

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Appeals Support Scenarios – which appeal is right for my situation?

Before progressing to an appeal, please use the 2020 Results Decision Map, Appeals Support Scenarios and the Appeals Process below, to determine if your centre has grounds for an appeal.

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User tabs

The normal appeals process, when exams and marking have taken place, cannot happen this year as there are no exam scripts to review or mark. Centres are still able to appeal, but this will be following a process specifically designed for summer 2020 results.

A centre with a valid basis for an appeal may submit an application to us, which must be authorised by the Head of Centre. For summer 2020 results, all applications for appeals must be made by Friday 17 September 2020. We've developed a system for appeals for summer 2020 and centres will be able to access this via Edexcel Online (EOL).

We cannot accept appeals directly from candidates, their parents or other third parties acting on their behalf. This also includes private candidates for General Qualifications (GQs). These appeals must be submitted by the centre that provided a centre assessment grade and rank order for the private candidate. The only exception to this is for private candidates for Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQ) who may appeal directly to us by contacting edexcelappeals@pearson.com
 

Grounds for appeal

An appeal may be submitted if:

  1. the Head of Centre considers that:
    • the awarding body did not apply procedures consistently, or procedures were not followed properly and fairly; or
    • the awarding body used the wrong data in calculating results (​including where the centre made an error in the centre assessment grade or rank order data provided to the awarding body); or
    • the result generated was incorrectly issued by the awarding body to one or more candidates
  2. the centre establishes exceptional circumstances in which using a default data set to calculate results might be shown through an appeal to amount to using the wrong data because of some exceptional factor which undermines the assumption that the default data set is the most appropriate basis to calculate results. This would require a centre to establish that its previous cohorts of learners are not sufficiently representative of the 2020 cohort reliably to inform the calculation of results.

Following an initial review appeal, for any of the reasons above, a centre may apply for an independent review which is the next stage of our appeal process.

Wrong data can include:

  1. where the centre provided the awarding body with incorrect data (centre error); or
  2. an incorrect data set, which includes the transposition of data sets from two or more centres (awarding body error); or
  3. where the awarding body introduced errors into a specified data set (awarding body error).

The Head of Centre should carefully consider the information provided and the possible grounds for appeal set out above. If they have grounds to believe that there's been a failure in procedure or a data error in accordance with one of the bases above, an application for appeal (including the evidence to support it) can be made.

The appeals office may not be able to accept an appeal application where valid grounds have not been provided.


JCQ rules and guidance

The JCQ Appeals Booklet for summer 2020 below has been developed to provide details about this summer’s appeals process.


Ofqual regulations


Further guidance

If you are unsure if you have grounds to appeal, or would like further information on the appeals process, please see our Summer 2020 appeals FAQs in the above tabs.

When an appeal application is received, we'll check it to ensure that it's valid and that we have all the information we require to review the matter. Where the application is not complete, clear or supported by the required evidence, we'll return it to the centre for further consideration before we accept the application.

In the first instance, valid applications will be accepted for an initial review appeal. This will be conducted by Pearson staff who will verify the procedure followed and/or the accuracy of the data used in calculating a result. They will check for errors and ensure everything has been processed correctly. The people involved in the initial review will have no personal interest in the decision being appealed.

At this stage, further information may be requested by Pearson.

The initial review outcome will be that the case is either rejected (disallowed) or upheld (allowed) or partially upheld. We'll send a letter, summarising the outcome of the initial appeal review, normally within 42 days of receipt of the appeal application. In the event that the appeals office is unable to complete its enquiries within 42 days, we'll advise the centre of the likely extent of any delay.

If, following the initial review, a centre remains dissatisfied with our response, the centre may request an independent review of the case. This must be requested within 14 days of the date of the communication of the outcome of the initial review.

An independent review appeal will be undertaken by an independent decision-maker. That individual is not directly employed by Pearson, nor an examiner or moderator working for it, nor connected to it in any other way.

When a centre submits its independent review application, Pearson reserves the right to produce material in response. If Pearson does so, a copy of that material will be provided to the centre, for information, prior to any independent review outcome.

The independent decision-maker will be provided with:

  • the centre’s grounds for appeal and supporting evidence
  • the information made available to the centre by Pearson
  • the initial appeal application
  • the outcome of the initial review
  • where applicable, any material produced in response to the independent review application by Pearson.

The independent decision-maker may decide to uphold the appeal (allow) or to reject it (disallow).

If, following an independent review, the centre remains dissatisfied, it may submit an appeal to the relevant regulator’s Exam Procedure Review Service (EPRS), where relevant. Details of this service, and the qualifications to which it applies, can be found on the relevant regulator’s website.  

Please consider carefully if you have grounds for appeal - you may find it useful to refer to this decision map in making your decision. If you'd like to make an appeal, fees will be applicable for certain appeal types. Please see below for further details. 

No fee is charged before an appeals process is completed. Fees are as follows: 

  • Access to historical data to support you in considering your decision to appeal: free of charge.
  • For an initial appeal:
    • Where this relates to a centre error, this will be free of charge
    • Where this relates to an error by Pearson, this will be free of charge in cases where the appeal is upheld. In cases where the appeal is not upheld, this will be £20 per student, with a cap of £120 per subject
    • £120 for an initial appeal based on exceptional circumstances. 
  • For an independent appeal conducted by external partners: £150 (this can only take place after an initial appeal has concluded). 
  • For an appeal for use of mock grades: We understand schools, parents and students will want to know more about the Secretary of State's announcement regarding the use of mock grades. We are working with Ofqual and the Department for Education, and will make further information available on our website – including on fees - as soon as we have more details to share. 

The fee makes a contribution towards some of the associated costs of running the appeals process and invoices are charged to the centre.

Ofqual has now issued a statement in response to the Secretary of State’s announcement about the use of mock examination evidence in an appeal. Ofqual intend to publish further information on this option early next week. If you may wish to appeal on the basis of mock examination evidence, you should wait until you have seen this further guidance before submitting your appeal. Other types of appeal, using the existing appeal grounds, can be submitted from 13 August.

Further information about the fees for appeals can be found in the infographic below.

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For Summer 2020, appeals will be categorised as:

Appeal type Overview
Appeal Service 1
Centre error

This category of appeal is available for centres where they identify an error in the Centre Assessment Grade (CAG) or Rank Order (RO) data they provided to us (Pearson), for example, where the data they meant to provide was keyed into the CAG system incorrectly for one or more learners.

In these cases, a centre may apply to appeal and will be required to provide supporting information to show how the error occurred. This supporting information is likely to include documents used throughout its decision making process about what CAG/RO to assign to each learner, such as a list of candidates with grades and rank order assigned, evidence of the candidate’s performance in the subject that was considered in the decision making process, etc. The information must clearly show the correct data that the centre intended to submit.

The centre must also explain how an error was not identified prior to the Head of Centre sign-off being submitted, as this confirmed the accuracy of the data provided.

This route of appeal is not intended to offer a route for centres to change the data on the basis that it has now changed its mind about the CAG/RO data. It is suitable only for the correction of errors.

Appeal Service 2
Pearson data error  

This category of appeal is available for centres where they believe we (Pearson) have used the wrong data to calculate results.

For example, we may have transposed the data for two or more centres, used data sets other than those specified in the requirements published by Ofqual or introduced errors into the data sets specified by Ofqual.

A centre may not appeal on the grounds that a data set specified in the requirements by Ofqual contains errors or omissions that were not introduced by us (Pearson).

In making an appeal application on this basis, a centre should clearly specify which data set the error has affected and what the error is. This will help us to quickly identify the data set we need to reconsider. Where a centre believes we have used the wrong historical data for its centre, it will be useful if a copy of what the centre believes to be the correct data is attached to the appeal application. Our online application system will allow files to be quickly and easily attached to applications.

Appeal Service 3
Pearson procedural error  

This category of appeal is available for centres where they believe we (Pearson) have not followed our procedure consistently, properly or fairly.

In these cases, a centre may apply to appeal and will be required to provide supporting information to explain why it believes the procedure has not been followed and which aspect of it has not been followed.

A centre may, for example, believe we have followed only part of the process and not completed all steps, such as using the prior attainment data in our approach. It may believe we have deviated from the process and varied our application of the standardisation model during the processing of results. The appeal application should provide information on why the centre believes the procedure has not been followed.  

Appeal Service 4
Error in how Pearson has issued results  

This category of appeal is available for centres where they believe we (Pearson) have made an error in how we've issued results. This may include situations where grades across the cohort have been misallocated or specific learners’ results have been transposed.

In the appeal application, the centre should clearly identify what it believes the errors are and which candidates have been affected so that we can identify the issue and resolve it quickly.  

Appeal Service 5
Exceptional centre circumstances

This category of appeal is available for centres where there is clear and objective evidence of a substantive difference between the 2020 cohort and a centre’s previous cohorts which undermines the assumption that those previous cohorts are sufficiently representative of the 2020 cohort to reliably inform the statistical model. In such a case, the default data set could be held to be the wrong data for the purposes of standardisation.

In the appeal application, the centre will need to provide information about the exceptional factor and how it believes this has impacted results.

Centres will usually need to provide evidence in the form of statistical data about the 2020 cohort and previous cohorts at the centre. This is the type of clear and objective evidence that will be necessary to establish a substantive difference between cohorts. However, there may be circumstances in which we consider it appropriate to accept clear and objective evidence in the form of information about events that could be demonstrated objectively and statistically to imply a substantive difference between the relevant cohorts. The necessary difference will be established through evidence that something happened to the 2020 cohort, or happened to an earlier cohort (and not the 2020 cohort), which indicates that the 2020 cohort may not be comparable with previous years, in a way that would not otherwise be identified and resolved through the standardisation process.

The guidance on appeals provided by Ofqual (PDF 238KB) is a useful source of further information about the types of circumstances that may be relevant in this category of appeal.  

Appeal Service 6
Independent review (only applicable following completion of an initial review service 1-5)  

Where a centre has completed an initial review appeal, it will have 14 calendar days from the date of the outcome letter to apply for an Independent Review.

In applying for an Independent Review, the centre will need to explain why, for example, it continues to believe we have not followed our procedure correctly or why it believes there is an error in the data we have used. It should explain clearly where we have not identified an error and addressed it in the initial review appeal.

An Independent Review will be conducted by a suitably qualified person who is independent of Pearson, i.e. they are not employed by us or connected to us in any other way.  

Centres

You can appeal from 13 August when results are issued.

We encourage you to appeal as soon as possible where a candidate needs to know if their grade will change because a progression opportunity depends on this.

All appeals must be submitted by 17 September 2020.

You can apply to proceed to the independent review stage of the appeals process after that date, but all initial review applications must be made by that date.

We've developed a new system for appeals, which can be accessed via Edexcel Online (EOL).

Only those Edexcel Online users with a post-results access profile will be able to submit an appeal.

You may have been given access to allow you to provide centre assessment grade data, but this will not automatically give you the required access to submit an appeal.

If you need to change your access permissions, you can do this within your centre via an appropriate user who has the access required to update permissions.

Appeals can be submitted by the centre on behalf of one or more candidates. All appeals must be authorised by the Head of Centre before they are submitted.

Candidates/parents/carers cannot appeal directly to the awarding body. This includes private candidates for general qualifications including GCSE, A level, AS, EPQ and AEA qualifications.

Only private candidates for vocational and technical qualifications can appeal directly to the awarding organisation via edexcelappeals@pearson.com

An appeal may be submitted if:

  1. the Head of Centre considers that:
    • the awarding body did not apply procedures consistently, or procedures were not followed properly and fairly; or
    • the awarding body used the wrong data in calculating results (​including where the centre made an error in the centre assessment grade or rank order data provided to the awarding body); or
    • the result generated was incorrectly issued by the awarding body to one or more candidates
  2. the centre establishes exceptional circumstances in which using a default data set to calculate results might be shown through an appeal to amount to using the wrong data because of some exceptional factor which undermines the assumption that the default data set is the most appropriate basis to calculate results. This would require a centre to establish that its previous cohorts of learners are not sufficiently representative of the 2020 cohort reliably to inform the calculation of results.

Following an initial review appeal, for any of the reasons above, a centre may apply for an independent review which is the next stage of our appeal process.

Wrong data can include:

  1. where the centre provided the awarding body with incorrect data (centre error); or
  2. an incorrect data set, which includes the transposition of data sets from two or more centres (awarding body error); or
  3. where the awarding body introduced errors into a specified data set (awarding body error).

Clarification on candidate consent and grade protection has been published on the JCQ Website as Supplementary Appeals information - June 2020 series.

This document supplements the JCQ publication 'A guide to the awarding bodies’ appeals process, June 2020 examination series'.

It provides additional clarity for centres on candidate consent and grade protection.

If you submit an appeal on behalf of an entire cohort (i.e. all candidates entered for a specific subject), you do not need to obtain candidate consent. Grades will not be lowered as a result of the appeal. If an error is identified during the appeal, the awarding body will correct all grades for those candidates where the new grade is higher than the existing grade.

If you submit an appeal on behalf of specific named candidates within a cohort, the candidates must be made aware that their grades may go up or may go down. You must obtain written consent from all candidates that you intend to list in the application for an appeal. If, during the initial review, the awarding body identifies an error which impacts upon the grades awarded to candidates who are not listed in the application, and who did not give their consent to the appeal, the awarding body will only correct grades if the new grade is higher than the existing grade.

If you've identified an error in your Centre Assessment Grade and rank order data submission, for example you have transposed two candidate numbers, and correcting this error may result in one or more candidates’ grades being lowered, any candidate whose grade may be lowered does not need to consent to the appeal. You can submit an appeal on behalf of, and with the consent of, only those candidates who may potentially receive a higher grade.

Where a centre believes there may have been an error in the results for one or more of their candidates, the first thing to do is to check the information that was submitted to us in order to make sure it was correct.

The information will have been signed off by your Head of Centre as being accurate so in most cases it should be correct. However, if you find there has been an error, the centre can make a ‘centre error’ appeal application. You will need to provide evidence to show how the error occurred and explain why it was not identified prior to the Head of Centre sign-off.

We'll consider this evidence and decide whether we can make the changes you request.

Where the centre checks on the data submitted to us show that no error was made, it may still be appropriate to appeal if there's reason to believe we've made an error; either in our process, the data we've used or in how we issued the results.

You'll need to explain the basis for your appeal, why you think an error has been made and where you think it's been made, i.e. either in the process or in a particular data set such as the centre historical data we used.

We will contact your centre, in writing, with the outcome of the appeal.

There are specific dates for issuing results and you can check the key dates for specific qualifications on our website.

Check the key dates for issuing results


If the relevant date has passed and you haven’t received the results for your learners, you should contact Pearson’s Customer Service team as soon as possible.

Contact our Customer Service team

The decision made, following the Ofqual consultation on the Exceptional Arrangements for Summer 2020, was that there should not be an opportunity for candidates to challenge their centre assessment grade or their position in the centre’s rank order through an appeal.

This is in line with the Secretary of State’s direction to Ofqual in which he said that the appeals process should focus on whether the right data was used and correctly applied, rather than on teachers’ professional judgement.

Where your learners feel there may have been an error in the submission of the data, they should discuss this with the centre. The centre can support them by checking that the information submitted was correct, i.e. the grade and rank order you intended to submit was submitted accurately.

If you find that an error has occurred, you can submit an appeal application (a centre error appeal) and we'll consider the evidence you provide and correct the error, where appropriate.

Candidates may ask their centre to check whether an error was made when the centre assessment grade and rank order information was submitted to the awarding organisation.

Your centre should provide clarification to candidates about how to submit such requests and the timescales you require for undertaking these checks on the accuracy of the data submitted.

If you find an error in the data you submitted, you can submit a ‘centre error’ appeal with supporting evidence.

Candidates are able to raise a complaint with their centre if they believe their grade has been affected by bias or discrimination.

All centres should review the evidence presented and decide consistently and fairly whether the evidence supports the candidate’s complaint.

If a candidate has evidence of bias or discrimination, they may provide this to the awarding organisation. This will be treated as an allegation of malpractice and will be considered for further investigation.

Our malpractice investigations team can be contacted via PQSMalpractice@pearson.com

Once the data you submitted has been used as the basis for calculating grades, there's no opportunity to amend it, other than where you can provide clear evidence of an error and submit an appeal on that basis. It's not permitted to change it on the basis that you have now reconsidered matters or changed your mind.

Additionally, all data submitted by centres required the Head of Centre to confirm its accuracy and is, therefore, not subject to change except in instances where a clear error has been made in submitting the data.  

We expect that the data you submitted for centre assessment grades and rank ordering to have been thoroughly checked and agreed before it was submitted to us.

Additionally, your Head of Centre will have provided a declaration to confirm the accuracy of the data. We would therefore expect errors to be rare.

However, we appreciate that errors can occur where people are working with a new system and process for the first time and under unusual circumstances.

Where you find a genuine error that you can support with clear evidence, it's important that you let us know so that we can ensure any candidates affected receive the right grades.

This issue can be raised with us through our appeals process on the grounds that a centre made an error in the data it submitted to the exam board.

We can only accept such errors for correction where you can provide us with clear evidence that an error had been made by the centre. In the absence of such evidence we will not be able to amend the data previously supplied.

The appeals process for Summer 2020 qualifications can be found in the JCQ Appeals Booklet 2020.

It's a two-stage appeal process with an initial review and also an independent review, if required.

After the completion of the process, a centre may access the Exams Procedure Review Service (EPRS) of the relevant regulator. Information on that service will be provided on the relevant regulator’s website.

The process outlined in the JCQ Appeals Booklet 2020 will apply. Centres may submit an appeal on the grounds provided in the Booklet for initial review and independent review, where appropriate. The regulators’ EPRS service will not apply, but centres may complain to the relevant regulator if they wish to.

In addition to that appeal process, we've added an additional service for situations where grades for internally assessed units, which were internally verified but not standards verified, were submitted to us by 10 June 2020.

We'll provide an opportunity for any adjustments we've made to the grades provided by the centre to be reviewed by one of our Standards Verifiers as part of the appeals process.

The Standards Verifier will be able to either confirm the centre’s grades were appropriate, confirm that the adjustment made by us was appropriate, or confirm that a further adjustment is required. This is an additional feature in the appeals process for these units only.

If a centre identifies errors in the unit grade submissions for internal assessments, they should follow the existing SA16 grade amendment process. They will not need to submit these errors as an appeal as the existing process can be used to quickly resolve these issues.

Where an error has been made in the Rank Order information submitted, this will need to be submitted as an appeal (centre error).  

Please consider carefully if you have grounds for appeal - you may find it useful to refer to this decision map in making your decision. If you'd like to make an appeal, fees will be applicable for certain appeal types. Please see below for further details.

No fee is charged before an appeals process is completed. Fees are as follows

  • Access to historical data to support you in considering your decision to appeal: free of charge
  • For an initial appeal:
    • Where this relates to a centre error, this will be free of charge
    • Where this relates to an error by Pearson, this will be free of charge in cases where the appeal is upheld. In cases where the appeal is not upheld, this will be £20 per student, with a cap of £120 per subject
    • £120 for an initial appeal based on exceptional circumstances
  • For an independent appeal conducted by external partners: £150 (this can only take place after an initial appeal has concluded).
  • For an appeal for use of mock grades: We understand schools, parents and students will want to know more about the Secretary of State's announcement regarding the use of mock grades. We are working with Ofqual and the Department for Education, and will make further information available on our website – including on fees - as soon as we have more details to share.

Within the initial appeal for exceptional circumstances, the charge will apply to each appeal. So, for example, if you appeal the grades for one subject for the whole cohort for the same reason, it will be treated as one appeal. If you appeal the grades of one learner in two separate subjects, it will be charged as two appeals.

Once an appeal has been submitted, and is in process, it's not possible to add another learner to the appeal. You'll need to submit a separate appeal and will be charged for another appeal.

For the independent appeal, this charge will apply for each appeal case you wish to have reviewed by one of our independent reviewers.

The fee makes a contribution towards some of the associated costs of running the appeals process and invoices are charged to the centre.

Further information about the fees for appeals can be found in the infographic below.

Ofqual have now issued a statement in response to the Secretary of State’s announcement about the use of mock examination evidence in an appeal. Ofqual intend to publish further information on this option early next week. If you may wish to appeal on the basis of mock examination evidence, you should wait until you have seen this further guidance before submitting your appeal. Other types of appeal, using the existing appeal grounds, can be submitted from 13 August.

Further information about the fees for appeals can be found in the infographic below.

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No, the process has been developed to provide a quick resolution wherever possible.

We hope that the majority of appeals can be completed in the initial review stage and, if you're happy with the outcome of the initial review, there's no need to go any further.

The independent review stage has been included in the overall appeals process to ensure that, where you continue to have concerns, you have the opportunity to request that these are considered by an independent person, who is not employed by us.

On results days, we'll be providing centres with access to information on the centre assessment grade data and rank order submitted and the grades we issued.

We'll also provide information on the historical data we've used to determine the final grades awarded, and how Prior Attainment Data has impacted on grades (in the case of general qualifications). This information will be provided at subject level and can be shared with the relevant teaching staff in your centre.

Please use this information to help you to decide whether you need to appeal or not as it may address any concerns you have and make an appeal unnecessary.

We'll process initial review appeals as quickly as we can and within 42 calendar days. We'll send you the outcome of each appeal in writing.

Where a candidate requires the outcome of an appeal more quickly, e.g. in relation to an offer of a university place, it's possible to flag this up in the appeal application. We will aim to process these appeals as quickly as possible.

Following an initial review appeal, a centre will have 14 days from the date of our communication of the outcome of the initial review to apply for an independent review appeal.

We'll process independent review appeals, within 42 calendar days. We'll communicate the outcome of the independent review appeals to you in writing.

If, for any reason, we're not able to respond to you within these timescales, we'll contact you to make you aware and to provide a date by which we'll be able to respond in full.

When you make your application for an appeal, you'll be able to indicate to us if one or more of the candidates, on whose behalf you are making the appeal, needs the outcome because they're waiting to confirm a university place or other progression opportunity.

We'll try our best to prioritise these appeals but we do encourage you to make them as early as possible in the appeal window.

Our aim is that the information we send you at the end of your initial review appeal provides sufficient information to help you to understand why we have reached our decision.

However, if you're not satisfied with the outcome of an initial review, you can apply for an independent review. You must do this within 14 days of the date on which we send you the outcome of your initial review appeal. We'll not be able to accept late applications.

Completion of the independent review is the end of the appeals process with us.

If, after an independent review appeal, you remain unhappy with the outcome, you may apply to the relevant regulator’s Exam Procedures Review Service, where this is applicable to the qualification you are appealing. Details of this service can be found on the relevant regulators’ websites.

Prior to results being issued, candidates cannot access this information and any centre that provides this information prior to results being issued will be investigated for malpractice.

Once results have been issued, you may find that learners request this information or seek to access it through a Subject Access Request (SAR).

Candidates have the right to access their data (but not the information associated with other candidates).

You may decide that, rather than process these requests through SARs, your centre wants to offer a quicker and easier route to requesting and accessing this information.

Private candidates who worked with your centre to access grades should contact you to make an appeals application through the centre in the same way as any other candidate.

The only exceptions to this are private candidates for vocational and technical qualifications.

All centres are required to have a procedure in place which allows candidate to request that a review is conducted of the centre’s decision not to appeal to an exam board.

An exceptional factors appeal is provided as a route to appeal for cases where the centre has evidence that the wrong data was used to calculate grades.

For example, this may be where there are some exceptional circumstances in which using a default data set to calculate results might be shown through an appeal to amount to using the wrong data because of some exceptional factor that undermines the assumption that the default data set is the most appropriate basis to calculate results for the centre’s learners. This would require a centre to establish that its previous cohorts of learners are not sufficiently representative of the 2020 cohort reliably to inform the calculation of results.

The Ofqual Extraordinary regulatory framework: General Qualifications, COVID-19 Guidance states that a substantive difference will not be established through subjective evidence or evidence which is relevant only to the potential performance of the 2020 cohort had exams taken place.

Ofqual has made it clear that it does not expect appeals to be brought on the basis of inspection reports, curriculum choices or changes to teaching staff, the outcome of standardised tests, mock exams or other evidence the centre has about the potential performance of this year‘s learners relative to previous cohorts at the centre.

Only centres are permitted to make an appeal against grades awarded in Summer 2020.

All candidates, including private candidates, must contact the centre they were entered through to discuss an appeal.

If a centre decides there's sufficient basis upon which to appeal on your behalf, they'll have access to the right system to make the appeal application.

Only centres are permitted to make an appeal against grades awarded in Summer 2020. We'll not accept direct appeals from any learner, parent or carer.

This includes private candidates for general qualifications, including GCSE, A level, AS, EPQ and AEA qualifications. Private candidates for these qualifications must contact the centre that provided their CAG and rank order information if they wish to appeal.

Private VTQ candidates can appeal directly via edexcelappeals@pearson.com

We've encouraged centres to make their appeal applications as soon as possible where a progression opportunity relies on confirmation of the grade awarded.

We've provided a facility on the appeals application system to flag up where this is the case and we'll aim to process these applications as quickly as possible.

We cannot guarantee to process them more quickly than the 42-day timescale, but it's our aim to do this wherever possible.

The current agreed timescales for appeals are

  • Stage 1 initial appeal - 42 days
  • Stage 2 independent review - 42 days.

These timescales are the maximum an appeal should take and we'll deal with all appeal cases as quickly as possible whilst ensuring that they've been fully considered.

Should there be a delay and we're not able to complete within the agreed timescale then you'll be notified.

As intended by the Secretary of State for Education, the appeals process has been developed to focus on whether the right data was used and correctly applied, rather than on teachers’ professional judgments.

We cannot accept appeals directly from learners and appeals cannot challenge the professional judgement of teachers.

If the centre intends to submit an appeal on your behalf, it will need to obtain your written consent before it submits the appeal. Where the appeal is on your behalf, your grade could go up, go down or stay the same.

If your centre submits an appeal on behalf of another learner, your grade is protected and cannot go down because of an appeal made on behalf of another learner.

If the centre submits an appeals on its own behalf, at cohort or centre level, it can do this without your consent. In these cases your grade is protected and it will not be lowered. However, if we are able to issue you a higher grade because of the appeal, we will do this.

Bias and discrimination cases will not be treated as appeals.

These cases can be taken to centres as complaints and, where there's evidence, brought to the awarding organisation as allegations of malpractice.

Candidates are able to raise a complaint with their centre if they believe their grade has been affected by bias or discrimination.

Centres should consider the information presented and decide consistently and fairly whether it supports the candidate’s complaint.

A candidate who has evidence of bias or discrimination can provide the information to the awarding organisation as alleged malpractice and it will be considered for further investigation.

Our investigations team can be contacted via PQSMalpractice@pearson.com