Qualifications Wales confirms appeals process and routes for private candidates

Thursday 04 Mar 2021

Qualifications Wales has published its first update to guidance for schools and colleges on the alternative assessment arrangements for GCSEs, AS and A levels in summer 2021. 

This update includes information on how schools and colleges need to record their decisions about centre determined grades, the quality assurance processes, the review of grades and appeals processes and a high-level timeline. Information about the update has also been sent to schools, colleges, and learners.  

Qualifications Wales has confirmed more details about the appeals process, as first outlined by the Minister for Education on 20 January 2021. There will be a three-stage process: 

  • Stage 1 – By June schools and colleges will share provisional centre determined grades with their learners. A learner can ask their school or college to review provisional grades and/or check for any errors before they are submitted to WJEC.  
  • Stage 2 – After results day in August, a learner can appeal to WJEC that the grade judgement that their school or college has made is unreasonable and/or a procedural error has been made.  
  • Stage 3 - Following completion of the Stage 2 appeal, learners can request an Exam Procedures Review Service (EPRS) review from Qualifications Wales to check whether WJEC has followed their procedures correctly.  

Final qualification grades will not be issued to learners until the results days, which are 10 August for AS and A levels and 12 August for GCSEs. 

Philip Blaker, Chief Executive of Qualifications Wales said:We've been engaging with the Design and Delivery Advisory Group and WJEC to consider how we can implement an effective appeals process. We are also mindful of the recommendations of the independent review into summer 2020 and that we should ensure that the appeals process is fair and workable. 

As with all the decisions being taken for this summer, there are no easy answers We are committed to putting the needs of the learner at the heart of our work. 

Detailed arrangements for private candidates are being finalised so that they can be awarded a grade this summer. 

Where a private candidate already has a relationship with a school or college, then arrangements can continue as planned. Where a private candidate does not have an established relationship with a school or college, Welsh Government is working with local authorities to ensure there are centres who will accommodate private candidates, and that these are available and accessible across Wales. Assessment of private candidates will be carried out in a similar way to other learners.