Inclusion Now 59

Legal Question

“I am an 18-year-old student who has received my A-Level results, and am unhappy with the final grades awarded by my teachers. I feel the teachers underestimated my ability, based on their perception of my impairment, which is discriminatory. I know if I’d had the opportunity to sit the A-Level examinations, I would have achieved higher grades and secured my university place on a dream course. I want my A-Level grades to reflect my ability, what should I do?”

In light of the difficulties faced by the COVID-19 Pandemic, Ofqual announced that A-Level results should be determined on the basis of teacher assessment and evidence rather than exams. This requires teachers to assess performance and use evidence of performance throughout the course to inform their judgement.

Exam boards will work to ensure that requirements for internal quality assurance are consistent across each college and will make arrangements for this to be checked. This will include the sampling of centres and your results will not be published until the exam board is satisfied that the grades suggested are accurate and fair. If you do not agree with the grade that your teachers have determined for you, then you will be able to appeal your grade to the exam board.

Ofqual has decided for 2021, to make provision for students to appeal their grade on the grounds of procedural failure or an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement. If the exam board believes that your grade does not represent a reasonable exercise of academic judgement, then they will amend the grade to reflect your ability. This should allow for your A level grade to accurately reflect your abilities and for you to attend a university course that meets your academic achievement.

Any appeal should properly consider arguments over disability and perceived disability, if this has impacted on the assessments completed.
Schools and colleges are required to comply with the Equality Act 2010, which includes a duty not to treat an individual less favourably because of their disability when assessing grades. It would be unlawful for your college to award you a lower grade because of something associated with your disability or what they perceive to be your disability. Your teachers should use a broad range of evidence across the curriculum to determine your grades before submitting this to the exam board. This should take into account the reasonable adjustments you may have been entitled to access, should you have sat the exam at the end of the academic year.

If Young people find themselves in difficult situations like these then they can seek legal advice on their individual circumstances.

It is important to remember that up to date advice on your specific circumstances will always be beneficial. Please also take into consideration that the legislation and guidance, in relation to COVID-19, is frequently changing and this could impact on any advice given.

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