NEW FREE DOWNLOAD: Covid-19 and School Exams in 2020
Poor GCSE or A-Levels can adversely affect a young person’s educational and career prospects. Strong academic results are all in the more important in light of the anticipated disruption to the job market of COVID-19, where applicants with higher grades are likely to be more competitive.
A key issue at present is predicted grades for GCSEs and A-Levels. The OFQAL guidance published in April 2020 (updated 15 May 2020) states that schools should use their "professional experience to make a fair and objective judgement of the grade they believe a student would have achieved had they sat their exams this year." There is little doubt that some students will receive an under-prediction of their grades.
In some cases, where a certain threshold grade is required to allow continuation into the VIth form, a poor result can lead to a student’s forced withdrawal from the school.
Poor A-levels can result in the loss of a university place, with knock-on consequences to students and their family.
Our expert barristers help students, parents and schools appeal decisions of schools and awarding bodies, including findings of cheating and misconduct. Such findings are on the rise with the increasing pressure on students and teachers to succeed.
In 2018, examination boards issued 2,715 penalties to students for misconduct such as taking unauthorised material into the exam to collusion and plagiarism. This was a significant increase from the 2,180 penalties issued the previous year.
Our role is to provide sound advice and produce a persuasive appeal to put the student’s case in the best possible light. The aim is to achieve a ‘not guilty’ finding, to reduce the severity of a sanction, and/or to lead to a higher mark.
We have particular expertise with independent schools and are happy to liaise with schools if necessary.
One parent commented:
"Within 10 minutes of my email to Alpha Academic Appeals we had a meeting the next day booked in London to discuss my son’s situation and a possible appeal. I found Daniel to be very well versed in his subject and his advice invaluable. He completely removed the emotion out of the situation and produced a very well written and thought through appeal.
I can only urge other parents in a similar situation to make the investment."