Appeals Policy for GCSE Results Summer 2021

Policy Teacher Assessed Grades Appeals – Summer 2021

This policy must be read in conjunction with “JCQ – A guide to appeals processes Summer 2021 series”

Although everyone will be working hard to make sure you are issued with the correct grades on results day, there will also be an appeals system as a safety net to fix any genuine errors that were not identified earlier on. If you believe an error has been made in determining your grade, you will have a right to appeal.

To help you decide whether to appeal, you can request that The Link School shares with you the following information on results day if not before:

  • The centre policy
  • The sources of evidence used to determine the student’s grade, along with the marks/grades associated with them
  • Details of any variations in evidence used based on disruption to what that student was taught
  • Details of any special circumstances that have been considered in determining their grade, e.g. access arrangements/reasonable adjustments or proven mitigating circumstances such as illness


There are two stages to the appeals process:

Stage 1: Centre review

If you don’t think you have been issued with the correct grade, you can appeal to The Link School, who will review whether they have:

  • made an administrative error in relation to the result, e.g. submitted an incorrect grade; used an incorrect assessment mark when determining your grade.
  • failed to follow its procedures properly or consistently in arriving at that result, e.g. did not follow their Centre Policy, did not undertake internal quality assurance, did not take account of proven mitigating circumstances

Requests for appeals on the grounds of academic judgement (unreasonableness) will only be considered by awarding organisations (at Stage Two) and not by The Link School. In these cases, an initial centre review must still be completed to ensure that the school has not made any procedural or administrative errors. The school should not review its academic judgements during the centre review stage.

A centre review must be completed, and an outcome reported to the student before an appeal can be submitted to the awarding organisation. Any appeals submitted where this has not happened, will be rejected by the awarding organisation and a new application will need to be submitted once the centre review has been completed.


All requests for a centre review, including those from Private Candidates, must be made directly to The Link School which submitted the grade(s). Requests for centre reviews are made by the candidate to the centre by midday on 3 September 2021. This will enable the school to meet the deadlines to submit appeals to awarding organisations.

The Link School will accept and process/investigate any written request for a review from a student as long as it is on a signed Stage 1 – Centre Review/Stage 2 – Appeal to exam board application (Appendix B) and meets the JCQ timeline and deadlines.

To make a request for a centre review students must complete a Stage 1 – Centre Review/Stage 2 – Appeal to exam board application (Appendix B) and submit to, by midday on the 3rd September 2021.

The Link School will keep a record of all review applications received, and the outcomes of those reviews.

A student may submit a request for a review but subsequently decide they wish to withdraw it. They should be allowed to do so as long as no finding has been made. A centre review application cannot be withdrawn once a finding has been made.


Stage 1 – Determining a review outcome

The Link School will access all the following records and will consider:

a. the reason presented by the student for the review, where this has been specified and any evidence provided by the student about issues that were not known about at the time the grade was determined

b. the centre’s approved policy and whether it was followed properly and consistently

c. the evidence which was used to determine the student’s grade

d. any relevant assessment records detailing for the student any amendments to the range of evidence used for the cohort and, where applicable, steps taken to address any known mitigating circumstances/special consideration or approved access arrangements/reasonable adjustments

e. a record that the grades had been signed off by at least two teachers in the subject, one of whom was the head of department/subject lead or Head of Centre where there was only one teacher in the department/subject

f. the record, where it exists, of any relevant pre-results communications between the centre and student

g. relevant centre administration records.

The Link School will report the outcome of the review to the student using Appendix B.


Stage 2: Appeal to the exam board

If you still don’t think you have the correct grade after the centre review is complete, you can apply to The Link School to appeal to the exam board, who will review whether:

  • The Link School made an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement* in the choice of evidence from which we determined your grade and/or in the determination of your grade from that evidence.

* A reasonable judgement is one that is supported by evidence. An exercise of judgement will not be unreasonable simply because a student considers that an alternative grade should have been awarded, even if the student puts forward supporting evidence. There may be a difference of opinion without there being an unreasonable exercise of judgement. The reviewer will not remark individual assessments to make fine judgements but will take a holistic approach based on the overall evidence.

  • The Link School did not apply a procedure correctly, e.g. did not follow their Centre Policy, did not undertake internal quality assurance, did not take account of proven mitigating circumstances.
  • the exam board made an administrative error, e.g. they changed your grade during the processing of grades.

At both stages of the process you will need to request a Stage 1 – Centre Review/Stage 2 -Appeal to exam board application (Appendix B) from,, the examination officer at The Link School. This must be completed and signed as this gives your written consent to conduct the appeal or submit it to the exam board on your behalf. It’s important to remember that your grade can go down, up or stay the same through either stage of the process. Autumn series of resits are available if you would rather resit than appeal.

The timelines for non-priority appeals will be as follows:

  • 12 August to Midday 3 September: student requests centre review and submits a completed Stage 1 – Centre Review/Stage 2 – Appeal to exam board application (Appendix B) to,
  • 12 August to 10 September: centre conducts centre review
  • 12 August to Midday 17 September: student must request through a signed and completed Stage 1 – Centre Review/Stage 2 – Appeal to exam board application (Appendix B) that centre submits appeal to awarding organisation who will aim to complete Stage 2 within 42 days of receipt of the application.


A priority appeal is only for students applying to higher education and wish to appeal an A level or level 3 qualification result.



The school will be persuing the JCQ Appendix B for all applications for Centre Review and Appeal to exam board

Stage 1 Centre Review / Stage 2 Appeal to exam board application form – (Appendix B)


This policy must be read in conjunction with “JCQ – A guide to appeals processes Summer 2021 series”


This policy must be read in conjunction with the school Centre Policy. See policies section of The Link school website.

To download or print the appeals policy – Click Here 


Link School Springwell Dene
Swindon Road, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear  SR3 4EE

Tel: 0191 561 5777

Office Opening Times

Mon-Thurs: 8am – 4:30pm

Friday: 8am – 4pm

Link School Pallion
Waverley Terrace, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear SR4 6TA

Tel: 0191 561 4777



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