Internal Appeals for Non-Examination Assessments Policy

Internal Appeals for Non-Examination Assessments Policy

1. Overview
This policy applies to GCE Coursework, GCE and GCSE Non-examination Assessments and Project Qualifications.

Ashbourne is committed to ensuring that candidates’ work is marked fairly, consistently and in accordance with the awarding body’s specification and subject-specific associated documents. Work is marked by staff with appropriate knowledge, understanding and skill in their subject areas.

Ashbourne ensures that work produced by candidates is authenticated in line with the requirements of the awarding body. Where a number of subject teachers are involved in marking candidates’ work, consistency of marking is ensured by internal moderation and standardisation.

The aims of this policy are:
• To clarify the criteria for the appeal of marks that are assessed internally.
• To facilitate a fair and consistent moderation of work.
• To clarify the procedures that Ashbourne takes when assessing work internally.

2. Informing students of their internally-assessed marks
Unless otherwise agreed with the Director of Studies, teachers will ensure that the Examinations Officer is given the centre’s marks.

Ashbourne will ensure that candidates are informed of their internally-assessed marks so that they may request a review before submission to the awarding body (see 4. Accepted grounds for appeal).

The requirement for Ashbourne to inform candidates of their internal marks also applies to the Spoken Language Endorsement for GCSE English Language and the Practical Skills Endorsement for A-Level Sciences. For this, Heads of Faculty will ensure that they have evidence to support the marks given, which may include written records and in the Spoken Language Endorsement recordings, if available.

3. Review process
3.1 Appeal of marks prior to moderation
Once the internally-assessed marks have been communicated, students are permitted to request a review of this mark. An appeal of a mark at this stage will result in the student’s work being reviewed in line with Ashbourne’s internal marking standards. This does not constitute a reconsideration of the value of the work, but rather is an assessment of whether the mark has been standardised according to the quality of other examples of work. Therefore, the review process is in place to ensure consistency of marking within Ashbourne, whereas moderation by the awarding body ensures that Ashbourne’s marking is in line with national standards. Ashbourne will inform candidates that they may request copies of materials to assist them in considering whether to request a review of the internally-assessed marking. Materials will include the mark scheme and copies of the marked assessment material, but not other students’ work. Having received a request for materials, Ashbourne will promptly make them available to the candidate as either originals viewed under supervised conditions or copies. Candidates are not allowed access to original assessment material unless supervised.

If an issue is identified and a student wishes to request a review of marking, then this must be made in writing to the Director of Studies and the Examinations Officer using the Request for the Review of Internally-Assessed Marks Application Form (pdf) (see 4. Accepted grounds for appeal).

Unless otherwise informed, for non-art subjects, candidates must submit their request for a review of internal marking before 25 April, 6pm. For art subjects – pending information from JCQ and awarding bodies. Requests will not be accepted after these deadlines.

Candidates who request a review of Ashbourne’s internal marking must be aware that their mark can increase or decrease.

3.2 Procedure for the review of internal marks
Ashbourne will ensure that the review of marking is conducted by an assessor who has appropriate competence, has had no previous involvement in the assessment of that candidate’s work for the component in question and has no personal interest in the outcome of the review. Ashbourne will ensure that the reviewer has declared any conflict of interest prior to undertaking the review.

On occasion, Ashbourne may instruct an external assessor. Outsourcing the review of an internally-assessed mark will not breach the confidentiality of assessment materials nor candidate data: confidential assessment materials will not be discussed with, or sent to, any person not directly engaged to review the assessment mark and any external party must comply with Ashbourne’s Data Protection Policy.

Ashbourne will instruct the reviewer to ensure that the candidate’s mark is consistent with the standard set by the centre. The review will be of the mark that has been awarded and the reviewer will establish whether or not the candidate’s mark is in line with the standard set for the other candidates at the centre.

The reviewer will assess the following:

  • The candidate’s work (where the evidence of this involves practical work, for example Drama or Music, then the recording of the work will be given to the reviewer);
  • The mark sheet completed by the teacher, which usually shows the breakdown of marks per Assessment Objective (AO) or section of the mark scheme;
  • Information regarding any internal standardisation to ascertain whether consistent standards were applied by the original marker to the candidate’s work; and
  • Any comments/annotations made by the teacher during the marking process.

Heads of Faculty will ensure that they retain internal standardisation materials for the review procedure. The reviewer must consider any internal standardisation materials provided in order to ensure a consistent approach to other candidates within the centre. Where no internal standardisation has been carried out (because there was only one teacher involved in marking the component), the work of other candidates in the cohort will be considered to ensure the consistency of marking standards.

Ashbourne will generally organise for the review to take place on the College premises in order to maintain the integrity of the work and to ensure secure storage. If the review must take place remotely then the original materials will be held at Ashbourne, with the reviewer being provided with copies of the candidate’s work.

During the review process Ashbourne will ensure that the reviewer, the teachers, and the Heads of Faculty are aware that it is not possible for anyone to alter the work after Ashbourne has provided the original mark to the candidate.

Ashbourne will allow sufficient time for the review to be carried out, to make any necessary changes to marks and to inform the candidate of the outcome before the awarding body’s deadline.

3.3 Changes to assessment marks
The reviewer will provide reason(s) for upholding or changing the original internally-assessed mark awarded by Ashbourne. This should be sent by email to the Director of Studies and the Examinations Officer. Should the review raise wider concerns, for example about the centre’s general application of the assessment criteria, the reviewer should also put this in writing to the Director of Studies. The Director of Studies will then review these issues with the teachers, Heads of Faculty and the awarding body as required.

The reviewer will be expected to correct any marking error including:

  • A clerical error.
  • Failure to apply the set criteria and procedures.

If the reviewer decides there has been a marking error, they must indicate where the marking error has occurred and how the mark is not in line with the standard of other candidates’ work at Ashbourne. In the event that the reviewer disagrees with the internally-assessed mark given by Ashbourne’s teachers, Ashbourne is not obliged to accept the new mark. It is for Ashbourne to determine whether any difference in marking is within any tolerance it would allow during its internal standardisation process. If there is a disagreement in the mark to be submitted to the awarding body the Director of Studies will consult with the Principal, who will make a final decision.

Ashbourne will then inform the candidate in writing of the review outcome. The Director of Studies will work with the Examinations Officer to ensure that this is carried out.

In the event where a candidate’s mark changes by five marks or more, Ashbourne will look to review the marks for all other students to ensure standardisation. If, as a result of this process, Ashbourne deems it necessary to adjust the marks of other students, then these students will be informed of their new mark. However, as the internally assessed marks will have already been reviewed, affected students will not be unable to make a new request for a review of internally assessed marks. These students will be required to wait until the results are released to review their moderated mark (see 6).

The outcome of the review of Ashbourne’s internal marking will be made known to the Principal and the relevant teachers/Heads of Faculty. In addition, a written record of the review will be kept by the Examinations Officer and made available to the awarding body upon request.

4. Accepted grounds for appeal
When requesting a review of internally-assessed marking, candidates will need to clearly explain on what grounds they wish to request a review in the form provided. If the mark is reviewed, the reviewer will focus their attention on the direct concerns that have been raised by the candidate. Therefore, candidates must ensure that they include as much detail about the concerns raised. The review will focus on the quality of the work submitted in relation to Ashbourne’s internal standardisation rather than the marks awarded.

Examples of accepted grounds for review include:

  • A clerical error.
  • Failure to apply the set criteria and procedures.

Grounds for review that are not accepted include:

  • Student feels they have worked hard and deserves a higher mark.
  • Student believes they have acted on all feedback given by their teacher.

A review of marking is not a re-evaluation of the content of the work, nor is it an opportunity to make a complaint against the quality of teaching. If candidates wish to log a complaint in this regard then they should contact the Director of Studies separately.

5. Moderation of marks by the examination board
After assessments have been internally assessed, the finalised marks will be sent to the relevant awarding body, who will moderate these marks. This is to ensure that Ashbourne’s internal standardisation is consistent with the standardisation of other examination centres nationally. It should be noted that awarding bodies do not automatically request the work that has been reviewed.

Once work has been sent to the awarding bodies, the subsequent moderation process may result in a mark change. Ashbourne has no control over this process, and therefore the mark submitted to the awarding body is subject to change and considered provisional.

It should be noted that where the cohort of students is large (usually more than 10 candidates), the awarding body will only request some of the work to be moderated. The awarding bodies will use their standard sampling system to identify candidates’ work to be submitted for moderation, which may or may not include the work of candidates whose marks have been reviewed.

6. Review of moderation after results are released
In the event that the examination board agrees with the internally-assessed marks of the College, students will be unable to request a review of moderation. However, where the examination board has altered the College’s internally-assessed marks, candidates may apply for a review of moderation.

A request for a review of moderation will affect all candidates whose work has been submitted for that subject; as any subsequent change in marks will affect the marks across the whole subject cohort, Ashbourne requires consent from all candidates affected to apply for a review of moderation.If this situation occurs, the Director of Studies will be in contact with all parties, and a deadline will be set. If the Director of Studies does not receive written consent from all parties before this deadline the review will not proceed.

Important guidance notes:

  • Reviews of moderation may not necessarily be completed in time to meet university deadlines.
  • A review of moderation cannot be undertaken upon the work of an individual candidate or the work of candidates not in the original sample.

7. Cost of internal review
The cost of the review of any internally-assessed marks is £500 per subject component. Requesting an appeal constitutes acceptance of this cost. Students will not be charged in the event that marks are altered.

8. Legal challenge
Ashbourne is responsible for following the regulations and processes set by the relevant awarding bodies, including internal assessment. Any legal challenge made against Ashbourne regarding a mark it has awarded as part of a qualification should be referred to the relevant awarding body. However, if the challenge is made before moderation has taken place a complaint will only be allowed after the moderation process has been completed.

In the event of any such challenge, the awarding body would need to satisfy itself that Ashbourne had followed the correct procedures. Awarding bodies are responsible for the grades and awards that they make.

Authorised by The Principal
Date September 2023
Effective date of the policy September 2023
Circulation Teaching staff / all staff / parents / students on request
Review date September 2024
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