Following the changes last year, Ofqual has published more decisions about the requirements for reviews of marking, reviews of moderation and appeals.
In this blog, I wanted to outline each change and what this means for OCR schools and colleges.
Possibly the greatest change for June 2017 will be the move from a fixed deadline for our post-results services to a ‘rules-based’ approach, which will be consistent across all the JCQ awarding bodies. The current ‘set in stone’ post-results services deadline of 20 September becomes a movable feast!
This also allows OCR to introduce a priority access to scripts service for GCSE qualifications. In addition, access to scripts for teaching and learning can be returned to schools before the enquiries about results deadline. Although we’ll prioritise the priority service requests (which need to be available two weeks before the enquiries about results deadline), you could receive your non-priority script requests earlier than in previous years. The revised dates together with their associated ‘rules’ and a summary of the specific changes are shown below (we have also updated our key dates tool and spreadsheet).
From 2018, students will be able to request the results of their school-marked assessments from their own school/college. From an awarding body perspective, there will be no change to any of the current administrative processes.
There’s no change to the current process here – Ofqual has deferred the removal of automatic grade protection that currently applies to a review of moderation for at least two years. This means if you submit a review of moderation for a unit, you don’t need to obtain candidate consent as marks cannot go down in that series (although any amended marks are carried forward to future series). However, it’s also worth being aware that in December 2016, Ofqual instructed the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) awarding bodies to confirm automatic grade protection no longer applies to extended reviews of marking for all examined components (see the JCQ website for more details).
Ofqual has asked awarding bodies to provide the reasons for review of marking decisions automatically for the summer 2020 exam series onwards. We already provide detailed explanations on the rare occasions that the qualification grade changes by two grades or more. For this year, we'll provide more detail for all reviews, including when there’s no change.
In 2016, Ofqual asked the awarding bodies to run a pilot of a new model for appeals in three subjects: A Level physics, geography and religious studies. Currently, schools can only submit an appeal to an awarding body if they think the awarding body has not followed its own processes. The pilot extended the grounds on which schools could make an appeal, so that a school could appeal if it believed that a marking error was not corrected during the review. Our research team conducted an evaluation of the pilot, which has been sent to Ofqual. We're now waiting to hear whether Ofqual will extend the grounds for review to all subjects, extend the pilot, or return to the old procedures for all subjects.
Priority 2 GCE enquiries about results applications to be received by OCRThursday of the week following GCE results publication – previously the Friday
Requests for GCSE priority scripts to be received by OCROne week following GCSE results publication– new!
Latest date by which centres will receive priority copies of scripts to support reviews of markingTwo weeks before deadline for enquiries about results– previously 10 days before
Enquiries about results, late certification and missing and incomplete results applications to be received by OCR
Four weeks following GCSE results publication– previously fixed date
Requests for all non-priority scripts to be received by OCR by
Five weeks following GCSE results publication –previously 2 weeks following EAR deadline
Dr Frances Wilson - Principal Researcher
Dr Frances Wilson is the Principal Researcher for OCR’s Research and Technical Standards team, part of the Assessment Standards Team at OCR. Frances and her team carry out valuable research and technical studies to underpin the development and delivery of OCR’s qualifications. OCR is part of Cambridge Assessment which is a department of the University of Cambridge.