This blog has been updated following an update from the JCQ: the requirement also applies to the A Level Sciences and GCSE (9-1) English endorsements.
From the November 2017 series, students will be able to request a review of the results of their centre-marked assessments from their own school/college. Since this happens before centre marks are submitted to the awarding bodies, you don’t need to do anything different in the way you submit your marks or samples to the awarding bodies. However, we’ve received lots of questions about the new requirement so I thought it would be helpful to share some of these and their answers here. Many of the decisions about how you manage centre-assessed reviews of marking will need to be made at centre level by senior leaders within your school or college.
Why is this requirement being introduced?
Ofqual has introduced this requirement following the reviews of marking consultation. Further details can be seen within their decisions document.
How has the JCQ responded to the Ofqual requirement?
This requirement has been added to (Section 5.8) of the 2017/18 JCQ General Regulations. In addition, the JCQ has produced a notice to clarify the requirement and provided a suggested template to support centres.
Which qualifications does this apply to?
The requirements relate to all GCSE, AS and A Level controlled assessments, coursework, non-exam assessments and the Project qualifications. It includes the Art and Design timed exams and the A Level Sciences and GCSE (9-1) English endorsements. Whilst not a requirement, you can extend this service to other qualifications.
What do centres have to do?
There is already a requirement for schools and colleges to have a written internal appeals procedure, which may be inspected as part of the JCQ inspection process. In addition, schools and colleges need to:
There’s more detail in the JCQ notice.
When must it be done?
Students must be given marks, and reviews must be completed, before marks are then submitted to the awarding bodies. You need to allow enough time for this to take place before the awarding body mark submission deadlines. You may also need to consider changing the scheduling of timed or controlled hours sessions in order to accommodate this internal appeals process.
What should we issue?
Teachers should issue marks only to their students. Do not issue a grade or what you think their grade would be. It’s good practice to let students know their centre marks could change after an internal review and also after external moderation. (A candidate consent form could help you with this.)
How should we issue the marks?
This is a decision for your school or college. You should consider how you are going to inform students, the format you’re going to use and the timescale for issuing marks to allow enough time to carry out any reviews.
What do we have to do?
You need to inform students they can request a review of the centre’s marking of the assessment. How you do this is up to you. You must also let students know they can request copies of materials to assist them in considering whether to request a review.
What materials should we make available to students?
These materials could include a copy of their marked work (not the original), the relevant specification and associated subject-specific documents, such as assessment grids or candidate assessment forms. Teachers need to use their professional judgement about what they think the student will need to see in order to decide whether or not to formally request an internal review. That might vary from subject to subject and teachers should refer to the specifications for any exceptions.
Can students be given copies of the mark scheme?
Yes, the standard marking criteria for internally assessed work are in the specifications which are publically available.
What deadlines should we set?
This is a decision for your school or college. It will depend upon internal deadlines for marking, internal standardisation arrangements, staffing arrangements and resources. The OCR mark submission deadlines are available within our key dates spreadsheet.
Can we charge students for the review?
This is a decision for your school or college – it may depend on whether your policy is to charge for other services.
Can students only request a review of marking if they identify an issue?
This is a decision for your school or college. It would be reasonable to ask students to explain why they wish to request a review and what they believe the issue to be.
What happens if a student asks for additional work to be marked?
Students cannot have additional pages marked. Reviews must be carried out after students have submitted their final work to be marked.
Who can carry out the reviews?
The reviewer has to be someone who has appropriate competence and who was not involved in the initial marking and therefore not considered to have a conflict of interest:
I thought centre-assessed work was confidential and couldn’t be shared with those not connected with the assessment?
If a reviewer is involved in an internal appeal, they are connected to the assessment and so centre-assessed work can be shared with them.
How do we make sure the assessors are equipped to carry out the review?
You need to make sure all those carrying out a review are ‘standardised’ so they can review to a consistent standard. If you are using someone who has not already been involved in the marking, eg a third party from a different school/college, you will need to train whoever carries out the review.
What about data protection for practical subjects like Drama and PE where we have to provide copies of video evidence?
Reviewers will need access to necessary materials and candidate work and should therefore be instructed on the data protection policy of your school or college.
What happens if the reviewer disagrees with the marking?
The reviewer is required to correct any marking error. If there is a difference of opinion between the original marking and the review of marking, centres must resolve this and submit marks to the awarding organisation which they believe are correct for each candidate.
Having given a student the outcome of a review, would a centre have to allow the student the right to appeal?
This is a decision for your school or college. Once the review has taken place, there is unlikely to be time for students to appeal this further unless candidates submit work very early.
Alison Leather - Customer Support Manager (South East)
Alison is Customer Support Manager for the South East region. The Customer Support Team provides support, training and guidance for centres administering OCR qualifications.
Alison has worked in education since 1995, as an Exams Manager in a college, a Centre Support Officer with the National Assessment Agency (NAA) and an Exams Officer in a secondary school – so she knows how challenging and rewarding it can be working in the exams office. Alison joined OCR as Customer Support Manager in 2007.