Response on mock results and GCSE and A-levels following DfE update - 11th August 2020

Updated: Aug 13

Dear students, parents and carers,


Many of you will have seen the headline that mock exam results can be used instead of the calculated exam results that our students will receive from the exam board this week. The details of this are more complicated, and it is not as straightforward as simply using a ‘mock grade’ in place of the grade given by the exam board. Instead, if a student receives a substantially lower grade than the school has evidence for through mock results, this may be grounds for appealing the grade through a formal appeals process to the exam board.


As a school we use ‘mock’ exams and Key Assessments in a number of ways throughout the school year as part of our ongoing assessment. This includes walking through exam questions in class, doing partial exam questions in class or for homework, and doing full or partial exams under exam conditions. Furthermore, we use mock exams to help our students progress: for example by getting them used to the style of the exam, or setting them a greater challenge.


For this reason, a grade they may have been given as a ‘mock grade’ may not satisfy the criteria needed by the exam boards for appeal – if for example it was a paper that the students had planned answers for in class. Therefore one higher mock grade may not be sufficient grounds for appeal.


The DfE has assured schools that the majority of students in England will receive the grades their teachers have worked out they were most likely to achieve. In some cases, these teacher-assessed grades may have been marked down.


A majority of students should be able to go onto their choice of university, college or sixth form. All universities and colleges understand the situation this year and are trying to be more flexible. If a student gets into their choice of further study or training, we strongly suggest that they don’t go down the appeals or resit route, but instead focus on the next stage of the education and use the rest of the summer to prepare.


If a student does not get the grades they need for entry requirements, the following routes are open to them:

  • Speak to staff about your options, including any evidence the teacher has they would have performed better than the grade they’ve been given

  • Contact the university and college and explain this evidence. If you are considering Kingsmeadow Sixth Form, we will sit down and discuss your options with you.

  • If you still cannot get into your choice of university, college or sixth form, talk to your teacher about the possibility of appealing the grade – but this should be a last resort. Not all mock exam grades will provide sufficient evidence for an appeal, so it’s important you talk to your teacher about this.

  • If an appeal is not possible, you may want to consider resitting the exams in the autumn or in summer 2021.

For most students neither appeals or resits will be desirable, as they will be able to progress onto further study, training or work.


Neither students nor parents can appeal grades directly to the exam board – this has to be done through the school, which is why the first step is always talking to staff as soon as possible.


We will do all that is possible to support you onto your next steps.


Domenic Volpe


Market Lane, Gateshead NE11 9NX, UK

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