Union offers legal advice to schools in case parents appeal against exam results

An education union is providing legal advice to school leaders under pressure from parents who are threatening to bring in lawyers if they are not satisfied with their children’s exam grades this summer.

MPs on the Commons education committee were told that schools in England are bracing themselves for a huge number of appeals against GCSE and A-level results, as pupils seek to improve upon the teacher-assessed grades they will be awarded in August.

With public examinations cancelled for the second year running, teachers have been asked to determine grades for each of their pupils, based on a range of evidence including mock exams, coursework, and in-class assessments using questions by exam boards.

Schools have already submitted grades to the exam boards, who will carry out additional quality assurance checks before results for both GCSEs and A-levels are published the week beginning 9 8月.

If pupils want to appeal against the grades they are awarded they have to ask their school to check for administrative or procedural errors. If none are identified, pupils are able to appeal directly to the exam board concerned, free of charge.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, told the committee his members were already being threatened with legal action by parents trying to secure the grades their children needed to get to university.

He told MPs: “I think we will see a huge number of appeals beyond the priority appeals. And again we are already seeing examples of some parents exerting some pressure on some people, 言って: ‘My daughter needs certain grades to get to university. If they don’t get them I’ve got a lawyer lined up.’

“That’s not a caricature, we have got that. We are giving legal advice to our members.”

Teaching union leaders told MPs they were worried about the additional workload for members over the summer due to the expected volume of appeals. They are also concerned they will be blamed for any grade inflation.

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, 前記: “I was talking to a secondary head who only last week had received an email from one of the exam boards asking would the headteacher be available for every day of the summer holiday so they can talk to them about the appeals process.

“And if they aren’t going to be available for every day, can they give them the telephone number of another member of senior staff who will be available for every day of the summer holidays.”