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APPEALS PROCESS (TAGs): summary of process for students

As a result of the pandemic a new Appeals process is in place for all students who will receive a Teacher Assessed Grade (TAG) in summer 2021.
Colleges cannot reveal what the Teacher Assessed Grade will be in advance as this will be confirmed by the Exam Boards on 10th August 2021 (A-Levels/Level 3) and 12th August 2021 (GCSEs/Level 1 and Level 2).
Your teacher should have shared with you the key pieces of assessment evidence upon which your TAG will be based. We hope this means there will be no surprises when you receive your grade and therefore no reason for you to appeal.
This summary is for GCSE, AS, A-LEVELS and Vocational and Technical qualifications eg BTECs/ UAL (but not licence to practice vocational qualifications.)

The appeals process is as follows:


· Stage 1 must be followed first before Stage 2 can be enacted, should it need to be.

· Only the College can submit a formal appeal to the exam board for you.

Stage 1 – College review


If a student feels their grade is wrong, they should speak to the college first to check if there was a mistake in determining or submitting the grade. Students can appeal to the college by emailing:


Please clearly state your full name, college reference number and the course and qualification you are appealing a grade for.
If there was a mistake, the college can submit a revised grade to the exam board to consider.



· 10 August – 20 August for PRIORITY Appeals (e.g. for appeals from students who intend to have or already have a place confirmed at a University)

· 10 August – 10 Sept. for Non-Priority Appeals

Stage 2 – Exam Board review

Students can submit an appeal to their Exam Board via the College if after completing Stage 1 they believe any of the following applies:

· There was an error in the way the college followed or applied its procedure for determining their grade

· The College did not make a reasonable judgement when deciding which evidence to use to determine their grade

· The College did not make a reasonable judgement about their grade based on the evidence gathered.


· 10 August – 23 August for PRIORITY Appeals

· 10 August – 17 Sept. for Non-Priority Appeals

Note: UAL (Exam Board) have a different deadline date for Appeals of 27th August 2021.

Please Note: These timelines provided by the Joint Council for Examinations (JCQ) are not mandatory but have been published as a guide for colleges to work to. United Colleges Group will make every effort to address any appeals from students appealing their grades within these timelines. Where this is not possible, this will be communicated to students.

See Page 9 of the link below for further information to ensure you are clear on the appeals process: Student guide to awarding summer 2021


Latest news

The Government has said that many exams and assessments cannot be held fairly this year as a result of the disruption students have faced due to the pandemic. Your teachers will instead submit grades to the exam boards, based on their assessment of what you have shown you know and can do, enabling you to progress to the next stage of your education, training, or employment. See below for an overview of the arrangements in place for awarding grades in summer 2021 at the College.

For further information students should speak to their teachers.

Please also see the OFQUAL guide for students Student guide to awarding: summer 2021

AS and A levels 

How GCSEs, AS and A levels will be awarded in summer 2021: a summary

 How your grade will be determined

  • Graded by teacher judgement, with teacher judgments undergoing quality checks and signed off by managers before being submitted to the exam board
  • Not graded by an algorithm
  • College assessments can continue - your teacher will let you know the timings of any assessments
  • You’ll only be assessed on what you’ve been taught
  • Your teacher will tell you the evidence they will use to determine your grade
  • You will not be told what grade has been submitted for you


  • A range of evidence can be used, such as mocks, tests and work you have already done  
  • Non-exam assessment (often known as coursework) will continue
  • Non-exam assessment can be used as evidence
  • The college can use questions provided by exam boards if it chooses to do so 
  • The College must follow guidance when determining your grades and the exam boards will check we have done so

Results days

AS and A level: 10 August

GCSE: 12 August



How vocational and technical qualifications will be awarded in summer 2021: a summary

Qualifications most similar to GCSEs and A levels used for progression to further or higher education. For example, BTECs or UAL qualifications which do not assess occupational skills.

Your results will be: 

  • Determined by teacher judgement based on evidence of your performance, such as course work and any tasks or exams completed
  • Issued no later than for GCSEs and A levels


For example, Functional Skills and ESOL Skills for Life, which do not assess occupational skills

  • Assessments will continue to go ahead for these qualifications.
  • If you cannot safely access an assessment your result can be based on teacher judgement – in this case your results will be determined by teacher judgement, based on evidence of your performance, such as course work and any tasks or exams completed and issued in the usual timescales


For example, construction, plumbing and electrical qualifications.

  • Assessments: will continue as normal where possible
  • Will be adapted if needed 
  • May be delayed if it cannot be safely carried out
  • Your results will be issued in the usual timescales once you have taken your assessment.