Guide to Summer 2021 Qualification Results & Appeals

Appeals Process. Joint Council for Qualification Guidance (JCQ)


Info for Students & Parents:

The appeals process for summer 2021 allows students to appeal their grades where they believe there has been an error. They must first ask their centre to review whether an administrative or procedural error has been made.  

The JCQ student guidance for appeals will be found here


Stage 1

Any student may submit a request for a Centre Review on the grounds that the centre has:

  • failed to follow its procedures properly or consistently in arriving at that result or
  • made an administrative error in relation to the result.


Requests for appeals on the grounds of academic judgement (unreasonableness) will only be considered by awarding organisations (at Stage Two) and not by centres.

In these cases, an initial Centre Review must still be completed to ensure that the centre has not made any procedural or administrative errors. The centre will not review its academic judgements during the Centre Review stage.

To decide whether to request a review, students should ask their tutor or Head of Sector for access to certain information on results day


This could include:

  1. The centre policy
  2. The sources of evidence used to determine the student’s grade, along with the marks/grades associated with them
  3. Details of any variations in evidence used based on disruption to what that student was taught
  4. Details of any special circumstances that have been considered in determining their grade, e.g. access arrangements/reasonable adjustments or mitigating circumstances such as illness.


After the student has reviewed the evidence, if they still wish to continue with the appeal, they should ask their tutor or Head of Sector to send them the Stage 1 Centre Review Form: Appendix B. Once completed this should be returned to the Head of Teaching, Learning & Assessment Quality (HoTLAQ) 

A Centre Review will then be completed and the outcome will be reported to the student using form: B. Centre review outcome. 

Any appeals submitted, where this has not happened, will be rejected by the awarding organisation and a new application will need to be submitted once the Centre Review has been completed.


Student requests for Centre Reviews must be made by the student to the centre by:

  • 16 August 2021 (priority appeals - for students applying to higher education who did not attain their firm choice, i.e. the offer they accepted as their first choice, and wish to appeal an A level or other Level 3 qualification result)
  • 3 September 2021 (in all other cases).


For reviews where a higher education place is dependent on the outcome of an appeal, students must include their UCAS personal ID. The student should also notify their preferred higher education provider that a review has been requested at the earliest possible opportunity so they can decide how to handle their offer.


Stage 2 

The centre must submit an appeal to the awarding organisation if the student considers that:

  1. the centre did not follow its procedure properly or consistently in arriving at the result, or during the Centre Review
  2. the awarding organisation made an administrative error in relation to the result
  3. the centre made an unreasonable exercise of academic judgement in the choice of evidence from which to determine the grade and/or the determination of that grade from the evidence.


The resulting outcome may be that the grade is raised, stays the same or is lowered, depending on the impact of the error or failure.

Once the centre has considered the review and determined if a grade change is necessary due to a procedural failure or administrative error, it will report the outcome either to the student who submitted the review (if the grade has not changed) or to the awarding organisation to request a change to the grade.

An appeal can only be made against a result issued. Any student who believes that the centre’s decision to withdraw an entry due to insufficient evidence on which to determine a Teacher Assessed Grade, or not to make an entry in the first place, must raise such concerns through the College’s Complaints process. 


All requests for a Stage 2 appeal must be made directly to the centre and must be received by the awarding organisation by:

  • 23 August 2021 for priority appeals (for students applying to higher education who did not attain their firm choice, i.e. the offer they accepted as their first choice, and wish to appeal an A level or other Level 3 qualification result), or by
  • 17 September 2021 for non-priority appeals.


Awarding organisations will not accept appeals directly from students or parents. Appeals submitted by students or parents directly to an awarding organisation will not be processed and will need to be re-submitted via the centre. This may risk appeals not being completed in time for those students applying to higher education who did not attain their firm choice (i.e. the offer they accepted as their first choice) and wish to appeal an A level o other Level 3 qualification result.

Once the centre has submitted the appeal to the awarding organisation, it will confirm to the student that it has done so.

When an application for an appeal is received, the awarding organisation will decide whether it will be accepted for evaluation or not.

When the awarding organisation have made their judgement the student will receive the decision in a formal written letter. This decision will be final. 


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