Exam appeals more likely to come from private school pupils

The Evening Times is reporting that private school students are three times more likely to appeal the results of their exams than youngsters at a local authority school, new figures have revealed.

Statistics from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) showed that in 2015 independent schools appealed 6% of exam results compared to 2.1% of results that were appealed by council-run secondaries.

The figures, which were revealed in evidence from the SQA to MSPs on Holyrood’s Education Committee, promoted fresh calls for appeal charges to be scrapped.

The fees, introduced by the Scottish Government in 2014, are only applied if no change is made to the exam grade. However, if the appeal is unsuccessful, schools are charged £10 for a clerical check to see if marks were added up correctly and £29.75 for a marking review, with this rising to £39.75 if it is done on a priority basis.

With school budgets coming under increasing pressure, it is feared the charges could deter some local authority schools from putting forward appeals.

Labour education spokesman Iain Gray criticised the Scottish Government, saying: “Kezia Dugdale and I have raised this with SNP ministers again and again, but it seems that they could not care less about this unfairness in the system.”

“An exam appeal decision can be the deciding factor between a pupil getting to college or university, with all the opportunities that may bring. Money shouldn’t come into it.”

More at: Exam appeals more likely to come from private school pupils

Does your school take the fees into account when advising students to appeal a grade? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie

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