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Special Consideration A levels 2020- what was the process??

(16 Posts)
GreenGrass72 Thu 13-Aug-20 10:25:59


I'd be really glad of some advice. DD is disappointed with her results. she has passed all her a levels but is upset about grades which do not reflect her potential/ original predictions.

She experienced some traumatic events in the run up to her mocks and her attendance dipped. Naturally this impacted on her attainment.

In March I contacted the college asking for them to apply for special consideration when they knew what the process was going to be and offering evidence (from CAMHS etc) about her situation.

They told me they were on to it- and that they would ask me if they needed any further info.

She was clearly disadvantaged by not having a chance to improve her grades and study further into the summer term as the closure of college meant that a 'snapshot' of her attainment was taken at the worst possible moment.

I'm now concerned that an application may not have been made as they never updated me (they said they would).

Can anyone tell me what the process for SC was this year and how to ascertain if this was taken into account for DD?


OP’s posts: |
MrsHamlet Thu 13-Aug-20 10:31:35

As far as I know, special consideration only applies when something happens at the time of the assessment. Long term circumstances cannot be taken into account.

MrsHamlet Thu 13-Aug-20 10:33:27

GreenGrass72 Thu 13-Aug-20 10:37:32

It wasn't a long term situation though. It was a situation that would be covered under the criteria in that document. I need to try to find out how the process was adapted for COVID so wonder if there is a document produced later in the year. I can't find one via Google...

OP’s posts: |
MrsHamlet Thu 13-Aug-20 10:44:34

You might need to contact the exams officer again then. I fear that you'll find that document stands though, and that nothing will change. SC is very hard to get!

GreenGrass72 Thu 13-Aug-20 10:49:10

Thanks- I don't mind if the document stands smile She meets the criteria. I just need to know what the adapted process was for this year (bearing in mind no exams took place) so I can ask the college the right questions.

OP’s posts: |
Hercwasonaroll Thu 13-Aug-20 12:37:49

Was there a process for this in 2020? No fixed date assessment was used so is special consideration even being applied? I'd have assumed the teachers would have applied it as part of their grading process.

Hercwasonaroll Thu 13-Aug-20 12:39:21

Hercwasonaroll Thu 13-Aug-20 12:41:33

Meant to say read that link under special consideration and it says there is none for 2020.

MrsHamlet Thu 13-Aug-20 15:29:33

That's what I feared

TheletterZ Thu 13-Aug-20 17:20:10

I am sorry to hear about your daughter and her struggles this year. As a pp has said there is no special consideration this year. Instead teachers should have taken her circumstances into account.

They aren’t very generous, only up to 5% uplift. You can check all the criteria here

The best you can do is to look at her mock results - would the uplift have made a grade difference and is this reflected in her teacher grades? If so there might be grounds for appeal.

The only way to tell is to speak to the school and talk it through with them. Has your daughter got into a university she is happy with? If so then as hard as it is, it will probably be best to put it to one side, and move forward rather than look backward.

GreenGrass72 Fri 14-Aug-20 07:52:37

Thanks so much everyone. I have now had an email from the college echoing that there was no Special Consideration as such this year. A helpful member of staff is on the case for me and is now being proactive in gathering information to support an appeal.

I knew before xmas that DD had spoken to her teachers and I also emailed them to give a bit of context about the drop in attendance/ attainment but the teachers only knew about 30% of what was going on so do not know the full extent to which she was disadvantaged.

I'm kicking myself because the college replied to a March email from my say not to worry as they had some info about her situation and would contact me if anything further was needed for SC ( eg reports from professionals). I then didn't push to give the extra info as it is highly confidential and I just thought it that it sounded like they had enough info already to get her 5% allowance so didn't persist with my offer to send reports / supporting evidence.

Now it seems that the teachers have not really taken anything into account after all so really did need that info... For instance, she got a C and D in two subjects, which was what she got in her mocks, which were taken at a time of chaos (predicted As in both so it would seem no allowance made at all).

Theletter, you mention using mock grades but this is what the college seem to have done- which is actually the problem! Her grades are the poor grades she got in the mocks. That's what we need the consideration about (her mocks were taken in January to March ).

I think there will either need to be:
- a reinstatement of teacher grades if by any chance she happened to get downgraded by the boards
-appeal on the basis of incomplete info gathering by the school (impacting their judgement about 'special consideration')
-appeal based on discrepancy between grades showing on all her report cards throughout the two years (even the bad patch) and the final grades

I totally understand the point about getting into uni and letting go of this. She got ACD instead of AAA and has no immediate plans to go to uni. Those grades are enough to go to uni in her twenties or whenever if she changes her mind.

I don't what to out myself by saying what she's doing next but the course was based on a portfolio/ audition type scenario- not grades -so she is ok for now. But here is a point of principle and fairness here so we are pursuing it for that reason, really.

All advice much appreciated smile

OP’s posts: |
Hercwasonaroll Fri 14-Aug-20 09:00:53

5% special consideration wouldn't get you any benefit in this case, sorry OP. You can only appeal as an individual on mock grades.

I think you are going to suffer from not being totally honest with the college about whatever was going on at mock time. I don't think you can really blame them for incorrect information gathering. They knew some of the situation, they didn't need any further evidence from you so they proceeded. It's not their fault you hadn't fully discussed the whole situation.

College may have inputted B and C into the system but ofqual may have standardised it down to C and D. You can ask the college what grades they sent off and they have to tell you.

MrsHamlet Fri 14-Aug-20 09:17:50

You need to know (or rather she does - my centre would only tell her) the CAGs. As Herc says, it may be that she has been moderated down. But if her mocks are the same as the grade awarded, there's nothing to be done there.
There is also limited scope for appealing the CAG:
I'm afraid the bottom line here is that there is no Special Consideration this year - teachers awarded grades not marks, and there is no 5% of D which could have been given.

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Fri 14-Aug-20 14:20:56

I'm not sure how you can base an appeal on incomplete evidence gathering by the school when it seems that you have been very reluctant to share information with them? Why were they only privy to about 30% of what was going on around the time of her mocks?

I think it is very unfair to hold the school responsible for this.

TheletterZ Fri 14-Aug-20 14:22:17

If she is not going onto uni this year can she do the retakes in November?

I’m sorry but I don’t think there is any grounds to appeal, unless her getting 5% (and that much is unlikely normally it is normally a lower percentage) would have shifted her mock grades and hence ranking the school haven’t done anything wrong.

If it so tough and not ‘fair’ (but then exams aren’t always fair either) but she has 2 options - do as Elsa and ‘Let it go’ or take the resits.

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