Hinchingbrooke School student faces more than £300 exam appeal after results jeopardise apprenticeship

Dan Ridley's grades were taken from his mock results after exams across the country were cancelled d

Dan Ridley's grades were taken from his mock results after exams across the country were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: FAMILY - Credit: Archant

A student from Hinchingbrooke School is facing an appeal of more than £300 for his A-level results to be reviewed after one grade could mean missing out on an apprenticeship place.

Dan Ridley, from Offord, was predicted AAC for Business Studies, Finance and Chemistry but was awarded a B for Business Studies and D for Chemistry – jeopardising his route into a chemical engineering apprenticeship.

The grades were taken from his mock results after exams across the country were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dan’s father, Paul, was eager to appeal his son’s grades but was shocked to discover that initial reviews with exam boards range from £9.50 with OCR to £120 with Pearson (Edexcel).

Independent reviews all cost £150.

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However, a technical glitch with Hinchingbrooke School’s payment system caused further stress this morning (August 14) when it displayed total costs of £1,000. The error has since been rectified and parents notified by email.

Paul said: “This has been an absolute nightmare – we didn’t expect this.

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“Dan was predicted great grades, but of course it may be that students don’t do as well in their mock exams as they would their final ones.

“In Dan’s case, his Finance exam was his actual final A-level one at the time of the mocks, so of course he was told to put more revision into that subject – which he still got his A for.

“To then find out that he has got a D for Chemistry – which is a really tough subject – was disheartening because to go on to do an apprenticeship in that field you need a C or above.”

The family immediately began the appeal process with the school, who then take it up with the exam boards.

“You just feel helpless,” Paul continued.

“It could cost around £600 for something that was not in our control and some families may not be able to pay that.

“We were upset that we couldn’t speak to someone directly at the school about this too.”

Anna Nightingale, vice principal at Hinchingbrooke School, assured The Hunts Post that the sixth form team and senior leaders were on site on results day (August 13).

She said that appeal costs may be taken from the school’s hardship fund if certain students could not afford to pay.

“It is a really difficult time for students and we will be there for them throughout this period,” Miss Nightingale said.

“All the students who want to appeal their results will be given an appointment with us.

“The review costs with different exam boards are just scandalous. This is a lot of money.

“In other years costs have been returned if appeals are successful, but we are yet to hear if that is the case this year.

“We are aware that this whole process has been unfair.”

England’s exam regulator Ofqual said it was “important for students to understand their options” where they did not receive the grades they expected.

While grounds of appeal have been published online, they are yet announce if exam board review fees will be waivered due to Covid-19.

Nearly 40 per cent of teachers’ estimates for pupils in England were adjusted down by one grade or more, according to their data.

Do you have an exam story to tell? Contact clare.butler@archant.co.uk

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