GCSE and A Level special consideration requests rise by 19 per cent

Ofqual figures have shown the number of special consideration requests for GCSE and A levels has risen by 19 per cent in a year.

The amount of approved special consideration requests has also risen from 2.5 per cent of all assessments taken in 2016 to 3.1 per cent this year.

Special consideration can be given if a candidate has not been able to demonstrate their ability in an assessment due to exceptional circumstances, such as illness, and its had an impact on their performance. If approved, candidates may have their marks adjusted.

In total, there were 607,110 special consideration requests, compared to 511,915 requests made in 2016 – a rise of 19 per cent.

And there were 567,795 special consideration requests that were approved this year, compared to 479,565 approved requests in 2016 - a rise of 18 per cent.

Exams regulator Ofqual has said that the increase in requests could be partly explained by the move towards linear assessment.

The report states: "Because of this, candidates may apply for special consideration if there are extenuating circumstances as there is no longer a resit opportunity for individual units.

"GCSE English literature and English language entries have increased due to the transition of entries from level 1/2 qualifications. This may mean there are more requests, as higher numbers are entering these subjects."

This summer, there was also a change in the rules around who can apply that was expected to contribute to an increase.

Last year, the exam boards required candidates who requested a qualification award – but who had been absent from exams – to have completed at least 40 per cent of the assessments for a subject.

After the tragic events of this summer, such as the Grenfell Tower fire, and the introduction of more linear GCSE and A-levels the exam boards decided to lower this to 25 per cent for summer 2017.

However, today's statistics show that the number of approved qualification award requests only increased very slightly – from 23,470 to 24,765 – despite the change in rules introduced this summer.

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