An Ofqual spokesperson said: “These figures show a significant increase in the number of Enquiries About Results (EARs) for GCSEs and A levels, and in the proportion of grades being changed as a result, although this is increasing at a slower rate. While there are many external factors that will be driving this, we know that schools are concerned about the quality of marking and we are listening to them. It is vital that marking is fair and accurate, especially as we enter a period of significant exams reform, so we are currently conducting a programme of work to look into this area, including exam board practices and processes, and the appeals process itself.
“But it is also is important that we keep these statistics in context. A total of 98 per cent of exam scripts were not subject to any EAR requests, and just 0.54 per cent of all subject certifications were changed.
“This year there have also been well publicised concerns over GCSE English. Those concerns were around grade boundaries and not the exam board marking. For the first time, we have gathered subject specific information for every unit that received an EAR, and although we see that English is towards the top of the list for most of the awarding organisations, this is largely to be expected due to the nature of the subject and the figures are broadly in-line with similar subjects, and the same subject at A level.”