Review Date: June 2017

Review Officer:  Deputy Head (Curriculum)

/ Careers Counsellor

 

                      Procedures for Predicted Grades Policy

 

Rationale
Qatar International School (QIS) recognises the importance of upholding absolute integrity when establishing predicted grades for sixth form students. The predicted grades assist students in planning their future educational goals and are submitted to higher education institutions to inform admission decisions. QIS is committed to ensuring predicted grades are as accurate as possible and based on a consistent methodology.
Aims
At QIS we aim:

·         to support teachers in their efforts to establish predicted grades,

·         ensure predicted grades are realistic and achievable,

·         ensure a consistent methodology is used across departments in establishing the predicted grades,

·         provide guidance to students and their parents/guardians on how predicted grades are established to support their future educational plans,

·         establish protocols for the conduct of students and their parents/guardians in addressing any concerns they may have regarding predicted grades, and

·         to encourage teachers to be as supportive as possible when informing students about their predicted grades.

Procedures
Purpose of Procedures:

The purpose of the procedures is to ensure a consistent approach to the management of the predicted grades.

At Qatar International School (QIS), Heads of Department are responsible for ensuring a consistent methodology is used for establishing predicted grades; monitor the accuracy of predicted grades; and recording predicted grades in the SIMS database in a timely manner. The careers counsellor will rely on the predicted grades to support student university applications to higher education institutions. As our students apply to universities globally, the predicted grades are sent to institutions worldwide. Higher education institutions monitor schools in relation to the accuracy of predicted grades, therefore it is imperative that the grades are as accurate as possible to preserve the reputation of QIS. The preservation of the QIS reputation will also maximise the future admission opportunities for our students. 

How predicted grades are formed:

Heads of Department take into account a number of factors when establishing the predicted

grades:

·         a student’s grade/performance at AS-level for A-Level predicted grades,

·         a student’s performance at IGCSE for AS-Level predicted grades,

·         any other internal assessments that are available prior to the predicted grade deadline,

·         teacher comments, both from teachers who taught the student in the previous year as well as the current year,

·         their own judgement, based on experience of tracking performance of sixth form students through to achieving their qualifications.

What teachers do not take into account is what a student thinks they need to get into their university/course of choice; nor do they pay much attention to a student’s promise that he will ‘work much harder’ than they did in the previous year. Thus, QIS predicted grades are an honest assessment of a student’s most likely achievement at AS or A-level, based on as much evidence that can be gathered as well as substantial teacher experience. As such, we are confident in the grades we submit and will only consider altering a grade if a strong and convincing prima facie case can be made for us to consider a change, based on a potential error in one or more of the five factors named above. Students are not permitted to individually request predicted grades from their teacher. Once students are made aware of their predicted grades and should they not agree with the predicted grade, there is a limited right of appeal period for the student (see Student’s Right of Appeal section below for procedure).

Student’s should also be made aware that a predicted grade in a subject is only one of a series of indicators that universities look at when making offers and it thus needs to be kept in perspective. Universities can and do make offers at levels above prediction when they can see a strong case being made in other areas (e.g. personal statement and teacher reference).  Also, students should always be mindful of the importance of applying for suitable courses at suitable institutions. Securing an offer to get on a course on the basis of unrealistic grade predictions is unlikely to lead to ultimate success.

Deadlines for Predicted grades:

Predicted grade deadlines fall in line with other reporting deadlines and dates set by the university application.

Early Predicted Grades

Early predicted grades are due by 13th October for students applying for Oxbridge universities and Medicine, Veterinary and Dentistry applications in the United Kingdom. Early predicted grades may also be required for early decision applications in United States around mid-November. Early predicted grades will be requested as required by the careers counsellor.

General Predicted Grades

All other predicted grades will be due on the 30th November in line with the first Sixth Form reporting deadline. After the 1st December the university predicted grade column in SIMS will be locked. Any changes will need to be notified to the Deputy Head (Curriculum) on a case-by-case basis; however after 16th January no further change to the predicted grades will be permitted. This will ensure multiple versions of transcripts are no made available. Again preserving the integrity of QIS and parents are required to sign-off on the predicted grade form for applicable to each students.

Student’s Right of Appeal:

Every student has the right to appeal the grade prediction and there will be a set time of five days when appeals can be made after the predictions have been distributed to parents, starting with the first full day following the issuing of grades and ending at 1.10pm on the fifth day thereafter.

Appeals should be submitted in the first place by a direct appeal to the relevant Head of Department. However, appeals will not be considered if their only substantive basis is simply a student’s desire for a higher prediction. In order to have a chance of success, an appeal would have to outline how the criteria used to form the prediction (as outlined above) should reasonably have produced a higher prediction.

Heads of Departments will consider each case on its merits and respond directly to the student with some detail as to why the grade is to be changed or to remain the same. If an appeal fails and the student remains dissatisfied with the outcome and its explanation, then a final appeal may be made to the Deputy Head (Curriculum) for arbitration. Such an appeal needs to be made within three days of the first appeal decision being communicated, starting with the first full day following the delivery of the decision and ending at 1.10pm on the third day thereafter. The Deputy Head (Curriculum) will reconsider the case as soon as is practicable and make a final decision.

Further considerations:

In exceptional circumstances, it may be the case that a student’s progress in that year (judged over half a term or more) is so rapid and impressive that the predicted grade issued does appear to be too low. This would be likely to be seen only some time after the university applications have been submitted and is very rare. In these circumstances, a further appeal to the Deputy Head (Curriculum) is allowable, so long as clear evidence can be offered (e.g. a sustained series of assessment / test marks). Should a predicted grade change be warranted, then the Deputy Head (Curriculum) will communicate this to the careers counsellor, who will then inform the relevant universities.

Evaluation
This policy will be regularly reviewed and evaluated to ensure continuous improvement and ensure that the policy continues to reflect best practice standards.