Related Policies

Assessment
Plagiarism – Seniors

Rationale/Purpose

To outline the grounds for appeal in Years 11 and 12
To provide clear processes for registering an appeal

Definitions

Appeal

A request to an authority higher than a teacher for a decision regarding an assessment outcome (e.g. assignment, essay, test, etc) or against procedures used to calculate unit grades, scores and course scores and the application of penalties.

Policy

Merici College is committed to an appeals process in relation to school-based assessment that is based on natural justice and public interest. The objectives of the appeals process are to:

  • achieve valid course scores, unit scores and grades, which are published on certificates
  • promote assessment procedures that are transparent, reliable and accurate
  • provide appeal procedures that are accessible and responsive to all students

The purpose of an appeal is to ensure that assessment results are valid and the procedures applied are those that are published and are correct. The appeals process enables a student to seek a review of teacher judgement for assessment within the College.

Procedures

  • There is a clear distinction between teacher-student review of assessment and the formal college appeal.

  • If a student is dissatisfied with her assessment result for a task or a unit or course score, or the application of a penalty, in the first instance she should seek a review of the task from the class teacher. This takes the form of a clarification or explanation of a mark/grade or a remark if felt necessary. At this point, the grade and/or score can be reviewed up or down or may remain the same. The teacher must explain to the student all possible outcomes and also the right of the student to seek further review.

  • Review should be sought within 5 school days of the assessment outcome being available to the student i.e.

    • task mark/grade being provided to the student
    •  student being advised in writing of the penalty for breach of discipline (e.g. plagiarism, cheating)

    •  unit grades/scores being published by the school.

In Semester 2 of Year 12:

  • appeals against an assessment task, unit grade/score, breach of discipline should be lodged within two working days of the results being published
  • appeals against a course score should be lodged within one working day of the results being published.
  • At each level, staff should consider the student assessment response against the marking criteria.
  • If the student is still dissatisfied, she may seek review from the relevant Head of Department.
  • At this point, the grade and/or score can be reviewed up or down or may remain the same. The Head Department, who may seek guidance of the Senior School Coordinator, must explain to the student all possible outcomes and also the right of the student to seek further review. If the Head of Department is the classroom teacher of the student involved then the student will have access to the Senior School Coordinator to act as a mediator.
  • If the student is still dissatisfied she may write to the Deputy Principal Learningwho will facilitate a formal Appeal if necessary.
  • The written appeal from the student should include:
    • The student‘s name and ID
    • The specific mark/s, score, grade, penalty being appealed, including the task, unit, course concerned
    • The specific remedy being sought for each matter being appealed
    • A statement setting out and supporting the matters of appeal

The student should be able to present further evidence to the College Appeal Committee (see below).

  • The appeal process begins officially with the lodging of a written appeal by the student to the

    Principal or to the Deputy Principal Learning, and is finalised by written advice from the College Appeal Committee to the student, including information of her right to appeal to the Board of Senior Secondary Studies (BSSS).

  • College Appeal Committee consists of the Principal or Deputy Principal Learning, a member of the teaching staff not involved in review of the task and an experienced member of the teaching profession nominated by the BSSS from outside the College.

  • No member of the College Appeal Committee should have had any direct dealings with the matter of the appeal at an earlier stage.
    The classroom teacher will need to provide:

    • Written evidence of steps taken to resolve the issue

    • The assessment task with clean rubric or marking scheme

    • A statement setting out matters related to the appeal from the marker’s perspective

  • Students may be accompanied by a friend. Students making an appeal will be allowed either to present their own case or have their case presented by a friend. The friend may be another student, a parent or some other person.

  • An important aspect of natural justice is the opportunity for both the student, and the teacher or Head of Department, to correct or contradict evidence submitted to the College Appeal Committee. Each has the right to make an uninterrupted statement to the College Appeal Committee, be subject to questioning from the Committee, but not subject to cross examination from each other. The teacher or Head of Department and the student, or her/his friend, may seek clarification of issues from each other through the identified College Appeal Committee Chair. However, the student should be given the opportunity to make the final statement. The College has procedures that safeguard confidential information, but ensures both the student, and teacher or Head of Department have maximum access to all the evidence being considered by the College Appeal Committee.

  • The College Appeal Committee may seek advice or evidence from any source it considers relevant. Where appropriate, a college may seek an independent evaluation from teachers external to the College. This can be arranged through the Executive Officer of the BSSS. It is expected that both the student, and teacher or Head of Department, will have an opportunity to comment on the advice or evidence collected from the relevant source(s).

  • The College Appeal Committee will mak a decision and communicate the outcome and reasons for it in writing to the student with a copy to the Principal.

  • Except in Semester 2 of Year 12, appeals will be finalised within fourteen working days of the lodgement of an appeal. Appeals at the college in Semester 2 of Year 12 should be completed by the day prior to the final date for appeals to the Board published annually in the BSSS General Schedule of Meetings and Events.

  • Students and others involved in an appeal should understand that there are three possible outcomes for an appeal against marks, grades or scores:

    • a higher mark, grade or score

    • no change

    • a lower mark, grade or score.

  • Students and others involved in an appeal should understand that there are four possible outcomes for an appeal against a penalty imposed for a breach of discipline in relation to assessment:

    • withdrawal of the penalty

    • a reduction in the penalty

    • no change

    • an increased penalty

  • The upholding of an appeal may result in the alteration of the student’s unit or course score. A change in the scores of other students arising from the appeal will be made only if determined by the College Appeal Committee Chair.
    It should be understood that when the outcome of an appeal causes changes to the results of other students, the principal is responsible for informing these students, and further appeals related only to these changes should be allowed. These appeals must be lodged with twenty-four hours of notification.

 

References

Merici College Senior Assessment Handbook
Senior Handbook and Course Outlines
Board of Senior Secondary Studies: Policy and Procedures Manual 2014. Section 4.7 College Appeals. http://www.bsss.act.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/224514/PandPManua... _final.pdf
The BSSS brochure, Your Right to Appeal http://www.bsss.act.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/197361/Your_Right... The BSSS General schedule http://www.bsss.act.edu.au/publications/forms2

Forms

Approved by: Merici Executive
Implementation Date: September 2007
Policy last Updated: July 2017
Merici Contact Officer: Deputy Principal Learning