It’s time to scrap charges on exam appeals

17th August 2017 

It's time to scrap charges on exam appeals 

What are exam appeal charges?

In 2014 the SNP Government introduced a fee if an appeal, or an exam ‘review’, is carried out but no change is made to the grade awarded.

Before then, appeal costs were met centrally. Now, they come out of school budgets – already being hammered by SNP cuts.

What happened next?

Appeal rates for state schools fell through the floor. Now a private school pupil is three times more likely to appeal a grade than a state school pupil.

Why does this matter?

We want more pupils from poorer backgrounds to be able to go on to university. For many people an appeal can be the difference between getting on to university and not.

These charges are a financial barrier to going on to university. That’s why iain Gray, Labour’s Education spokesperson, has written to John Swinney calling on him to end these charges,

Here’s his letter:

Dear John

Exam appeal charges

All across Scotland, pupils will be weighing up whether to appeal a grade from their exams, with their results having come through last week.

The most recent available data shows that private schools are three times more likely to appeal their grade than state school pupils.

These charges for exam appeals are unfair and should be scrapped, all they have done since your government introduced them is tilt the education system towards those who can afford to pay and those who cannot.

The cost of these charges now fall on school budgets. State schools have already seen huge cuts during this government’s time in office, with £1.5 billion slashed from local authority budgets since 2011.

Labour and the SNP agree that there should not be any financial barriers to going on to study after school, so we should work together to remove these charges.

We should be taking every step possible to widen access to university and college.  These charges, which the data shows have a deterring effect on state school pupils applying for appeals, stand in the way of that aspiration.


Iain Gray
Labour Education spokesperson

As Scotland’s pupils go back to school, Scottish Labour’s summer campaign, For The Many, is this week focused on education.

To read more about the campaign, click on the image below: