Pupils will not be allowed to appeal their school-assessed GCSE grades, the exams watchdog has confirmed, after a leading figure in independent education said opening the door to appeals would be a “road to hell”.

Ofqual confirmed it would not open appeals for Centre Assessed Grades not long after Barnaby Lenon, chair of the Independent Schools Council and a former member of the regulator's board, made the comments, the TES reports.

A spokesperson for Ofqual said: “The direction we were given from the secretary of state stated that the appeals process should focus on whether the right data was used and applied and that is what we have put in place.

"As we have previously said, we considered carefully whether to allow students to challenge their teachers’ grading decisions in addition to this.

“On balance, we decided it would not be in the interests of students or the fairness of the arrangements overall – any appeal would have to be undertaken by someone better placed than a student’s teachers to judge their likely grade if exams had taken place and we don’t believe there is any such person.

"This means a student can’t appeal because they don’t agree with the centre assessment grade submitted by your school or college. This position has not changed.

“Students will, however, be able to raise a complaint to their centre if they have evidence of bias or that they were discriminated against in the grading process.”

Mr Lenon had said schools were “anxious” about the prospect of appeals, saying: "What we don’t want is the doors being opened to dozens or hundreds of appeals on teacher-assessed grades.

"It would create uncertainty for teachers and there would also be issues regarding fairness if some pupils did this and others didn’t, some schools did this and others didn’t.”