Examinations Policy

 

Date reviewed: September 2019
Review frequency: Annually
To be reviewed by: Chris Taylor (Examinations Officer)

 

The purpose of this exam policy is:


• to ensure the planning and management of exams is conducted efficiently and in the best interest of candidates
• to ensure the operation of an efficient exam system with clear guidelines for all relevant staff
It is the responsibility of everyone involved in the centre’s exam processes to read, understand and implement this policy.
This examinations policy will be reviewed annually.
This examinations policy will be reviewed by the appropriate member of the senior leadership team and the exams officer.

1. Exam responsibilities


Head of Centre (Headteacher)
Overall responsibility for the school as an exam centre:
• advises on appeals and re-marks
• responsible for reporting all suspicious or actual incidents of malpractice to the appropriate exam board

Exams Officer


Manages the administration of public and internal exams:
• advises the senior leadership team, subject leaders and other relevant staff on annual exam timetables and application procedures as set by the various exam boards
• oversees the production and distribution to staff, governors and candidates of timetables for all exams in which candidates will be
• involved and communicates regularly with staff concerning imminent deadlines and events
• ensures that candidates and their parents are informed of and understand those aspects of the exam timetable that will affect them
• consults with teaching staff to ensure that necessary controlled assessments are completed on time and in accordance with JCQ guidelines
• provides and confirms detailed data on estimated entries
• receives, checks and stores securely all exam papers and completed scripts
• administers access arrangements and makes applications for special consideration in examinations
• identifies and manages exam timetable clashes
• accounts for income and expenditures relating to all exam costs/charges
• line manages the senior exam invigilator in organising the
• recruitment, training and monitoring of a team of exams invigilators responsible for the conduct of exams
• submits candidates’ controlled assessment marks, and sends and tracks the requested material to external moderators
• arranges for dissemination of exam results and certificates to candidates and forwards, in consultation with the SLT, any appeals/re-mark requests
• maintains systems and processes to support the timely entry of candidates for their exams
• starts and finishes all internal and external examinations, including emergency evacuation procedures and instructions to candidates

Deputy Head


• Organisation of teaching and learning
• External validation of courses followed at key stage 4 and post-16

Subject Leaders


• Guidance and pastoral oversight of candidates who are unsure about exam entries or amendments to entries
• Involvement in post-results procedures
• Accurate completion of coursework mark sheets and declaration sheets
• Accurate completion of entry and all other mark sheets and adherence to deadlines as set by the exams officer

Teachers


• Involvement in dissemination of examination materials
SENCO
• Identification and testing of candidates, requirements for access arrangements
• Provision of additional support — with spelling, reading, mathematics, dyslexia or essential skills, hearing impairment, English for speakers of other languages, IT equipment — to help candidates achieve their course aims

Lead Invigilator


• Organising the recruitment, training, allocation and monitoring of a team of exams invigilators responsible for the conduct of exams
• Assists the exams officer in starting and finishing all internal and external examinations

Candidates


• Confirmation and signing of entries and exam contracts
• Understanding controlled assessment regulations and signing a declaration that authenticates the work as their own

2. The statutory tests and qualifications offered


The statutory tests and qualifications offered at this centre are decided by the head of centre, deputy head, heads of curriculum, heads of subject and the senior leadership team.
The subjects offered for those qualifications in any academic year may be found in the centre’s published prospectus for that year.
Decisions on whether a candidate should or should not take an individual subject will be taken in consultation with the candidate, parents/carers, and appropriate members of staff.
All candidates will be entitled, and enabled, to achieve an entry for qualifications from an external awarding body.

3. Exam seasons and timetables


3.1 Exam seasons
Internal exams are scheduled in January and elsewhere as deemed appropriate by the Head and Deputy Head
External exams are scheduled in May and June
All internal exams are held under external exam conditions.
3.2 Timetables
Once confirmed, the exams officer will circulate the exam timetables for internal exams and external exams

4. Entries, entry details and late entries


4.1 Entries
Candidates are selected for their exam entries by the heads of subject, and the subject teacher.
Candidates, or parents/carers, can request a subject entry, change of level or withdrawal, but will be responsible for any late fees incurred.
The centre does not accept entries from external candidates.
4.2 Late entries
Entry deadlines are circulated to heads of department by the Exams Officer. Late entries are authorised by the heads of subject and the Exams Officer.

5. Exam fees


The centre will pay all normal exam fees on behalf of candidates.
Late entry or amendment fees are paid by centre, unless the request has come from the candidate/ candidate’s parent/guardian/carer.
Candidates or departments will not be charged for changes of tier, withdrawals made by the proper procedures or alterations arising from administrative processes provided these are made within the time allowed by the awarding bodies.

6. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), special needs and access arrangements


6.1 DDA
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 extends the application of the DDA to general qualifications. All exam centre staff must ensure that the access arrangements and special consideration regulations and guidance are consistent with the law.
6.2 Special needs
A candidate’s special needs requirements are determined by the SENCO and specialist teacher.
The SENCO will inform subject teachers of candidates with special educational needs who are embarking on a course leading to an exam. The SENCO can then inform individual staff of any special arrangements that individual candidates can be granted during the course and in the exam.
6.3 Access arrangements
Making special arrangements for candidates to take exams is the responsibility of the SENCO and the exams officer.
Submitting completed access arrangement applications to the awarding bodies is the responsibility of the Exams Officer.
Rooming for access arrangement candidates will be arranged by the SENCO with the Exams Officer.
Invigilation and support for access arrangement candidates will be organised by the SENCO with the exams officer.

7. Estimated grades


The heads of department and subject will submit estimated grades to the exams officer who will then send them to the appropriate exam board

8. Managing invigilators and exam days


8.1 Managing invigilators
External invigilators will be used for all exams.
The recruitment of invigilators is the responsibility of the exams office.
All new invigilators are to be observed conducting their duties within the first 6 months of invigilating. Thereafter observations are carried out annually to ensure that regulations are followed.
It is the responsibility of the Exam Officer to disseminate information from awarding bodies to all staff involved in assessing/invigilation.
Securing the necessary Disclosure and Barring Service [DBS] clearance for new invigilators is the responsibility of the centre administration.
DBS fees for securing such clearance are paid by the centre.
Invigilators are timetabled and briefed by the exams office.
Invigilators’ rates of pay are set by the centre administration.
8.2 Exam days
The exams officer will book all exam rooms after liaison with other users and make the question papers, other exam stationery and materials available for the invigilators.
Site management is responsible for setting up the allocated rooms.
The exams officer and the lead invigilator will start all exams in accordance with JCQ guidelines.
Subject staff may be present at the start of the exam to assist with identification and orderly entry of candidates.
In practical exams subject teachers may be on hand in case of any technical difficulties.
Exam papers must not be read by subject teachers or removed from the exam room before the end of a session. All spare question papers will be distributed to heads of subject 24 hours later.


9. Candidates, clash candidates and special consideration


9.1 Candidates
The centre’s published rules on acceptable dress, behaviour and candidates’ use of mobile phones and all electronic devices apply at all times.
Candidates’ personal belongings remain their own responsibility and the centre accepts no liability for their loss or damage.
Disruptive candidates are dealt with in accordance with JCQ guidelines.
Candidates may leave the exam room for a genuine purpose, accompanied by an invigilator, and will immediately return to the exam room.
The Exams Officer will attempt to contact any candidate who is not present at the start of an exam and deal with them in accordance with JCQ guidelines.
9.2 Clash candidates
The Exams Officer will be responsible as necessary for making suitable arrangements for candidates with a clash of exams in the same session.
9.3 Special consideration
Should a candidate be ill before an exam, suffer bereavement or other trauma, be taken ill during the exam itself or otherwise disadvantaged or disturbed during an exam, then it is the candidate’s responsibility to alert the centre and the exams officer or the exam invigilator, to that effect.
The candidate must support any special consideration claim with appropriate evidence of illness within three days of the exam, for example a letter from the candidate’s doctor, or other documentation as appropriate.
The exams officer will send a completed special consideration form to the relevant awarding body within seven days of the exam.

10. Coursework, controlled assessments and appeals against internal assessments


See separate policy documents.

 

11. Results, enquiries about results (EARs) and access to scripts (ATS)


11.1 Results
Candidates will receive individual results on results days either in person at the centre or by post to their home addresses (candidates to provide sae).
Arrangements for the school to be open on results days and the provision of staff are made by the Head of Centre and the Exams Officer.
11.2 Enquiries about results [EARs]
EARs may be requested by centre staff or candidates if there are reasonable grounds for believing there has been an error in marking.
If a result is queried, the exams officer, teaching staff and head of centre will investigate the feasibility of asking for a re-mark at the centre’s expense.
11.3 Access to scripts [ATS]
Centre staff may also request scripts for educational and teaching purposes. For the latter, the consent of candidates must be obtained.
GCSE re-marks cannot be applied for once a script has been returned.

12. Certificates


Certificates are presented in person or collected and signed for.
Certificates may be collected on behalf of a candidate by a third party, provided they have been authorised to do so.
The centre retains certificates indefinitely, but if a candidate loses certificates which have been signed for, it is the responsibility of the candidate to request and pay for replacements from the appropriate examining bodies. 

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