Examinations Policy

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Exams Policy
Academic Year 2015-16

Blessed John Henry Newman R.C. College

Contents

  • The 11-19 exam policy – policy purpose
  • Qualifications
  • Exam series and timetables
  • Entries, entry details and late entries
  • Exam fees
  • Disability Discrimination Act
  • Estimated Grades
  • Managing Invigilators
  • Candidates
  • Internal assessments and appeals
  • Results
  • Certificates

The Policy purpose

The purpose of this exam policy is:

  • To ensure the planning and management of examinations is conducted efficiently and in the best interest of the candidates.
  • To ensure the operation of an efficient exam system with clear guidelines for all relevant staff.

It is the responsibility of everyone in the centre’s exam processes to read, understand and implement this policy.

The exam policy will be reviewed annually.

The exam policy will be reviewed by the Head of Centre, Deputy Head, Examinations Officer and the Governors.

Exam Responsibilities

Having overall responsibility for the school as an exam centre, the Head of Centre:

• Advises on appeals and re-marks.
• Is responsible for reporting all suspicions or actual incidents of malpractice. Refer to the JCQ document – suspected malpractice in examinations and assessments.

Examinations Office:

Manages the administration of public and internal examinations:

  • Advise the senior leadership team, subject and class teachers and another relevant support staff on annual exam timetables and application procedures as set by the various awarding bodies.
  • Oversee the production and distribution to staff, governors and candidates of an annual calendar for all examinations in which candidates will be involved and communicate regularly with staff concerning imminent deadlines and events.
  • Ensure that candidates and their parents are informed of and understand those aspects of the exam timetable that will affect them.
  • Consult with teaching staff to ensure that necessary coursework is completed on time and in accordance with JCQ guidelines.
  • Provide and confirm detailed data on estimated entries.
  • Receive, check and store securely all examination papers and completed scripts.
  • Administer access arrangements and make applications for special consideration using the JCQ publications “Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration 2014-15”.
  • Identify and manages examination timetable clashes.
  • Accounts for income and expenditures relating to all examination costs/charges.
  • Line manages the senior exam invigilator in organising the recruitment, training and monitoring of a team of exam invigilators responsible for the conduct of all examinations.
  • Submit candidates’ coursework marks, track despatch and store returned coursework and any other material required by the appropriate awarding bodies correctly and on schedule.
  • Arrange for dissemination of examination results and certificates to candidates and forward, in consultation with SLT, any appeals/re-mark requests.
  • Maintain a system and process to support the timely entry of candidates for their examinations.

Deputy Head:

  • Organises teaching and learning.
  • Manages external validation of courses followed at key stage 4/post 16.

Teachers are responsible for:

  • Notification of access arrangement requirements (as soon as possible after the start of the course).
  • Submission of candidates’ names to heads of department/school/curriculum.

The SEN Co-ordinator (SENCo) is responsible for:

  • 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/invigilators are responsible for:

  • Collection of exam papers and other materials from the examinations office before the start of the exams.
  • Ensuring all examinations are conducted by adhering to the guidelines as identified by JCQ.
  • Collection of all examination papers in the correct order at the end of the examination and their return to the examination office.

Candidates are responsible for:

  • Confirmation and signing of entries.
  • Understanding coursework regulations and signing a declaration that authenticates the coursework as their own.

Qualifications

The qualifications offered at this centre are decided by the Head of Centre, Deputy Head and Heads of Department.

The qualifications offered are Vocational Qualifications, GCSE’s and iGCSE’s, BTEC’s, Cambridge Nationals and ECDL IT Skills.

The subjects offered for these qualifications in any academic year may be found in the centre’s published prospectus for that year. If there has been a change of specification from the previous year, the examinations office must be informed by 10.7.16.

Informing the examinations office of changes to a specification is the responsibility of the Heads of Department.

Decisions on whether a candidate should be entered for a particular subject will be taken in consultation with the candidates/parents/carers, subject teachers and Deputy Head.

Exam series and timetables

Exam Seasons

Internal exams and assessments are scheduled in December/February/April/May.

Internal exams are held under external exam conditions.

External exams and assessments are scheduled in November, January, May and June.

The Head of Centre and Heads of Department decides which examination series are used in the centre.

Timetables

Once confirmed, the examinations officer will circulate the exam timetable for Internal and External exams.

Entries, entry details and late entries

The Department for Education (DfE – was QCDA) recommends the use of the Exam fees estimator tool and the exemplar case study reducing late exams entries; practical advice from your exams office colleagues.

Candidates are selected for their examination entries by the Heads of Department.

Candidates or parents/carers cannot request a subject entry, change of level or withdrawal.

The centre does not accept entries from external candidates.

The centre does not act as an exam centre for other organisations.

Entry deadlines are circulated to Heads of Department via e-mail.

Late entries are authorised by Heads of Department.

Re-sit decisions will be made in consultation with candidates and Heads of Department.

Exam Fees

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.

GCSE entry exam fees are paid by the Centre.

BTEC entry exam fees are paid by the Centre.

Late entry or amendment fees are paid by the Centre.

Fee reimbursements are not sought from candidates who decide to sit an exam after the late entry/withdrawal deadline, although failure to sit an exam or not meeting the necessary coursework requirements (without medical evidence or evidence of other mitigating circumstances) may result in parents/guardians being charged.

Re-sit fees are paid by the students.

Equalities Act 2010 – Disability Discrimination Act

All exam centre staff must ensure that they meet the requirements of the Equalities Act 2010.

The Equalities Act 2010 introduced measures aimed at eliminating the discrimination often faced by disabled people. The main provisions of the Act give protection to disabled people in the areas of employment and education.

A person has a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

To find out more about exactly how your centre can satisfy the requirements of the Equalities Act 2010 visit the Equalities Act 2010 information page on the Department for Education (DfE) website (was QCDA).

The Centre will meet the disability provisions under the Equality Act 2010 by ensuring that the exams centre is accessible and improving candidate experience. This is the responsibility of the Head of Centre, Deputy Head, Examinations officer and SENCo.

Access Arrangements

The SENCo will inform subject teachers of candidates with special educational needs who are embarking on a course leading to an exam, and the date of that 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.

A candidates access arrangement requirement is determined by the SENCo.

Making access arrangements for candidates to take exams is the responsibility of both the SENCo and Examinations Officer.

Submitting completed access arrangement applications to the awarding bodies is the responsibility of the Examinations Officer.

Rooming for access arrangement candidates will be arranged by the SENCo with the Examination Officer.

Invigilation and support for access arrangement candidates will be organised by the SENCo with the Examinations Officer.

Contingency Planning

Contingency Planning for exams administration is the responsibility of the Deputy Head.

Estimated Grades

Heads of Department are responsible for submitting estimated grades to the examinations officer when requested.

Managing Invigilators

External staff will be used to invigilate examinations.

These invigilators will be used for both internal and external examinations.

Recruitment of invigilators is the responsibility of the Examinations Officer.

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 school.

Invigilators rates of pay are set by the Centre Administration.

Malpractice

The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) is responsible for investigating suspected malpractice.

Exam days

The Examinations Officer will book all exam rooms after liaising with other users and make the question papers, other exam stationery and materials available for the invigilation team.

Site management is responsible for setting up the allocated rooms.

The Lead invigilator will start all examinations in accordance with JCQ guidelines.

Subject staff/SLT may be present at the start of the examination to assist with identification of candidates but must NOT advise on which questions or sections are to be attempted.

In practical examinations 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 examination room before the end of a session. Papers will be distributed to Heads of Department 24 hours after the examination has ended.

A relevant subject teacher may be available to read out any subject specific instructions and start the examination, if required.

Candidates

The Centre’s published rules on acceptable dress, behaviour and candidates use of mobile phones and other electronic devices apply at all times.

Candidates’ personal belongings remain their own responsibility and the centre accepts no liability for their loss or damage.

All candidates are issued with a photographic ID badge which they must have on the desk during every examination to support the identification process.

Disruptive candidates are dealt with in accordance with JCQ guidelines. Candidates are expected to stay for the full duration of the exam at the discretion of the Examinations Officer or senior invigilator.

Note: Candidates may only leave the examination room for a genuine purpose and are required to return immediately to the examination room. They must be accompanied by a member of staff at all times.

The Examinations Officer is responsible for handling late or absent candidates on the exam day or subsequently.

Clash Candidates

The Examinations Officer will be responsible as necessary for supervising escorts, identifying a secure venue and arranging overnight stays.

Special Consideration

Should a candidate be ill before an examination, suffer bereavement or other trauma, be taken ill during the examination itself or otherwise be disadvantaged or disturbed during an examination, it is then it the candidate’s responsibility to alert the centre, the Examinations Officer, or the exam invigilator, to that effect.

The candidate must support any special consideration claim with appropriate evidence within three days of the examination, for example by providing a letter from the candidate’s doctor.

The Examinations Officer will then forward a completed special consideration form to the relevant awarding body within seven days of the examination.

Internal Assessments and Appeals

It is the duty of Heads of Department to ensure that all internal assessment is ready for despatch at the correct time. The Examinations Officer will assist by keeping a record of each despatch, including the recipient and the date and time sent.

Marks for all internally assessed work and estimated grades are provided to the Examinations Officer by the Heads of Department.

Appeals against internal assessments must be made to the school ten days before the start of the written examination series.

Appeals against internal assessments

The process for managing appeals against internal assessments is detailed in a separate appeals policy, available from the Examinations Office.

Results

Results, enquiries about results (EAR’s) and access to scripts (ATS)

Candidates will receive individual result slips on results days, either in person at the centre or by post to their home address; candidates are to provide self-addressed envelopes. Candidates may also identify a friend/relative to collect their results if prior written permission is given to the Examinations Officer in advance of results day.

Arrangements for the centre to be open on results days are made by the Head of Centre.

The provision of staff on results days is the responsibility of the Head of Centre.

EAR’s

EAR’s may be requested by centre staff or candidates if there are reasonable grounds for believing there has been an error in marking. The candidates consent is required before any EAR is requested.

If a result is queried, the Examinations Officer, teaching staff and Head of Centre will investigate the feasibility of asking for a re-mark at the centre’s expense.

When the centre does not support a candidate’s or parent’s request for an EAR, a candidate may apply to have the enquiry carried out. If a candidate requires this against the advice of subject staff, they will be charged for the service.

ATS

After the release of results, candidates may ask subject staff to request the return of their examination papers.

Centre staff may also request scripts for investigation or for 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.

Certificates

Certificates are presented in person at Awards Evening or if candidates are unable to attend this evening they can be collected at a later date from the Examinations Office where they would be asked to sign to confirm receipt.

Certificates can be collected on behalf of a candidate by third parties, provided they have been authorised to do so.

Certificates will be withheld from candidates who owe fees.

The Centre retains certificates for five years.

A transcript of results may be issued if a candidate agrees to pay the costs incurred.