Exam Policy

Exams Policy Document

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 school’s exam processes to read, understand and implement this policy.
This exam policy will be reviewed annually.
This exam policy will be reviewed by the senior leadership team.

(There are 12 sections, below)

1. Exam Responsibilities

Head of Centre
Overall responsibility for the school as an exam centre:
·         Advises on appeals and re-marks.
·         Responsible for reporting all suspicions or actual incidents of malpractice. Refer to the JCQ document Suspected Malpractice in Examinations and Assessments.

Exams Officer
Manages the administration of public and internal exams and analysis of exam results:
·         Advises the senior leadership team, subject and class tutors and other relevant support staff on annual exam timetables and application procedures as set by the various exam boards.
·         Oversees the production and distribution to staff and candidates of an annual calendar 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 coursework is 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 using the JCQ Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration document.
·         Identifies and manages exam timetable clashes.
·         Accounts for income and outgoings relating to all exam costs/charges.
·         Line manages the senior exams invigilator/s in organising the recruitment, training and monitoring of a team of exams invigilators responsible for the conduct of exams.
·         Submits candidates’ coursework marks, tracks despatch and stores returned coursework and any other material required by the appropriate awarding bodies correctly and on schedule.
·         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.
·         Ensures collection of completed exam scripts using the appropriate method.

Deputy Headteacher/s
·         Organisation of teaching and learning.
·         External validation of courses followed at key stage 4 / post-16.
·         Analysis of examination performance against targets with comparisons over time.

Subject Leader/s
·         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
·         Notification of access arrangements (as soon as possible after the start of the course).
·         Submission of candidate names to Heads of Department.

SENCO
·         Identification and testing of candidates’ requirements for access arrangements.
·         Provision of additional support — with spelling, reading, mathematics, dyslexia or essential skills, hearing impairment.
Lead Invigilator/Invigilators:
·         Collection of exam papers and other material from the exams office before the start of the exam.
·         Collection of all exam papers in the correct order at the end of the exam and their return to the exams office.
·         The above tasks completed in conjunction with the Exams Officer.

Candidates:
·         Confirmation and signing of entries.
·         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 Headteacher and the Senior Leadership Team in consultation with Subject Leaders.
The statutory tests and qualifications offered are GCSE, A levels, BTEC, Functional Skills and Entry Level Certificates.
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 syllabus from the previous year, the exams office must be informed by the start of each academic year.
Decisions on whether a candidate should not take an individual subject will be taken in consultation with the candidate, parent/carer, SENCO, subject teachers, the Deputy Headteacher (Curriculum) and supported by relevant evidence.
At Key Stage 3:
All candidates will take English, Mathematics and Science and ICT (from 2008). The school will consider the use of intervention or booster strategies in connection with any candidates who are unlikely to attain the minimum level.
Decisions on whether candidates should not take an individual subject or all NCTs will be taken in consultation with the SENCO and the subject teachers.
At Key Stage 4:
All candidates will be entitled, and enabled, to achieve an entry for qualifications from an external awarding body.
At Post-16:
It is expected that AS modules will be completed during year 12.

3. Exam Seasons and Timetables
Exam Seasons:
Internal exams/ Controlled Assessments are scheduled throughout the year.
External exams are scheduled in November, January, March, May and June.
All internal exams are held under the appropriate conditions.
Which exam syllabus is used in the school is decided by the Headteacher/SLT/HODs.
Timetables:
The Exams Officer will circulate the exam timetables for both external and internal exams once these are confirmed.

4. Entries, Entry Details & Late Entries
Entries:
Candidates are selected for their exam entries by the Subject Leaders and the Subject Teachers.
Candidates, or parents/carers, can request a subject entry, change of level or withdrawal. These requests are considered in consultation with the Deputy Headteacher.
The centre accepts external entries from former candidates only.
Late Entries:
Entry deadlines are circulated to Subject Leaders via internal post.
Late entries are authorised by Subject Leaders in consultation with HODs.

5. Exam Fees
GCSE initial registration and entry exam fees are paid by the centre.
AS initial registration and entry exam fees are paid by the centre.
A2 initial registration and entry exam fees are paid by the centre.
Late entry or amendment fees are paid by the departments.
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.
Candidates who do not attend exams they are entered for may be subject to a charge which covers the exam fee plus administration and invigilation costs. The charge will be variable depending on the subject and the exam board concerned.
Candidates must pay the fee for an enquiry about a result, should the centre not uphold the enquiry and the candidate insist on pursuing the enquiry.

6. The Equality Act 2010, Special Needs and Access Arrangements
Equality Act 2010:
The Equality Act 2010 aims to protect disabled people and prevent disability discrimination. All exam centre staff must ensure that the access arrangements and special consideration regulations and guidance are consistent with the law.

Special Educational Needs Requirements
A candidate’s special needs requirements are determined by the SENCO and the educational psychologist / specialist teacher.

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 may be granted during the course and in the exam.
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 Exams Officer.

Invigilation and support for access arrangement candidates will be organised by the SENCO and the Exams Officer.

7. Estimated Grades
The Subject Leader will submit estimated grades to the Exams Officer when requested by the Exams Officer.

8. Managing Invigilators and Exam Days

Managing invigilators:
External invigilators will be used for external exam supervision.
The recruitment of invigilators is the responsibility of the Exams Officer.
Securing the necessary Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance for new invigilators is the responsibility of the school administration.
CRB fees for securing such clearance are paid by the school.
Invigilators are timetabled and briefed by the Exams Officer.
Invigilators’ rates of pay are set by the school administration.

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 Invigilator.
Site management is responsible for setting up the allocated rooms.
The Lead Invigilator/Exams Officer will start all exams in accordance with JCQ guidelines.
Subject staff may be present at the start of the exam to assist with identification of candidates but must not advise on which questions are to be attempted.
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. Papers will be distributed to Heads of Department at the end of the exam session.
Controlled Assessments can be supervised by teaching staff/external invigilators depending on the level of control.

9. Candidates, Clash Candidates and Special Consideration

Candidates:
The school’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 school 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 requiring an immediate return to the exam room, in which case a member of staff must accompany them.
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.

Clash Candidates:
The Exams Officer will be responsible as necessary for identifying escorts, identifying a secure venue and arranging overnight stays.
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 during an exam, it is the candidate’s responsibility to alert the school, the Exams Officer or the exam Invigilator, to that effect.
Any special consideration claim must be supported by appropriate evidence within three days of the exam, for example a letter from the candidate’s doctor.
The Exams Officer will then submit a special consideration request to the relevant awarding body within seven days of the exam.

10. Controlled Assessment and Appeals against Internal Assessments
Controlled Assessment:
Controlled Assessments will be carried out in appropriate conditions in accordance with the relevant awarding body’s specification.
The Exams Officer will collect and submit marks.
Appeals against Internal Assessments
The school is obliged to publish a separate procedure on this subject, which is available from the Exams Office.

The main points are:
·         Appeals will only be entertained if they apply to the process leading to an assessment. There is no appeal against the mark or grade awarded.
·         Candidates may appeal if they feel their coursework/controlled assessment has been assessed unfairly, inconsistently or not in accordance with the specification for the qualification.
·         Appeals should be made in writing by 30 June to the Headteacher (or other nominee) who will decide whether the process used conformed to the necessary requirements.
·         The Headteacher’s findings will be notified in writing, copied to the Exams Officer and recorded for awarding body inspection.

11. Results, Enquiries about Results (EARs) and Access to Scripts (ATS)
Results:
Candidates will receive individual results slips on results days either in person at the school or by post to their home addresses (candidates to provide sae).
Arrangements for the school to be open on results days are made by the Exams Officer.
The provision of staff on results days is the responsibility of the Headteacher.
Results documentation will be held in school for a period of no longer than 5 years after issue before being confidentially destroyed.
EARs:
EARs may be requested by 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 Headteacher will investigate the feasibility of requesting a re-mark at the schools’ expense.
When the school does not uphold an EAR, a candidate may apply to have an enquiry carried out. If a candidate requires this against the advice of subject staff, they will be charged.
ATS:
After the release of results, candidates may ask subject staff to request the return of papers within three days’ scrutiny of the results.
School 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.

12. Certificates
Certificates are presented in person at Year 11/13 Presentation Evenings which takes place in either October/November/January following the awarding of results or collected and signed for.
Certificates may be collected on behalf of a candidate by a third party, provided they have written authorisation to do so.
Certificates will be held in school for a period of no longer than 5 years after issue before being returned to the appropriate exam board.