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Controlled assessment policy

Adopted: December 2015

Context of policy

Controlled assessment is a form of internal assessment which has replaced GCSE coursework. It encourages an integrated approach to teaching, learning, and assessment. It is intended to enable teachers to authenticate and confirm that students have carried out the assessment tasks set in accordance with their exam specification.

At Cromer Academy we ensure that any support offered to students is fully in line with guidance from the exam boards. Not only is this a moral imperative – ‘integrity’ is one of our core values – but it is also vital as not following guidance could jeopardise all controlled assessment in the school. At the same time, it is important that we give students all of the support to which they are entitled. Subject-specific regulations define the level of control that must operate for the three stages of assessment: task setting, task taking and task marking. It is every teacher's responsibility to ensure that they are operating the correct level of control that any controlled assessment task requires.

Key features of controlled assessment

  • Enables a more integrated approach to teaching, learning and assessment.
  • Provides an increased facility to ensure that work is the student’s own.
  • Enables teachers to choose the timing of the controlled assessment.
  • Enables teachers to select a choice of tasks and contextualise them.
  • Is viewed as part of the course, rather than a separate activity. It is an integral part of teaching and learning.
  • Usually takes place in the classroom, within the normal timetable.
  • Features levels of control designed to maximise reliability and authenticity.

Roles and responsibilities

Senior leadership team

  • To be familiar with Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) Instructions for Conducting Controlled Assessment.
  • To provide heads of department (HOD) with the information, support and guidance they need in order to comply with JCQ requirements.
  • To provide HOD with the information, support and guidance they need in order that they can best support and maximise the performance of all students.
  • To create a controlled assessment timetable and ensure that all stakeholders have access to it.
  • To ensure that departments have sufficient information and guidance to organise and manage their controlled assessments effectively.
  • To coordinate access to ICT and liaise with the nominated ICT technician in order to create access to ICT resources as and when required.
  • To monitor department processes and procedures in order to ensure compliance with JCQ requirements and support student performance.
  • To troubleshoot problems/issues as they arise.
  • To report to the governing body on the effective running of the controlled assessment process.

Examinations officer

  • To be familiar with JCQ Instructions for Conducting Controlled Assessment and other related JCQ documents.
  • To be familiar with general instructions relating to controlled assessment from each relevant GCSE awarding body.
  • In collaboration with the HOD, to submit controlled assessment marks to the relevant awarding body.
  • In collaboration with the HOD, dispatch students’ assessments for moderation.
  • In collaboration with the HOD, make appropriate arrangements for the security of controlled assessment materials.
  • In exceptional circumstances where controlled assessments cannot be conducted in the classroom, arrange suitable accommodation where controlled assessments can be carried out at the direction of the senior leadership team.

Heads of departments

  • To be familiar with JCQ Instructions for Conducting Controlled Assessment.
  • To understand and comply with specific instructions relating to controlled assessment for the relevant GCSE awarding body.
  • To undertake appropriate departmental standardisation of controlled assessments.
  • In collaboration with the examinations officer, to submit controlled assessment marks to the relevant awarding body.
  • In collaboration with the examinations officer, to dispatch students’ assessments for moderation.
  • In collaboration with the examinations officer, make appropriate arrangements for the security of controlled assessment materials.

Subject teachers

  • To undertake controlled assessments in accordance with specific instructions from the relevant GCSE awarding body.
  • To mark the controlled assessments and log the results in good time with the departmental Key Stage co-ordinator.
  • To take part in appropriate departmental standardisation of controlled assessments.
  • To ensure that all paperwork is completed, including, in the case of SEN students, the declaration sheets signed by scribes.
  • To give adequate notice (at least a week) to the SENCO for the provision of scribes.

Special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO)

  • To be familiar with JCQ Instructions for Conducting Controlled Assessment with reference to special access arrangements.
  • To coordinate requests for special access arrangements.
  • To provide adequate scribes for SEN students where sufficient notice has been given by the subject teacher.

Process of controlled assessment

The process has three stages:

  • Task setting
  • Task taking
  • Task marking

Task setting

Tasks are set either by the awarding body (high control) or by the centre (medium control) and in both cases, must be developed according to the requirements of the specification.

Task taking

Controlled assessment tasks will be undertaken with three levels of supervision: Formal (high level of control); Informal (medium level of control) or Limited (low level of control).

HOD / subject teacher will be responsible for ensuring that an appropriate level of supervision is in place for each part of an assessment task. Levels of supervision are clearly outlined in each subject specification.

Formal supervision

At this school ‘formal supervision’ means:

  • Candidates will be under direct supervision at all times – in most cases, supervision will be undertaken by the class teacher.
  • Use of resources and interaction with others will be limited to what has been specified by the GCSE awarding body.
  • Tasks will be undertaken during normal timetabled lessons in the usual teaching base (unless requested otherwise).
  • Use of mobile phones and internet / email access is prohibited.
  • If using computers for controlled assessment, students will be provided with login details for a bespoke user profile that will not allow access to the internet or student network areas.
  • If candidates have to use electronic storage devices for their assessment work or related resources, appropriate checks will be made to ensure only permitted material is accessible.
  • Subject-specific display material with direct relevance to an assessment task will be covered.
  • A record will be kept of the time and date of each assessment together with the name of the supervisor(s) and all students present for the assessment session(s).
  • A separate record of any incidents which occur during assessments will also be kept.

Informal supervision

At this school ‘informal supervision’ means:

  • Interaction with others, including group work is permitted.
  • The level of supervision applied ensures that the Academy is able to confirm that plagiarism has not taken place and preparation for a final / formal assessment is the candidate’s own work.
  • Sources used by candidates are clearly recorded.

Limited supervision

At this school ‘limited supervision’ means:

  • Some aspects of work may be undertaken completely without supervision / outside the classroom – this may include research and data collection.
  • Class teachers will make close reference to the relevant awarding body’s specifications when applying limited supervision.

Behaviour during controlled assessments

  • Behaviour policies during controlled assessments may differ from standard whole school policies.
  • Departments will set their own policies during controlled assessments tasks and share these expectations with the students.

Task marking

Class teachers are responsible for supervising and marking controlled assessments. They are also required to sign a declaration confirming that candidates have completed work under the appropriate conditions and they are satisfied the work has been produced solely by that candidate.

This school will use the JCQ Declaration of Authentication for Controlled Assessments or a similar document provided by the relevant GCSE awarding body.

If either the candidate or the assessor is unable to sign this declaration, zero marks will be awarded for the assessment task.

If candidate malpractice is suspected, this will be referred to the relevant head of department and the examinations officer who will follow the guidance set out in the JCQ Instructions for Controlled Assessment.

Internally assessed tasks will be marked by the class teacher according to the requirements of the subject specification. Work will be annotated according to subject specification requirements.