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Exam policy

Adopted: November 2018

The purpose of this exams policy is:

  • To ensure the planning and management of exams is conducted efficiently and in the best interests of candidates;
  • To ensure the operation of an efficient exams 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.

The exams policy will be reviewed every year.

The exams policy will be reviewed by the Exams Officer where references are made to JCQ regulations/guidelines, further details can be found at www.jcq.org.uk.

Exam responsibilities

The head of centre:

  • Has overall responsibility for the school/college as an exams centre and advises on appeals and re-marks.
  • Is responsible for reporting all suspected or actual incidents of malpractice - refer to the JCQ document Suspected malpractice in examinations and assessments.

Exams officer:

  • Manages the administration of internal exams and external exams
  • Advises the senior leadership team, subject and class tutors, and other relevant support staff on annual exams timetables and procedures as set by the various awarding bodies.
  • Oversees the production and distribution, to all centre 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 exams timetable that will affect them.
  • Checks with teaching staff that the necessary coursework and/or controlled assessments are completed on time and in accordance with JCQ guidelines.
  • Provides and confirms detailed data on estimated entries.
  • Maintains systems and processes to support the timely entry of candidates for their exams.
  • Receives checks and stores securely all exam papers and completed scripts and ensures that scripts are dispatched as per the guidelines.
  • Administers access arrangements and makes applications for special consideration following the regulations in the JCQ publication A guide to the special consideration process.
  • Identifies and manages exam timetable clashes.
  • Accounts for income and expenditures relating to all exam costs/charges.
  • Line manages the senior exams invigilator in organising the recruitment, training, and monitoring of a team of exams invigilators responsible for the conduct of exams.
  • Ensures candidates' coursework / controlled assessment marks are submitted, and any other material required by the appropriate awarding bodies correctly and on schedule.
  • Tracks, dispatches, and stores returned coursework / controlled assessments.
  • Arranges for dissemination of exam results and certificates to candidates and forwards, in consultation with the SLT, any post results service requests.

Curriculum Leaders are responsible for:

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

Teachers are responsible for:

  • Supplying information on entries, coursework and controlled assessments as required by the head of department and/or exams officer.

The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) is responsible for:

  • Identification and testing of candidates’ requirements for access arrangements and notifying the exams officer in good time so that they are able to put in place exam day arrangements
  • Process any necessary applications in order to gain approval (if required).
  • Working with the exams officer to provide the access arrangements required by candidates in exams rooms.

Lead invigilator/invigilators are responsible for:

  • Assisting the exams officer in the efficient running of exams according to JCQ regulations.
  • 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 ensuring their return to the exams office.

Candidates are responsible for:

  • Confirmation and signing of entries.
  • Understanding coursework / controlled assessment regulations and signing a declaration that authenticates the coursework as their own.
  • Ensuring they conduct themselves in all exams according to the JCQ regulations.

Qualifications offered

The qualifications offered at this centre are decided by the Head of Centre.

The types of qualifications offered are GCSE, BTEC’s, Cambridge Nationals and level 1/2  Certificates.

The subjects offered for these qualifications in any academic year may be found in the centre's published prospectus or similar documents for that year. If there is to be a change of specification for the next year, the exams office must be informed by October 2018.

Informing the exams office of changes to a specification is the responsibility of the Curriculum Leaders.

Decisions on whether a candidate should be entered for a particular subject will be taken by subject teacher’s consultation with their Curriculum Leader and Vice Principal (curriculum).

Exam series

Internal exams (mock or trial exams) and assessments are scheduled as required.

External exams and assessments are scheduled in May/June.

Internal exams are held under external exam conditions.

The head of centre decides which exam series are used in the centre.

The centre does not offer some assessments on an on-demand basis. If offered, on-demand assessments can be scheduled only in windows agreed between the Head of Centre and the Examinations Officer.

Exam timetables

Once confirmed, the exams officer will circulate the exam timetables for internal and external exams at a specified date before each series begins.

Entries, entry details, and late entries

Entry deadlines are circulated to Curriculum Leaders via email, briefing meetings, internal post.

Curriculum Leaders will provide estimated entry information to the exams officer to meet JCQ and awarding body deadlines.

Entries and amendments made after an awarding organisation’s deadline (i.e. late) require the authorisation, in writing, of Head of Centre, Finance and Examinations Officer.

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.

The exams officer will publish the deadline for actions well in advance for each exams series.

Late entry or amendment fees are paid by the centre, department/schools, or candidates (decision made by head of centre).

Equality legislation

All exam centre staff must ensure that they meet the requirements of any equality legislation. The centre will comply with the legislation, including making reasonable adjustments to the service that that they provide to candidates in accordance with requirements defined by the legislation, awarding bodies, and JCQ. This is the responsibility of the Examinations Officer and Head of Centre.

Access arrangements

The SENCo/specialist teacher will inform subject teachers of candidates with special educational needs and any special arrangements that individual candidates will need during the course and in any assessments/exams.

A candidate's access arrangements requirement is determined by the SENCo/specialist teacher.

Ensuring there is appropriate evidence for a candidate’s access arrangement is the responsibility of SENCo/specialist teacher and Examinations Officer.

Submitting completed access arrangement applications to the awarding bodies is the responsibility of the SENCo/specialist teacher and Examinations Officer.

Rooming for access arrangement candidates will be arranged by the Examinations Officer.

Invigilation and support for access arrangement candidates, as defined in the JCQ access arrangements regulations, will be organised by the Examinations Officer.

Contingency planning

Contingency planning for exams administration is the responsibility of the Head of Centre.

Contingency plans are available via email, local network and are in line with the guidance provided by Ofqual, JCQ and awarding organisations.

Please see appendix 4.

Estimated grades

Subject Staff are responsible for submitting estimated grades to the exams officer when requested by the exams officer.

Managing invigilators

External staff will be used to invigilate examinations.

These invigilators will be used for internal exams and/or external exams.

Recruitment of invigilators is the responsibility of the Examinations Officer.

Securing the necessary Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) clearance for new invigilators is the responsibility of the Head of Centre and Examinations Officer.

DBS fees for securing such clearance are paid by the centre.

Invigilators’ rates of pay are set by the School Business/Finance Manager.

Invigilators are recruited, timetabled, trained, and briefed by the Examinations Officer,

Malpractice

The head of centre in consultation with Examinations Officer is responsible for investigating suspected malpractice.

Please see Appendix 1.

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 staff are responsible for setting up the allocated rooms, and will be advised of requirements a week in advance.

The Examinations Officer or Senior Invigilator will start and finish all exams in accordance with JCQ guidelines.

Subject staff may be present at the start of the exam to assist with identification of candidates. Any staff present must be in accordance with the rules defined by JCQ concerning who is allowed in the exam room and what they can do.

In practical exams, subject teachers’ availability will be in accordance with JCQ guidelines.

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 Curriculum Leaders in accordance with JCQ’s recommendations and no later than 48 hours after candidates have completed them.  

After an exam, the exams officer will arrange for the safe dispatch of completed examination scripts to awarding bodies, working in conjunction with senior invigilator and receptionist.

Candidates

The exams officer will provide written information to candidates in advance of each exam series. A formal briefing session for candidates may be given by the Head of Centre.

The centre's published rules on acceptable dress and behaviour apply at all times. Candidates' personal belongings remain their own responsibility and the centre accepts no liability for their loss or damage.

In an exam room candidates must not have access to items other than those clearly allowed in the instructions on the question paper, the stationery list, or the specification for that subject. This is particularly true of mobile phones and other electronic communication or storage devices with text or digital facilities. Any precluded items must not be taken into an exam room.

Disruptive candidates are dealt with in accordance with JCQ guidelines. Candidates are expected to stay for the full exam time at the discretion of the Head of Centre and Examinations Officer.

Note: candidates who leave an exam room must be accompanied by an appropriate member of staff at all times.

The Examinations Officer/Head of Centre is responsible for handling late or absent candidates on exam day.

Special consideration

Should a candidate be unable to attend an exam because of illness, suffer bereavement or other trauma, be ill or otherwise disadvantaged or disturbed during an exam, then it is the candidate's responsibility to alert the centre's Head of Centre to that effect.

The candidate must support any special consideration claim with appropriate evidence within 3 days of the exam.  

The exams officer will make a special consideration application to the relevant awarding body within 5 days of the exam.

Internal assessment

It is the duty of heads of department to ensure that all internal assessment is ready for dispatch at the correct time. The exams officer will assist by keeping a record of each dispatch, including the recipient details and the date and time sent.

Marks for all internally assessed work are provided to the exams office by the Curriculum Leaders. The exams officer will inform staff of the date when appeals against internal assessments must be made by. Any appeals will be dealt with in accordance with the centre’s Internal Appeals Procedure (IAP) document.

Please see Appendix 3.

Results

Candidates will receive individual results slips on results days, in person at the centre.

The results slip will be in the form of a centre produced document.

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

The provision of the necessary staff on results days is the responsibility of the Exams Officer.

Enquiries about results (EAR)

EARs may be requested by centre staff or the candidate following the release of results. A request for a re-mark or clerical check requires the written consent of the candidate, a request for a re-moderation of internally assessed work may be submitted without the consent of the group of candidates.

The cost of EARs will be paid by the centre / candidate with the final decision made by the Head of Centre.

All decisions on whether to make an application for an EAR will be made by Subject Teachers in conjunction with and support/agreement from the Head of Centre.

If a candidate’s request for an EAR is not supported, the candidate may appeal and the centre will respond by following the process in its Internal Appeals Procedure (IAP) document.

All processing of EARs will be the responsibility of the Examinations Officer following the JCQ guidance.

Access to scripts

After the release of results, candidates may ask subject staff to request the return of written exam papers within 14 days of the receipt of results.

Centre staff may also request scripts for investigation or for teaching purposes. For the latter, the consent of candidates must be obtained.

An EAR cannot be applied for once an original script has been returned. The cost of EARs will be paid by the centre / candidate with the final decision made by the Head of Centre. Processing of requests for ATS will be the responsibility of Examinations Officer.

Certificates

Candidates will receive their certificates in person at the centre.

Certificates can be collected on behalf of a candidate by third parties, provided they have written authority from the candidate to do so, and bring suitable identification with them that confirms who they are.

The centre retains certificates for 1 year.

A new certificate will not be issued by an awarding organisation. Candidates will need to contact the examining body to request a new certificate and will need to agree to pay the costs incurred.

Please see Appendix 2 for further information. 

Appendix 1- Malpractice

To ensure the Head of Centre, Examination Officer and all others involved in managing the delivery of general and vocational qualifications understand that ‘Malpractice includes maladministration and non-compliance of any act, default or practice that is a breach of the Regulations which:

  • Compromises, attempts to compromise or may compromise the process of assessment, the integrity of any qualification or the validity of a result or certificate.
  • Failure by a centre to notify, investigate and report to an awarding body allegations of suspected malpractice constitutes malpractice
  • Failure to take action as required by an awarding body as detailed in Appendix 2 - JCQ Suspected Malpractice in Examinations and Assessments Policies and Procedures, 1 September 2017 to31 August 2018 or to co-operate with an awarding body’s investigations constitutes malpractice.

The school will for all examinations, coursework and BTEC Assessments:

  • Identify and minimise the risk of malpractice by staff or pupils
  • Respond to any incident of alleged malpractice promptly and objectively
  • Standardise and record any investigation of malpractice to ensure openness and fairness.
  • Protect the centre against all allegations of malpractice in relation to examinations and assessment that might undermine the integrity and validity of the examination or assessment, the certification of qualifications and/or damage the authority of those responsible for conducting the assessment and certification.

Great Yarmouth Charter Academy will not tolerate actions or attempted actions of malpractice by candidates or staff. Every case of malpractice must be reported to the Head of Centre, the Examinations Officer or to the Quality Nominee for BTEC qualifications.

In all instances of malpractice reference will be made to the JCQ publication Suspected Malpractice in Examinations and Assessments, Policies and Procedures, September 2017 to 31 August 2018. The document details the procedures for investigating and following up instances of alleged or actual malpractice and the sanctions to be applied.

The policy will be reviewed every two years in order to reflect JCQ updates. This policy will be maintained regularly through line management meetings with a member of the senior leadership team, the exams officer and the Head of Centre to ensure all procedures are undertaken accurately and robustly.

Definition of malpractice by pupils

This list is not exhaustive and other instances of malpractice may be considered by the centre at its discretion:

  • Plagiarism of any nature
  • Collusion by working collaboratively with other pupils to produce work that is submitted as individual student work
  • Copying (including the use of ICT to aid copying)
  • Deliberate destruction of another’s work
  • Fabrication of results or evidence
  • False declaration of authenticity in relation to the contents of a portfolio or coursework
  • Impersonation by pretending to be someone else in order to produce the work for another or arranging for another to take one’s place in an assessment

Definition of malpractice by centre staff

This list is not exhaustive and other instances of malpractice may be considered by this centre at its discretion:

  • Improper assistance to candidates
  • Inventing or changing marks for internally assessed work where there is insufficient evidence of the candidates’ achievements to justify the marks given or assessment decisions made
  • Failure to keep candidate coursework/portfolios of evidence secure
  • Fraudulent claims for certificates
  • Assisting pupils in the production of work for assessment, where the support has the potential to influence the outcomes of assessment, for example where the assistance involves centre staff producing work for the student
  • Producing falsified witness statements, for example for evidence the student has not generated
  • Allowing evidence, which is known by the staff member not to be the student’s own, to be included in a student’s assignment
  • Facilitating and allowing impersonation
  • Misusing the conditions for special student requirements, for example where pupils are permitted support, such as an amanuensis (scribe), this is permissible up to the point where the support has the potential to influence the outcome of the assessment
  • Falsifying records/certificates, for example by alteration, substitution, or by fraud
  • Fraudulent certificate claims, that is claiming for a certificate prior to the student completing all the requirements of assessment

Plagiarism

Great Yarmouth Charter Academy views plagiarism as a form of cheating.  It is an attempt to deceive teachers and examiners by claiming credit for something that is not your own work.  The school views plagiarism as serious and will deal with incidents with this in mind.

Heads of Departments will use the following to detect plagiarism:

  • Teacher’s knowledge of material being used
  • Question and answer session between student and teacher on meanings of words and phrases in the work
  • Frequencies of key words of phrases
  • Comparing studies to work from previous years (including other pupils in year group and family members)
  • Comparing work from other pupils in the same year group and teaching group

For every piece of coursework, each student will be asked to sign a statement that the work is their own and that any contribution from other sources is appropriately acknowledged.  

Pupils should be informed about the difference between sharing experiences and discussing findings and plagiarism.  Crucially, pupils must understand that coursework must be their own work, written by them and in their own words; their own interpretation.

When acknowledging literature then references should be made using the name of the author and the date of publication.  Quotes should be in “quotation marks”.  

All cases of suspected plagiarism will be investigated by the teacher for that subject.  If there is considered to be a case to answer, the Head of Department will become involved and will make the final decision with support from their Leadership Team line manager.  If the work of one student has been found to be used by another to deceive the teachers and examiners, then the student will receive zero marks and the parents will be informed.  

Appendix 2 - Registration & Certification

It is the responsibility of the Exams Officer to register candidates by the deadline set by the examination board. In the case of a late registration it is the responsibility of the Exams Officer to request a late registration from the examination board showing that the learner was enrolled on the qualification by the centre sufficiently in advance of its operational end date, together with justification of the request. If a late registration is granted, the learner must be in a position to complete the qualification before the published certificate end date.

It is the responsibility of the Exams Officer to claim certification by the certification end date.  

In the case of late certification the Exams Officer will refer to the examination board policy on late certification.

Requests final entry information from Heads of Departments in a timely manner to ensure awarding body external deadlines for submission can be met.

The Exams Officer will:

  • Inform Heads of Departments of subsequent deadlines for making changes to final entry information without charge.
  • Will confirm with Heads of Departments final entry information that has been submitted to awarding bodies.
  • Ensures as far as possible that entry processes minimise the risk of entries or registrations being missed reducing the potential for late or other penalty fees being charged by awarding bodies.
  • Entry grids are given to Heads of Departments to complete and return by deadline stated along with amendment/withdrawal sheets.
  • Deadline for final entries and amendments given to Heads of Departments
  • Has a clear entry procedures in place to minimise the risk of late entries
  • Charges any late or other penalty fees to will be covered by departmental budgets.

Head of department:

  • Minimises the risk of late entries by following procedures identified by the EO in relation to making final entries on time meeting internal deadlines identified by the EO for making final entries.

Appendix 3 - Assessment and internal verification

Assessment

Great Yarmouth Charter Academy is committed to ensuring that whenever school staff marks candidates’ work this is done fairly, consistently and in accordance with the awarding body’s specification and subject-specific associated documents.

Candidates’ work will be marked by staff who have appropriate knowledge, understanding and skill, and who have been trained in this activity.   Great Yarmouth Charter Academy is committed to ensuring that work produced by candidates is authenticated in line with the requirements of the awarding body.  Where a number of subject teachers are involved in marking candidates’ work, internal moderation and standardisation will ensure consistency of marking.

Great Yarmouth Charter Academy will:

  • Ensure that candidates are informed of their centre assessed marks so that they may request a review of the centre’s marking before marks are submitted to the awarding body.
  • Inform candidates that they may request copies of materials to assist them in considering whether to request a review of the centre’s marking of the assessment.
  • Having received a request for copies of materials, promptly make them available to the candidate.
  • Provide candidates with sufficient time in order to allow them to review copies of materials and reach a decision.

Requests for reviews of marking must be made in writing. Great Yarmouth Charter Academy will allow sufficient time for the review to be carried out, to make any necessary changes to marks and to inform the candidate of the outcome, all before the awarding body’s deadline. Great Yarmouth Charter Academy will ensure that the review of marking is carried out by an assessor who has appropriate competence, has had no previous involvement in the assessment of that candidate and has no personal interest in the review.  Great Yarmouth Charter Academy will instruct the reviewer to ensure that the candidate’s mark is consistent with the standard set by the centre.

The candidate will be informed in writing of the outcome of the review of the centre’s marking. The outcome of the review of the centre’s marking will be made known to the head of centre and will be logged as a complaint.  A written record will be kept and made available to the awarding body upon request.  Should the review of the centre’s marking bring any irregularity in procedures to light, the awarding body will be informed immediately.

After candidates’ work has been internally assessed, it is moderated by the awarding body to ensure consistency in marking between centres.  The moderation process may lead to mark changes.  This process is outside the control of Great Yarmouth Charter Academy and is not covered by this procedure.

Internal verification process

This should take place across all BTEC units and will ensure:

  • Consistency of assessment. It also confirms that the structure, format and content of each
  • Internally set assignment is fit for purpose.
  • The Internal Verifier (IV) must keep records of all activities and be prepared to produce these for
  • National Standards Sampling when required.

Internal verification checklist

The IV should:

  • Ensure that all assessors are fully briefed on BTEC assessment processes.
  • Agree an annual verification schedule with all assessors on a programme.
  • Carry out internal verification activity to the agreed schedule.
  • Ensure that assignments are presented for internal verification before use and that any recommendations are actioned.
  • Ensure that assessment decisions are internally verified.
  • Organise cross-team/site internal verification and standardization where more than one
  • team is involved.
  • Ensure that all evidence re-submitted after further work by learners is assessed using the relevant grading criteria.
  • Keep suitable records and store them in a secure place.
  • Make comments where appropriate (directed at assessor).
  • Sign and date all paperwork particularly when signing off completed actions.

Lead internal verifiers

The Lead Internal Verifier role is essential to manage internal verification systems and processes to maintain national standards. The Lead Internal Verifier has the responsibility to disseminate standardisation materials that can be provided via the OSCA system to their assessment team.

The Lead Internal Verifier should:

  • Provide universal training to a national standard.
  • Give confidence to Assessors and understanding of the processes required to run a successful BTEC programme.
  • Demonstrate how to develop appropriate assignments.
  • Explain the role and purpose of internal verification.
  • Set the standard for judging evidence against the assessment criteria.
  • Show how a systems based approach to delivery and assessment can improve efficiency.

Centres deliver BTEC programmes in different ways and use various sizes of programme team and management structures. For BTEC (NQF) a Lead Internal Verifier is required to register and access standardisation training materials, which they will use with their assessment team. However, because certification is released annually through successful sampling by a Standards Verifier, the Lead Internal Verifier is not required to complete the online standardisation exercise to gain accreditation.

Responsibilities

  • Read and understand the BTEC Quality Assurance Handbook each year, and make sure assessors and verifiers have access to it.
  • Register with Edexcel via OSCA and confirm registration every year
  • Undertake online induction
  • Complete the accreditation process: practice exercise and assessment exercise (normally only once every three years)
  • Make other assessors and verifiers aware of the practice exercise, for example through a team development event
  • Ensure that there is an assessment and verification plan for the programmes in the sector which is fit for purpose and meets Edexcel’s requirements
  • Sign off the plan and check that it is being followed at suitable points
  • Undertake some internal verification and/or assessment for individual units within at least one of the programmes, where possible
  • Ensure that records of assessment and samples of learner work are being retained for use with Standards Verification if necessary
  • Liaise with the Standards Verifier to ensure that appropriate sampling takes place, if and when sampling is required
  • Make arrangements for handover to a deputy or replacement if unable to carry out the role.

Standards verification

Standards verification takes place in two ways:

  • Confirmation Sampling: takes place at least once during a Lead Internal Verifier’s accreditation period.
  • Accreditation Sampling: takes place if a Lead Internal Verifier is unsuccessful or if no-one attempts OSCA standardization.

Assessment policy

Teacher assessment components of external GCSE/BTEC courses

In many courses teachers have to access work using GCSE/BTEC criteria. Since these marks contribute to GCSE and BTEC grades it is essential procedures are rigorous and professional.

Assessment checklist

Staff involved in such assessments should:

  • Ensure that they are familiar with the procedures stipulated for their particular courses and that they follow such procedures carefully.
  • Liaise closely with the Examinations Officer to ensure that the coursework deadlines are met.
  • Keep accurate assessment records and assessed work in a secure location.
  • In the case of BTEC ensure that learner assessment and verification records are kept in a secure location for three years after certification.

Appendix 4- Appeals & Complaints

A candidate (or his/her/parent/carer) may make a complaint on the grounds below (this is not an exhaustive list).

Teaching and learning:

  • Non-subject specialist teacher without adequate training/subject matter expertise utilised on a long-term basis
  • Teacher lacking knowledge of new specification/incorrect core content studied/taught
  • Core content not adequately covered
  • Inadequate feedback for a candidate following assessment(s)
  • Pre-release/advance material/set task issued by the awarding body not provided on time to an exam candidate
  • The taking of an assessment, which contributes to the final grade of the qualification, not conducted according to the JCQ/awarding body instructions
  • The marking of an internal assessment, which contributes to the final grade of the qualification, not undertaken according to the requirements of the awarding body (complainant should refer to the centre’s internal appeals procedure)
  • Centre fails to adhere to its internal appeals procedure
  • Candidate not informed of his/her centre assessed marks prior to marks being submitted to the awarding body
  • Candidate not informed of his/her centre assessed marks in sufficient time to request/appeal a review of marking prior to marks being submitted to the awarding body
  • Candidate not given sufficient time to review materials to make a decision whether to request a review of centre assessed marks

Access arrangements:

  • Candidate not assessed by the centre’s appointed assessor
  • Candidate not involved in decisions made regarding his/her access arrangements
  • Candidate did not consent to personal data being shared electronically (by the non-acquisition of a signed Data Protection Notice)
  • Candidate not informed/adequately informed of the arrangements in place and the subjects or components of subjects where the arrangements would not apply
  • Exam information not appropriately adapted for a disabled candidate to access it
  • Adapted equipment put in place failed during exam/assessment
  • Approved access arrangement(s) not put in place at the time of an exam/assessment
  • Appropriate arrangements not put in place at the time of an exam/assessment as a consequence of a temporary injury or impairment

Entries:

  • Failure to clearly explain a decision of early entry for a qualification to candidate (or parent/carer)
  • Candidate not entered/entered late (incurring a late entry fee) for a required exam/assessment
  • Candidate entered for a wrong exam/assessment
  • Candidate entered for a wrong tier of entry

Conducting examinations:

  • Failure to adequately brief candidate on exam timetable/exam regulations prior to exam/assessment taking place
  • Room in which exam held did not provide candidate with appropriate conditions for taking the exam
  • Inadequate invigilation in exam room
  • Failure to conduct exam according to the regulations
  • Online system failed during (online) exam/assessment
  • Disruption during exam/assessment
  • Alleged, suspected or actual malpractice incident not investigated/reported
  • Eligible application for special consideration for a candidate not submitted/not submitted to timescale
  • Failure to inform/update candidate on the outcome of a special consideration application

Results and post-results:

  • Before exams, candidate not made aware of the arrangements for post-results services and the accessibility of senior members of centre staff after the publication of results
  • Candidate not having access to a member of senior staff after the publication of results to discuss/make decision on the submission of an enquiry
  • Candidate request for return of work after moderation and work not available/disposed of earlier than allowed in the regulations
  • Candidate (or parent/carer) unhappy with a result (complainant to refer via exams officer to awarding body post-results services)
  • Candidate (or parent/carer) unhappy with a centre decision not to support a clerical check, a review of marking, a review of moderation or an appeal (complainant to refer via [insert who] to the centre’s internal appeals procedure)
  • Centre applied for the wrong post-results service/for the wrong exam paper for a candidate
  • Centre missed awarding body deadline to apply for a post-results service
  • Centre applied for a post-results service for candidate without gaining required candidate consent/permission

If a candidate (or his/her parent/carer) has a general concern or complaint about the centre’s delivery or administration of a qualification he/she is following, Great Yarmouth Charter Academy encourages him/her to try to resolve this informally in the first instance.  A concern or complaint should be made in person, by telephone or in writing to the head of centre.

If a complaint fails to be resolved informally the candidate (or his/her parent/carer) is then at liberty to make a formal complaint.

How to make a formal complaint:

  • A complaint should be submitted in writing by completing a complaints and appeals form
  • Forms are available from the Exams Officer.
  • Completed forms should be returned to the head of centre.
  • Forms received will be logged by the centre and acknowledged within 5 working days.

How a formal complaint is investigated:

  • The head of centre will further investigate or appoint a member of the senior leadership team (who is not involved in the grounds for complaint and has no personal interest in the outcome) to investigate the complaint and report on the findings and conclusion.
  • The findings and conclusion will be provided to the complainant within 2 working weeks.

Following the outcome, if the complainant remains dissatisfied and believes there are clear grounds, an appeal can be submitted.

  • Any appeal must be submitted in writing by again completing a complaints and appeals form.
  • Forms received will be logged by the centre and acknowledged within 5 working days.
  • The appeal will be referred to the Chair of Governors (or a special Committee of the Governing body) for consideration.
  • The Chair of Governors (or Committee) will inform the appellant of the final conclusion in due course.

Appendix 5 - Contingency Planning

Causes of potential disruption to the exam process

1.  Exam officer extended absence at key points in the exam process (cycle)

  • Head of Centre will allocate appropriate roles to the Deputy Principal, Admin Manager and Data Manager.
  • Vice Principal will oversee running of exams and ensure conditions are as instructions by awarding bodies as well as communicate exam timetable to students.
  • Admin Manager to manage the entry process, timetabling, storage of exam materials and collation of sample work for awarding bodies.  Admin Manager will also oversee the post-results services.
  • Data Manager to access Examination results and distribute in conjunction with Admin Manager.

2.  SENCo extended absence at key points in the exam cycle

  • SEN Manager and HLTA would be required to assess access arrangements as well as Identify modified papers and train relevant staff in access arrangements and to arrange candidate support in conjunction with Vice Principal

3.  Teaching staff extended absence at key points in the exam cycle

  • Vice principal to oversee entry information in conjunction with relevant Heads of Department as well as oversee marking and internal assessment in conjunction with Heads of Department and Head of Year.

4.  Invigilators - lack of appropriately trained invigilators or invigilator absence

  • Invigilators to be appointed in advance of Mock Exams to ensure sufficient quantity. Training to be co-ordinated by Exams Officer.
  • SLT are able to provide invigilation support if required

5.  Exam rooms - lack of appropriate rooms or main venues unavailable at short notice

  • All primary exam rooms will be cleared for use and set up well in advance of exams.
  • Office space and meeting rooms made available for exams during peak periods.
  • Site staff to co-ordinate set up at short notice if required (Caretaker to facilitate).

6.  Failure of IT systems

If the server goes wrong it can be restored from backup, the server is a virtual machine so hardware won’t cause an issue.

7.  Disruption of teaching time – centre closed for an extended period

Lessons and teaching to be relocated to another school if needed.

8.  Candidates unable to take examinations because of a crisis – centre remains open

Exams Officer or Admin Manager to arrange candidate support in conjunction with Vice Principal.

9.  Centre unable to open as normal during the exams period

Principal to liaise with Exams Officer – informs each awarding organisation – finds alternative accommodation for exam/s to be taken and candidates/parents/carers informed.

10. Disruption in the distribution of examination papers

Exams Officer or Admin Manager to contact awarding body to arrange alternative delivery.

11. Disruption to the transportation of completed examination scripts

Exams Officer or Admin Manager makes sure scripts are locked in secured storage and arranges another collection – awarding bodies to be informed of the arrangements.

12. Assessment evidence is not available to be marked

Principal to inform awarding body immediately and subsequently Exams Officer/Admin team to students/parents/carers.

13. Centre unable to distribute results as normal

Results to be distributed from an alternative local school.