The majority of our students aim to achieve success in public examinations. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the planning and administration of examinations is such that every student is offered the maximum opportunity to achieve success.
Currently the examination team comprises:
Head of Centre (HOC): Orlando Clement
Examinations Officer (EO): Verrol Tomlinson
Examinations Administrator (EA): Abbey Lottes
It is important for all staff to be aware of the importance of the examination process and the role that they will play within this process. The HOC takes ultimate responsibility for examinations but we must all strive to ensure that situations do not arise that will jeopardise a student’s examination performance in any way.
The EO will provide a briefing sheet at the beginning of each academic year to all students covering the points in this policy document which involve student action. This policy will be published in the staff handbook and updated annually.
This policy document is in three parts:
- Entry for examinations
- Administration of internal and public examinations
- Post examination follow up
1. ENTRY FOR EXAMINATIONS
1.1 If there has been a change of syllabus/specification from the previous year the subject teacher must inform the EO by September. No change in syllabus can be made without prior consultation and agreement with the EO.
1.2 The EO will provide a copy of the final exam timetables for all external examinations to tutors when received. Timetables will also be displayed on the Exams noticeboard.
1.3 Summer examinations: GCSE Examinations: Class lists will be sent to Subject Co-ordinators prior to the awarding body deadline. Students will be entered for exams using the information returned to the EO on the class list before a set internal deadline. Students who need to pay for their entry must do so by completing the Examination Payment & Entry form (which can be collected from the EO). Students must pay the appropriate examination fee to the Finance Office by the date specified. If the student fails to pay by this date they will be liable to pay a late entry fee. No student will be entered for an examination unless all exam fees have been paid.
1.4 Modular examinations: A student re-taking a module/unit (or modules/units) may be liable for an examination fee. The student should collect an Examination and Payment form from the Exams Office and pay the appropriate examination fee to the Finance Office by the date specified. If the student fails to pay by this date they will be liable to pay a late entry fee. No student will be entered for an examination unless all exam fees have been paid.
1.5 External entries: All external entries will be administered at the discretion of the EO with consultation with the HoC if required. There will be a minimum administration charge of £20. Complex examination entries will attract a greater charge. Students will not be entered for an examination unless all exam and course fees have been paid.
1.6 Entries for Vocational Programmes:
The EO will register all NEW students with the appropriate examination board by the end of January. Teachers will also be asked to indicate which unit tests students intend to sit in. Where a student has not been performing at a reasonable standard and a subject teacher wishes a student’s registration to be withdrawn, the team leader must inform the EO by mid-February. Students who are subsequently registered late will incur a late entry fee.
1.7 Subject teachers will be sent confirmation of all test entries and registrations, which will be signed and returned to the EO by a set date. Any alterations to original entries (withdrawals and additions) should be made at this stage.
1.8 Statements of Entry will be distributed by the EO and arranged via tutor groups. These should be distributed to students as soon as possible. Any Statements of Entry not issued by the tutor to the appropriate student should be returned to the Exams Office for distribution by a set deadline. Any Statements of Entry not distributed within 2 weeks of issue must be returned to the EO.
1.9 The EO will distribute estimated grade sheets to subject co-ordinators, which should be completed and returned as soon as possible.
1.10 For all examinations, the EO will provide each tutor with an Examination Entry summary listing the modules that their students have been entered for. Any queries should be sent to the EO before the internal deadline.
1.11 Amendments to entries:
Subject teachers should advise the EO of any late amendments to entries a minimum of 2 weeks before the examination date. Amendments made after this time will be subject to both College and Examination board late fees.
Leavers: When a student leaves the school, the Leavers form will be acknowledged by the EO who will cancel the examination entries for this student. Where an examination fee has been “wasted” this is noted upon the Leavers form.
1.12 All coursework must be completed by the deadlines set by subject areas. These deadlines must be published by subject areas as well in advance as possible. Students failing to meet published deadlines will be deemed to have failed this component of the examination unless their circumstances can be considered a special circumstance as defined by the appropriate examination board. Any internal coursework queries should be dealt with by the subject teachers.
1.13 Coursework marks must be notified to the EO by using the forms supplied by the EO and appropriate samples made available to the EO at the appropriate time.
1.14 Special Arrangements:
The EO has overall responsibility for completing special arrangement applications for submission to the Awarding body (e.g. requests for extra time, enlarged papers). It is the responsibility of the teachers and course managers to inform the EO of any special arrangements for students with known disabilities as early as possible in the academic year, and no later than 15th January for summer examinations. Students will be sent confirmation of the exams that the EO has granted them special arrangements for. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the EO if they intend to sit any additional papers that have not been listed on this form.
Where a student experiences a short-term illness or disability requiring a special arrangement, the EO must be notified immediately.
2. ADMINISTRATION OF INTERNAL AND PUBLIC EXAMINATIONS
2.1 The Centre Manager (CM) will be informed by the EO of all rooms required for an examination at least 5 working days in advance of the examination, and will ensure that each room is prepared with the appropriate numbers of desks and chairs in position.
2.2 Setting up rooms :
The EO will be responsible for ensuring that the room allocated for an exam is set up and the question papers and additional materials (including desk cards) are available for collection by the invigilator. Wherever possible the EO will set out desk cards prior to the exam, but this is ultimately the responsibility of the invigilator.
An invigilation list will be prepared by the EO. This will be published at least 2 weeks prior to the examination(s). All staff must check this list and notify the EO of any difficulties. Invigilation takes priority over all other commitments. It is the responsibility of the invigilator to obtain substitutes to cover listed invigilations. Circumstances may arise (e.g. staff illness) resulting in a member of staff being called upon at short notice. The EO will inform members of staff of late alterations in person.
2.4 Invigilation duties are specified by each examination board in “Instructions for the Conduct of Examinations”. A copy of this publication will be available for consultation in each examination room.
2.5 Starting the examination:
The member of staff responsible for the start of an examination should report to the Exams Office 30 minutes before the published start time of the exam:
- Ensure that the desk cards and any additional materials are on the student’s desk before students are allowed to enter the room.
- Check that each student is sitting at the correct desk. Every student should have proof of identity, if required. For most students (daytime and evening) this will be their school ID Card, which should be visible on the desk. When a student does not have proof of identity, they may not be allowed into the examination room.
- Check and distribute the question papers.
- Record the starting and finishing time of the examination in such a way that all students can clearly see the start and finish times.
- Announce any errata.
- Make a note of any absentees on the attendance sheets. The EO is not responsible for chasing up absentees on the day of the exam.
- Sign the seating plan. It is now a requirement of all examination boards that each invigilator sign the seating plan recording the time they were invigilating.
- Check whether any additional tasks are necessary. The EO will specify these on the seating plan using the following codes – W to indicate students who have withdrawn, C where students have a clash and SP for students who have special arrangements and will therefore be in a different exam room.
2.6 Finishing the examination:
The person invigilating at the end of the examination should:
- Warn students when 5 minutes of the examination remain.
- Finish the examination at the correct time.
- Ensure all students have completed the Candidate Number Box.
- Collect in answer papers/booklets in candidate number order and hand them to the EO or duty officer.
- Collect all other materials and give them to the EO or duty officer.
The examination team will check and arrange for all papers to be ready for posting.
The EO will identify clashes and make the appropriate arrangements (i.e. notify the examination boards and the student(s) concerned). Students will be informed by the EO of rescheduled sessions due to clashes via their tutor group. Students will also be informed that they will be supervised between sessions and that failure to comply with the relevant regulations will mean disqualification. Subject teachers will be asked to inform students that if they have not had confirmation of an exam clash, to see the EO immediately. Ultimately it is the student’s responsibility to double check arrangements with the EO when they have a clash to avoid problems on the day of their exam. Students will be advised of this procedure via their tutors.
EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE FOR EXAMINATIONS:
The invigilator must take the following action in an emergency such as a fire alarm or a bomb alert.
- Stop the candidates from writing
- Collect the attendance register (in order to ensure all candidates are present)
- Evacuate the examination room in line with the instructions given by the appropriate authority
- Advise all candidates to leave all question papers and scripts in the examination room
- Candidates should leave the room in silence
- Make sure that all candidates are supervised as closely as possible while they are exiting the examination room to make sure there is no discussion about the examination
- Make a note of the time of the interruption and how long it lasted
- Allow the candidates the full working time set of the examination
- If there are only a few candidates, consider the possibility of taking the candidates (with questions papers and scripts) to another place to finish the examination
- Make a full report of the incident and of the action taken, and send to the relevant awarding body
3.1 Within 7 days of any examination, the EO will inform the examination board of any special consideration arising from an absence or illness. The students concerned must provide appropriate medical evidence within 5 days of the examination. For Appeals the subject coordinator will be required to complete the forms giving the names of students of comparable ability.
3.2 The EO will identify any absentees where fees need to be recovered. The Finance Office will generate invoices that will be dealt with by post subsequently.
3.3 During the post exam period the EO will attempt to resolve any other queries that arise. (e.g. missing papers, coursework marks missing). During holiday periods this may require the EO contacting a subject teacher or member of staff at home.
Main August results:
3.4 Prior to the results days in August the EO will arrange for the electronic collection of the examination results and perform the necessary basic analysis in conjunction with the MIS Manager. If any queries arise the EO will attempt to resolve them prior to the actual publication of the results.
3.5 On results days in August the EO will work with the EA to ensure the results are prepared for distribution. This involves placing individual result slips for each student in envelopes in alphabetical order. Where students have provided a stamped addressed envelope, these will be processed for mailing on the same day.
3.6 Where students have taken exams in May/June the result sheets will be available for collection on the published results day.
3.7 Procedure for the recording of Individual Unit Results:
Individual unit results for all modular courses are filed in the Exams Office and circulated to Subject teachers and the Principal on the date they are issued from the Exam board.
3.12 Re-marks and appeals:
The EO will liaise with the subject teacher and the Head of Centre to determine whether the school feels it is appropriate to make an appeal.
3.13 Examination board feedback:
The EO will distribute moderators’ reports and any other examination reports that are received as a result of the examination process to the Subject teacher.
The EO will arrange for all certificates to be collated and placed into individually named envelopes. These will only be available from the Exams Office when all certificates have been received. Students should arrange for these certificates to be collected and signed for within 12 months of the examination. After this time they will be archived and a simple retrieval will cost a minimum of £5.00. Certificates will be kept for 4 years at which point they will be destroyed and students would need to apply for replacement certificates via the Awarding body.
3.15 Publication of Information on Students Achievement (PISA)
The EO will complete the appropriate returns, supplying a copy to the Principal.
3.16 Detailed exam analysis:
The EO and MIS Manager will provide additional examination analysis as required, using the software available. This will include gender, disability and ethnicity data.
3.17 Information relating to claiming GCSE results will be sent to all tutors in advance of the entry process i.e. when class lists are distributed.
3.18 Photocopies/Marked Scripts are available to students on request to the EO after the publication of results. Students will be provided with information relating to the procedure involved regarding the process of applying for re-marks or access to scripts by the EO at the point of collection of results.
This policy was last reviewed March 2023