Exam

Examinations and Exams Appeals policies

Rationale
Public examinations provide vital summative assessment, generally at the end of Key Stage 4.  This assessment gives information to students, parents, other education institutions, local authority and government agencies and employers about knowledge, understanding and skills achieved.  To this end the academy participates willingly in the administration of these examinations in the best interests of the students and the academy.  In addition, other internally and externally set and marked examinations may take place at other stages in a student’s progress through the academy.

Purposes

To ensure that:

  • students are given the opportunity to demonstrate the highest achievement of which they are capable; administration helps them to achieve their best;
  • students undertake examinations knowing what is expected of them in terms of preparation and behaviour;
  • students are guided in decisions about whether to withdraw an examination entry, having full knowledge of the implications for their careers or further education;
  • staff understand fully their obligations and responsibilities with relation to examinations;
  • the academy meets the requirements of examination security and is properly equipped to undertake the administration of examinations, including data processing and a results service.

Exam Entry

  • All students are entitled to and enabled to achieve an entry for qualifications from an external awarding body.
  • All students are entered in all their examination subjects unless a decision to the contrary is made following a special assessment.
  • If it is agreed that a student will not be entered for a subject, the Headteacher will decide whether special arrangements are made for alternative work in that subject’s lesson time or in the Student Services Centre.  In all but exceptional cases the class teacher will continue to monitor progress.
  • All students will be monitored carefully throughout their time at the school and poor attitude notified to the Form Tutor as soon as they arise.
  • Any proposed major changes to the examination board, style or timing of examinations, e.g. modular courses, must be approved by the Senior Leadership Team, based on information given by the relevant subject leader.
  • Amendment of entries which incur a financial penalty from the examination boards (after the end of the Spring Term) will be charged to subjects.
  • Withdrawals made by the proper procedures and alterations arising from administrative processes will not be charged to subjects.
  • The academy will liaise with parents and notify them of any access arrangements made.
  • Exam clashes will be sat on the same day as far as possible.  Moving to a later day will be a last resort after consultation with the staff and students concerned.
  • Exam results may only be collected in person by the student, parent or carer.  In exceptional circumstances the student should make arrangements with the Exam Officer.

Charging Policy
The academy may impose a charge at least equal to the financial charges levied by examination boards on:

  • students whose entries are withdrawn because of lack of coursework or controlled assessment;
  • students who make a decision to sit or not to sit an examination after the late entry/withdrawal deadline;
  • students who fail to attend an examination and do not produce medical evidence or evidence of other mitigating circumstances;
  • students who wish to re-sit their exam but have already reached their target grade;
  • students who are required to re-sit their exam but have already failed to reach their target grade on at least two occasions.

These charges will be communicated in writing to students and parents/carers at the start of GCSE and equivalent courses. These charges will also be published on the academy website.

Appeals Procedures – Internal Assessment

The existence of this procedure is made known to students by reference in a letter at the start of examinations courses and in this Examinations Policy, which is available for inspection on request.

  • The academy is committed to ensuring that, whenever its staff assess students’ work for external qualifications, this is done fairly, consistently and in accordance with the specification for the qualification concerned.
  • Assessments are conducted by staff who have appropriate knowledge, understanding and skills.  Students’ work should be produced and authenticated according to the requirements of the examination board.
  • Where a set of work is divided between staff, consistency is assured by internal moderation and standardisation.  If a student believes that this may not have happened in relation to their work, they may make use of this appeals procedure.  Note that appeals may only be made against the process that led to the assessment and not against the mark or grade.

Procedure

  • Appeals should be made as soon as possible and must be made at least two weeks before the end of the last externally assessed paper in the examinations series.
  • Appeals should be made in writing to the Examinations Officer who will investigate the appeal.  If the Examinations Officer is not able to conduct the investigation for any other reason, they will appoint another member of staff of similar or greater seniority to conduct the investigation.
  • The person conducting the investigation will decide whether the process used for the internal assessment conformed to the requirements of the awarding body and examination code of practice of the QCA.  This will be done before the end of the series.
  • The result of the appeal will be made known in writing to the parties concerned, together with any correspondence with the awarding body, any changes made to the assessment of the piece of work in question and any changes made for the future.
  • A written record of the appeal will be kept and made available to the awarding body at their request.  Should the appeal bring any significant irregularity to light, the awarding body and the Headteacher will be informed.

After work has been assessed internally it is moderated by the awarding body to ensure consistency between centres.  Such moderation may change the marks awarded for internally assessed work.  That is outside the control of the academy and is not covered by this procedure.  Details of the appeals procedure for the relevant awarding body are available from the Examination Officer.

Appeals Proceedure – External Assessment

Staff are required to review raw and UMS scores for individual candidates as soon as possible once they are available. Staff who note irregularities, either for individuals or cohorts of students, must notify the Headteacher immediately in order that it can be investigated further.

The academy will only pay for examination remarks when:

  • There is evidence to indicate that a subject cohort’s marks may have been assessed incorrectly by the exam board;
  • The candidate is within 2 marks of the C/D grade boundary or the B/A grade boundary.

If students do not fulfil the above criteria but wish to have an exam remarked they may do so, but will be charged at least equal to the financial charges levied by the examination board.

Students and their parents will be advised it writing at the start of the exam series of the appeals procedure for external assessments.

Appeals for students in receipt of pupil premium will be paid for from the Pupil Premium allowance.

Hardship

If a student wishes to make an appeal but doing so would cause them or their family financial hardship, a request must be made in writing for the academy to fund the appeal. The letter should be addressed to the Academy Business Manager and within 5 days of the student being given their results.

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