Examination Contingency Plan Policy

1. Purpose of the plan
This plan examines potential risks and issues that could cause disruption to the examination process at Ashbourne College. By outlining actions and procedures to be invoked in case of disruption it is intended to mitigate the impact these disruptions have on the examination process. 

Alongside internal processes, this plan is informed by the Exam system contingency plan: England, Wales and Northern Ireland which provides guidance in the publication What schools and colleges and other centres should do if exams or other assessments are seriously disrupted. 

This plan also ensures that Ashbourne College is compliant with the JCQ regulation (section 5.3, General Regulations for Approved Centres 2020-2021) that the centre has in place a written examination contingency plan which covers all aspects of examination administration. This will allow members of the senior leadership team to act immediately in the event of an emergency or staff absence.

This plan should be read in conjunction with the Examination Policy.

2. Key staff involved in contingency planning

Head of Centre Mike Kirby (Principal)
Examination Officer line manager (Senior Leader) Lee Kirby (Director of Studies)
Examination Officer Maricarmen Perez Gonzalez
SENDCo Lee Kirby

3. Possible causes of disruption to the examination process
3.1 Examination officer extended absence at key points in the examination process (cycle)
Criteria for implementation of the plan
Key tasks required in the management and administration of the exam cycle not undertaken including:

Planning

  • annual data collection exercise not undertaken to collate information on qualifications and awarding body specifications being delivered;
  • annual exams plan not produced identifying essential key tasks, key dates and deadlines
    sufficient invigilators not recruited.

Entries

  • awarding bodies not being informed of early/estimated entries which prompts release of early information required by teaching staff;
  • candidates not being entered with awarding bodies for external exams/assessment;
  • awarding body entry deadlines missed or late or other penalty fees being incurred.

Pre-exams

  • invigilators not trained or updated on changes to instructions for conducting exams;
  • exam timetabling, rooming allocation; and invigilation schedules not prepared;
  • candidates not briefed on exam timetables and awarding body information for candidates;
  • confidential exam/assessment materials and candidates’ work not stored under required secure conditions;
  • internal assessment marks and samples of candidates’ work not submitted to awarding bodies/external moderators.

Exam time

  • exams/assessments not taken under the conditions prescribed by awarding bodies;
  • required reports/requests not submitted to awarding bodies during exam/assessment periods, for example very late arrival, suspected malpractice, special consideration;
  • candidates’ scripts not dispatched as required for marking to awarding bodies.

Results and post-results

  • access to examination results affecting the distribution of results to candidates;
  • the facilitation of the post-results services.

Centre actions to mitigate the impact of the disruption

  1. The Director of Studies will be responsible, in the short term, to manage examinations.
  2. The Director of Studies will appoint a suitable Deputy Examinations Officer as rapidly as possible, who will follow procedures and practices within the Examinations Officer remit.

3.2 SENDCo extended absence at key points in the examination cycle
Criteria for implementation of the plan
Key tasks required in the management and administration of the access arrangements process within the exam cycle not undertaken including:

Planning

  • candidates not tested/assessed to identify potential access arrangement requirement;
  • centre fails to recognise its duties towards disabled candidates as defined under the terms of the Equality Act 2010;
  • evidence of need and evidence to support normal way of working not collated.

Pre-exams

  • approval for access arrangements not applied for to the awarding body;
  • centre-delegated arrangements not put in place;
  • modified paper requirements not identified in a timely manner to enable ordering to meet external deadline;
  • staff (facilitators) providing support to access arrangement candidates not allocated and trained.

Exam time

  • access arrangement candidate support not arranged for exam rooms.

Centre actions to mitigate the impact of the disruption

  1. The Principal will be responsible, in the short term, to manage examinations.
  2. The Principal will appoint a suitable Deputy Examinations Officer as rapidly as possible, who will follow procedures and practices within the Examinations Officer remit.

3.3 Teaching staff extended absence at key points in the examination cycle
Criteria for implementation of the plan
Key tasks not undertaken including:

  • Early/estimated entry information not provided to the exams officer on time; resulting in pre-release information not being received;
  • Final entry information not provided to the exams officer on time; resulting in candidates not being entered for exams/assessments or being entered late/late or other penalty fees being charged by awarding bodies;
  • Non-examination assessment tasks not set/issued/taken by candidates as scheduled;
  • Candidates not being informed of centre assessed marks before marks are submitted to the awarding body and therefore not being able to consider appealing internal assessment decisions and requesting a review of the centre’s marking;
  • Internal assessment marks and candidates’ work not provided to meet awarding body submission deadlines.

Centre actions to mitigate the impact of the disruption

  1. The Principal will work with the Head of Faculty and Director of Studies to hire a new teacher.

3.4 Invigilators – lack of appropriately trained invigilators or invigilator absence
Criteria for implementation of the plan

  • Failure to recruit and train sufficient invigilators to conduct exams;
  • Invigilator shortage on peak exam days;
  • Invigilator absence on the day of an exam.

Centre actions to mitigate the impact of the disruption

  1. The Examinations Officer will work with the Director of Studies to identify other members of staff that could invigilate.
  2. The Examination Officer will work with the Director of Studies to identify suitable individuals through supply agencies.

3.5 Examination rooms – lack of appropriate rooms or main venues unavailable at short notice
Criteria for implementation of the plan

  • Exams officer unable to identify sufficient/appropriate rooms during exams timetable planning;
  • Insufficient rooms available on peak exam days;
  • Main exam venues unavailable due to an unexpected incident at exam time.

Centre actions to mitigate the impact of the disruption

  1. The Examinations Officer will work with the Director of Studies and Principal to identify other suitable venues.

3.6 Failure of IT systems
Criteria for implementation of the plan

  • MIS system failure at final entry deadline;
  • MIS system failure during exams preparation;
  • MIS system failure at results release time.

Centre actions to mitigate the impact of the disruption

  1. The Examinations Officer will work with the Facilities Team to ensure that suitable back-up plans are in place.

3.7 Disruption of teaching time – centre closed for an extended period
Criteria for implementation of the plan

  • Centre closed or candidates are unable to attend for an extended period during normal teaching or study supported time, interrupting the provision of normal teaching and learning.

Centre actions to mitigate the impact of the disruption

  1. The College is able to offer Online Distance Learning as an alternative to face-to-face learning.

3.8 Candidates unable to take examinations because of a crisis – centre remains open
Criteria for implementation of the plan

  • Candidates are unable to attend the examination centre to take examinations as normal

Centre actions to mitigate the impact of the disruption

  1. The College will communicate with the relevant awarding organisations at the outset to make them aware of the issue. The College will communicate with parents, carers and candidates regarding solutions to the issue.
  2. The College to liaise with examination boards to sit exams at a different venue.
  3. Apply for Special Consideration for those affected to the appropriate examination board.

3.9 Centre unable to open as normal during the exams period (including in the event of the centre being unavailable for examinations owing to an unforeseen emergency)
Criteria for implementation of the plan

  • Centre unable to open as normal during the exams period (including in the event of the centre being unavailable for examinations owing to an unforeseen emergency).

Centre actions to mitigate the impact of the disruption

  1. The College will communicate with the relevant awarding organisations at the outset to make them aware of the issue. The College will communicate with parents, carers and candidates regarding solutions to the issue.
  2. The College to liaise with examination boards to relocate exams to a different venue.
  3. Apply for Special Consideration for those affected to the appropriate examination board.

3.10 Disruption in the distribution of examination papers
Criteria for implementation of the plan

  • Disruption to the distribution of examination papers to the centre in advance of examinations.

Centre actions to mitigate the impact of the disruption

  1. The College to communicate with awarding organisations to organise alternative delivery of papers.
  2. Arrange with exam boards for alternative means of receiving papers either electronically or by courier.
  3. The Examination Officer to ensure that papers are kept securely until needed.

3.11 Disruption to the transportation of completed examination scripts
Criteria for implementation of the plan

  • The College to communicate with awarding organisations to organise alternative delivery of papers;
  • Arrange with exam boards for alternative means of receiving papers either electronically or by courier;
  • The Examination Officer to ensure that papers are kept securely until needed.

Centre actions to mitigate the impact of the disruption

  1. The College will communicate with awarding organisations immediately to resolve the issue.
  2. Alternative transport should only be used with the agreement of the relevant examination boards.
  3. Scripts must be stored securely until such time that the transport is confirmed.

3.12 Assessment evidence is not available to be marked 
Criteria for implementation of the plan

  • Large scale damage to or destruction of completed examination scripts/assessment evidence before it can be marked.

Centre actions to mitigate the impact of the disruption

  1. The Head of Centre (Principal) will communicate this immediately to the relevant awarding organisation (s) and subsequently to students and their parents and carers.
  2. The College will consider how we can document evidence throughout the academic year (e.g. taking photographs of artwork and storing the images in a secure online folder).

3.13 Centre unable to distribute results as normal (including in the event of the centre being unavailable on results day owing to an unforeseen emergency)
Criteria for implementation of the plan

  • Centre is unable to access or manage the distribution of results to candidates, or to facilitate post-results services.

Centre actions to mitigate the impact of the disruption

  1. The results will be sent electronically – there is no need for physical copies.

3.14 Severe disruption/evacuation during external examinations
Criteria for implementation of the plan

  • Unreasonable noise disruption
  • Fire/Bomb/Flood Alert during an Examination

Centre actions to mitigate the impact of the disruption

Please consult the Severe Disruption/Evacuation during External Examinations Policy.

3.15 COVID-19

Challenge Responsibility Lead

Pre-planning and preparation

Read and act on all Department for Eduction (DfE) and Public Health England (PHE) daily updates;

Ensure sufficient signage around the College for students, staff and visitors;

Continued reminders from staff to students about good hygiene and managing risks;

Assess risk for external visits (especially residential visits);

Ensure all individuals are using hand sanitiser before entering the building;

Full-time cleaner who cleans throughout the day;

Update parents where changes happen and publish on website or social media, including regular requests for information on movement of members of the College community to any high risk countries.

Director of Studies

Examination Officer

COVID-19 Team

Principal

Responding appropriately and adequately to an outcome of COVID-19 Contact DfE and PHE for advice;

Consider necessity for a deep clean;

Contact College community updating them of situation;

Conduct risk assessment to consider carefully who needs to self-isolate;

Ensure that students and staff are identified who need to self isolate and ensure they are removed from the College premises;

Organise for COVID-19 tests to take place where required (in particular for teachers);

Contact all individuals that are self isolating on a regular basis to ensure they are support effectively;

Identify when symptoms of the COVID-19 case started;

Work with PHE to ensure that the College is safe for students to return.

Director of Studies

Examination Officer

COVID-19 Team

Principal

Ensuring that all external examinations will take place

Work with the examination boards to clarify status and seek advice;

Work with DfE and PHE to clarify status and seek advice;

Apply special consideration where appropriate;

Make considerations to utilise more rooms on the College premises to ensure social distancing;

If more space is required, working with Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to identify more space for the examinations to take place.

 

Director of Studies

Examination Officer

COVID-19 Team

Principal

Authorised by The Principal
Date September 2020
Effective date of the policy September 2020
Circulation Teaching staff / all staff / parents / students on request
Review date September 2021