Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism Policy

Definition of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is here defined as using other people’s work and passing it off as your own. This may include, but is not limited to, language, thoughts, ideas, expressions and images. Correctly crediting the original author or source of information can help avoid plagiarism.

When being set work to complete students will use a variety of sources to help them answer questions; this is seen as an important part of the learning process. However, it is expected that students will use these sources to develop their knowledge which they then express in their own words. Copying sentences or paragraphs from other sources is simply not acceptable. Equally unacceptable is copying directly from mark schemes or from other students’ work.

How Ashbourne deals with plagiarism:

  1. If a member of staff deems that a student has plagiarised within their work (e.g. homework, coursework or UCAS application), the student will be given sufficient time to demonstrate that the work they have produced is their own.
  2. If, after further investigation, it is clear that the student has plagiarised the student will be given the opportunity to redraft the work in their own words and/or images and to properly acknowledge and credit, through direct quotes or otherwise, the original authors and/or sources. The work may then be re-submitted.
  3. The member of staff handling the case will ensure that they make the student’s Personal Tutor aware of the situation.
  4. The Personal Tutor will meet with the student and explain that Ashbourne will not tolerate plagiarism. This offence is initially defined as a ‘minor breach’ within Ashbourne’s Behaviour and Attendance Policy; the student will be issued a first warning, which will also be communicated to their parents.
  5. The student will be sent an email to summarise the meeting and they will be sent a copy of this policy.
  6. If the student continues to plagiarise despite a first warning, the subject teacher will inform the Personal Tutor and usually a disciplinary meeting will be held (please refer to Ashbourne’s Student Behaviour and Exclusions Policy). The student will be likely to face disciplinary action. This usually involves suspension from the College.
  7. If a student persists in plagiarism despite previous warnings and a suspension, they will be asked to leave the College.


It is important for students to be able to demonstrate to subject teachers that the coursework they produce is their own.

In order to meet the criteria of the examination board, it is expected that teachers will be able to see how students have progressed throughout their coursework project. Therefore, any work produced entirely off-site may not be accepted as work to be used within a student’s coursework project. This aspect will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Online assessments – vivas

Ashbourne students typically sit assessments and examinations either onsite or in designated exam halls. However, in certain circumstances where this is not possible students will be required to complete assessments online. Under these conditions the College is unable to apply the same level of scrutiny as it would if the assessments were held onsite. It is therefore necessary for students to be available and prepared to participate in a viva (academic interview), following an online assessment, to discuss the topics covered in the assessment in order to authenticate their work. For example, students may be asked to explain the methodology behind their answers or respond to alternative questions on the topic. All efforts will be made to help the students feel at ease during these interviews with the knowledge that some find it easier than others to articulate their responses. If it is found, however, that the work is not authentic the student will receive a 0 grade for their assessment and the case will be treated as plagiarism.


Any dispute concerning the validity of work in relation to plagiarism may be resolved in a disciplinary meeting between the student and a senior member of staff (normally Director of Studies or Principal). In the event that the dispute cannot be resolved, and it concerns plagiarism of exam-based coursework, the College may appoint an independent adjudicator.

Authorised by The Principal
Date September 2023
Effective date of the policy September 2023
Circulation Teaching staff / all staff / parents / students on request
Review date September 2026
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