Exam Policy

Rationale

Public examinations provide vital summative assessment, generally at the end of the academic year. 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 APA participates willingly in the administration of these examinations in the best interests of the students and the school.

In addition other internally set and marked examinations may take place at other stages in a student’s progress through the school, in order both to prepare for public examinations and check student learning.

Purposes
To ensure that:

  • The exams system at APA combines entitlement with flexibility
  • Students are given the opportunity to demonstrate the highest achievement of which they are capable and competent; administration helps them to achieve their best.
  • Students undertake examinations knowing what is expected of them in terms of preparation and behavior.
  • Students are guided in their decisions about whether to withdraw an examination entry and do so with full knowledge of the implications for their careers or further education.
  • Staff understand fully their obligations and responsibilities with relation to examinations.
  • APA meets the requirements of examination security and is properly equipped to undertake the administration of examinations, including data processing and a results service.
  • Curriculum planning takes into account up-to-date information on the current examinations system.

 

Guidelines
Responsibilities for public examinations:

  • Principal, overall responsibility for the school as an Examinations Centre.
  • Member of Senior Leadership Team responsible for exams and Heads of Faculty.
  • Exams Officer, administration of entries, relevant paperwork, organisation of examination sessions and examination data.

GCSE & Post-16

  • All students should be entitled to and enabled to achieve an entry for qualifications from an external awarding body.
  • If a student’s entry in any subject is to be withdrawn, a withdrawal form must be obtained from the Exams Officer and completed by the Head of Faculty in consultation with the student’s parent/guardian before a final decision is made.
  • All students will be monitored carefully throughout their time at APA, and any problems with coursework and exam preparation notified to the Head of Faculty as soon as they arise.
  • Any proposed major changes to the awarding body, style or timing of examinations, must be discussed and approved by the Head of Faculty based on information given by the relevant subject head.
  • Fees for exam re-sits will be charged to students.
  • Amendment of entries that incur a financial penalty from the awarding bodies will be charged to students unless they arise as a result of an administrative error.
  • Exam fees will not be refunded unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  • It is expected that AS modules will be completed during year 12.
  • Re-sit decisions will be made in consultation with the student, Head of Faculty and Examinations Officer.
  • After the release of results, Heads of Faculty may request the return of papers or a re-mark at the school’s expense. If an individual student requires this service, he/she will be charged.

Examination Appeals Procedures

APA is committed to ensuring that whenever its staff assesses students’ work for external qualification; this is done fairly, consistently and in accordance with the specification for the qualification concerned.

  • Assessments should be conducted by staff that has appropriate knowledge, understanding and skills.
  • Students’ work should be produced and authenticated according to the requirements of the awarding body.
  • Where a set of work is divided between staff, consistency should be assured by internal moderation and standardisation.

If students believe that this may not have happened in relation to his/her work, he/she 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.

The existence of this procedure is made known to students by reference in the Instructions & Information for students guide, at the start of examinations courses and in this examinations policy.  The Internal Appeals Policy document is available for inspection upon request.

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 SLT member responsible for exams at least two weeks before the date of the last external exam in the subject.
On receipt of a written appeal, the SLT member will conduct an enquiry into the internal assessment.
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 will be informed.

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

GCSE and AS/A level results service

  • When results are published appropriate staff will distribute results, be available to give guidance to students and prepare data for publication and monitoring purposes.
  • This service will be supported by member(s) of the administrative staff.

Internal examinations

  • The exact nature of summative assessment in each subject will be determined ultimately by the subject head within the rationale and purposes of this policy and other related policies.