PolicyThis policy is reviewed annually to ensure compliance with current regulations.

Purpose of the plan

This plan examines potential risks and issues that could cause disruption to the management and administration of the exam process at the Gibraltar College. By outlining actions/procedures to be followed in case of disruption it is intended to mitigate the impact these disruptions have on our exam process.

At all times, the Examinations Officer and Senior Management Team will liaise with the relevant Awarding Body to ensure any contingency plans meet with its requirements and that JCQ regulations are adhered to where possible.

Alongside internal processes, this plan is informed by scenarios contained in the Joint contingency plan in the event of widespread disruption to the examination system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This plan complies with JCQ general regulations (section 5) in that:

The centre agrees to “have in place a written examination contingency plan/examinations policy which covers all aspects of examination administration. This will allow members of the senior leadership team to have a robust contingency plan in place, minimising risk to examination administration, should the examinations officer be absent at a crucial stage of the examination cycle;”

Causes of potential disruption to the exam process

1. Exam officer extended absence at key points in the exam 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 and trained
  • 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
    • exam timetabling, rooming allocation; and invigilation schedules not prepared
    • candidates not briefed on exam timetables and awarding body information for candidates
    • 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 e.g. very late arrival, suspected malpractice, special consideration
    • candidates’ scripts not dispatched as required 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:

  • Principal/Senior Teacher (Curriculum) to assume responsibility for the above tasks with the support of the admin team
  • Regular meetings with the Exam Team to ensure all are aware of the key tasks and dates
  • Updates from Exam Boards are shared with the Exam Team

2. SENCO extended absence at key points in the exam 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 requirements
    • 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
    • modified paper requirements not identified in a timely manner to enable ordering to meet external deadline
    • staff providing support to access arrangement candidates not allocated and trained
  • Exam time
    • access arrangement candidate support not arranged for exam rooms

Centre actions:

  • The Assistant to Senco will take over and assume responsibility for the above tasks
  • SENCO, Assistant SENCO, Educational Psychologists and Exam Team share a list of students needing Special Access Arrangements
  • In the event that procedures are not followed we will contact the Exam Body and seek advice and appropriate actions taken

3. Teaching staff extended absence at key points in the exam 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
  • Internal assessment marks and candidates’ work not provided to meet submission deadlines

Centre actions:

  • The Examinations Officer to liaise with Head of Department, to ensure all necessary deadlines are adhered to. 
  • Heads of Department are copied into all updates received from the examination boards.
  • Key dates are shared with HoDs
  • Supply teachers will be provided by the Department
  • Where this is not possible, the EO will liaise with the relevant Awarding Body and act upon advice received.

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:

  • The Examinations Officer will review the invigilation staffing at the start of each academic year to ensure sufficient staff are recruited and trained in a timely fashion.
  • Procedures are in place which invigilators are to follow if they are unable to attend to their duties.
  • If there are insufficient invigilators teachers will be asked to invigilate
  • The Senior Teacher will be aware of the school staff available for invigilation duties at short notice and for peak exam days.

5. Exam 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:

  • The EO will organise rooming for examinations before the Easter holidays ensuring sufficient time is available to identify appropriate rooms and plan appropriately.
  • In the event of a room not being available at very short notice, sufficient staff will be made available to ensure the security of the examination is not compromised whilst alternative rooming is sourced.  The Senior Teacher (Curriculum) will work with the EO at all times during such emergencies.
  • Support from The Department of Education is sought when these issues are identified prior to the exam.

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:

  • The EO, will make entries directly to the Awarding Bodies within a week of the final entry deadline.  Results may also be accessed directly from the AB.  At all times during the system failure the EO will liaise with the AB to minimise disruption.
  • Exam preparation will also be completed as soon as the final examination calendar is finalised
  • Results will be accessed as early as possible

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

The centre to communicate with parents, carers and students about the potential for disruption to teaching time and plans to address this. [Joint Contingency Plan (JCP) scenario 1]
Centre actions:

  • Senior Management to manage all such incidents
  • Centre to communicate with parents and students through letters the potential for disruption to teaching time and plans to address this.
  • Alternative venues will be allocated

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

The centre to communicate with relevant awarding organisations at the outset to make them aware of the issue. The centre to communicate with parents, carers and candidates regarding solutions to the issue. [JCP scenario 2]
Centre actions:

  • The relevant awarding organisation will be informed and their advice followed.
  • The EO will contact the relevant AB to discuss alternative arrangements and liaise with Senior Management to take appropriate action.
  • Students and parents will be informed of alternative venue

9. Centre unable to open as normal during the exams period

Criteria for implementation of the plan

  • Centre  unable to open as normal for scheduled examinations

A centre which is unable to open as normal for examinations must inform each awarding organisation with which examinations are due to be taken as soon as possible.[JCP scenario 5]
Centre actions:

  • The EO will contact the relevant AB to discuss alternative arrangements and liaise with the Senior Management to take appropriate action.
  • Centre to communicate with parents and students, through letters the potential for disruption to teaching time and plans to address this.
  • Alternative venues will be allocated.

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

The centre to communicate with awarding organisations to organise alternative delivery of papers. [JCP scenario 3]
Centre actions:

  • The centre to communicate with awarding organisations to organise alternative delivery of papers.
  • The examination papers will be downloaded from the AB on the day

11. Disruption to the transportation of completed examination scripts

Criteria for implementation of the plan

  • Delay in normal collection arrangements for completed examination scripts

The centre to communicate with relevant awarding organisations at the outset to resolve the issue. [JCP scenario 4]
Centre actions:

  • The EO will contact the AB to notify them of any such difficulties and put in place suitable alternative arrangements
  • Students to re-submit assessment evidence.

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

It is the responsibility of the head of centre to communicate this immediately to the relevant awarding organisation(s) and subsequently to students and their parents or carers. [JCP scenario 6]
Centre actions:

  • The EO will contact the AB to notify them of any such incidents and act upon advice given

13. Centre unable to distribute results as normal

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

Centres to contact awarding organisations about alternative options. [JCP scenario 11]
Centre actions:

  • The EO will contact the AB to notify them of any such incidents and act upon advice given


Causes 7-13 – all scenarios, criteria and specific communications have been taken directly from the Joint contingency plan in the event of widespread disruption to the examination system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Get in Touch!

  Email:  enquiries@gibc.edu.gi
  Phone:  +(350) 20071048

 

Fax:

+(350) 20077207

  Address: 

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Line Wall Road,
Gibraltar,

GX11 1AA

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