Examinations Policy

Updated Thursday 12 September 2019
This policy is next due for review in November 2020


Click the titles below to go to that section – click the section title in the main document to return to these contents.

01 Exam Responsibilities
02 The Statutory Tests and Qualifications Offered
03 Exam Seasons and Timetables
04 Entries, Entry Details, Late Entries and Re-sits
05 Exam Fees
06 The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), Special Needs, and Access Arrangements
07 Managing Invigilators and Exam Days
08 Candidates, Clash Candidates and Special Consideration
09 Non-Examination Assessment (NEA) and NEA Reviews
10 Results, Enquiries About Results (EARs) and Access To Scripts (ATS)
11 Certificates

Appendix 01 Non-Examination Assessment Classroom Warning


AB Award Body / Bodies
ATS Access to Scripts
DBS Disclosure and Barring Service
DHA Deputy Headteacher (Academic)
EAR Enquiry about Result
ECT Examination Candidate Timetable
EO Exams Officer
HOD Head of Department
HOC Head of Centre
NCT National Curriculum Tests
NEA Non-Examination Assessment
SENDCO Special Educational Needs Coordinator
SLT Senior Leadership Team

The purpose of this exam policy is to ensure the:

• planning and management of exams is conducted efficiently and in the best interest of candidates

• operation of an efficient exam system with clear guidelines for all relevant staff and students.

It is the responsibility of everyone involved in the Centre’s exam processes to read, understand and implement this policy.

This Exam Policy will be reviewed by the EO and his/her Line Manager – currently the Deputy Headteacher (Academic) (DHA).

01 Exam Responsibilities

The Head of Centre (HOC): the Headteacher.

Overall responsibility for The King’s (The Cathedral) School as an Exam Centre:

• authorises Centre appeals and re-marks

• reports all suspicions or actual incidents of malpractice. Refer to JCQ Suspected malpractice in examinations and assessments.

Examinations Officer (EO)

Manages the administration of public and internal exams and basic analysis of exam results:

• advises the SLT, HODs, subject teachers and other relevant support staff on annual exam timetables and application procedures, as set by the various Awarding Bodies (AB)

• oversees the production and distribution to staff and candidates of an annual generic exams calendar (to include deadlines) for all exams in which candidates will be involved, and communicates regularly with staff concerning imminent deadlines and events

• when exam entries are made, to produce and distribute the actual exam timetable (to the school) and individual ECTs (to candidates) for checking

• ensures that candidates are informed of, and understand, those aspects of the exam timetable that will affect them.

• consults with teaching staff to ensure that necessary NEA are completed on time and in accordance with JCQ guidelines – including reviews and associated deadlines.

• provides and confirms detailed data on estimated entries, as required.

• receives, checks and stores securely all exam papers and completed scripts

• assists the SENDCO to administer access arrangements and makes applications for Special Consideration using the JCQ Access arrangements and special considerations regulations and Guidance relating to candidates who are eligible for adjustments in examinations

• identifies and manages exam timetable clashes

• accounts for income and expenditure relating to all exam costs/charges, and with his/her Line Manager, produces the budget for the coming year

• organises the recruitment, training and monitoring of a team of exam invigilators responsible for the conduct of exams

• makes recommendations to SLT for any necessary changes/improvements  in relation to exams

• submits candidates’ NEA marks, tracks despatch and stores returned coursework and any other material required by the appropriate Awarding Bodies, correctly and on schedule

• arranges for dissemination of exam results and certificates to candidates and forwards, in consultation with the SLT, any appeals/re-mark requests

• maintains systems and processes to support the timely entry of candidates for their exams.

Deputy Headteacher (Academic)

• line-management of the EO.

Heads of Department (HOD)

• guidance to candidates about subject exam entries and amendments to entries

• involvement in post-results procedures, both in giving advice to candidates [e.g. copies of scripts, re-marks] and to assess any curriculum area concerns

• accurate completion of NEA mark sheets and declaration sheets

• accurate completion of entry and all other mark sheets and adherence to deadlines set by the EO.


• identification and testing of candidates’ requirements for access arrangements.

• administration of access arrangements.

• notification of access arrangements (as soon as possible after the start of the course).

• provision of additional support – with spelling, reading, mathematics, dyslexia or essential skills, hearing impairment, English for speakers of other languages, IT equipment – to help candidates achieve their course aims.


• collection of exam papers and other material from the Exams Office before the start of the exam.

• invigilation of the exam and ensuring that the regulations for the conduct of the papers are fully applied.

• collection of all exam papers in the correct order at the end of the exam and their return to the Exams Office.


• confirming the accuracy of entries.

• checking that their personal data (eg full legal name and date of birth) are correct on the entry documents• must abide by the exam regulations. The document “Exam Candidate Information” contains this information and is emailed directly to candidates. A copy is also available here.

• understanding NEA regulations and signing a declaration that authenticates the coursework as their own.

02 The Statutory Tests and Qualifications Offered

The statutory tests and qualifications offered at this Centre are decided by the HOC on the advice of HODs.

The statutory tests and qualifications offered are KS2 NCTs, GCSE, and A-levels.
The subjects offered for these qualifications in any academic year may be found in the Centre’s published prospectus for that year. If there is to be a change of syllabus from the current year, the Exams Officer must be informed as soon as possible, and by no later than the last day in June in any academic year for the new year beginning in September.

At Key Stage 2

Key Stage 2 testing occurs in Year 6, and includes statutory tests in Mathematics, Reading and Writing.

At Key Stage 4

All candidates will be entitled, and enabled, to achieve an entry for qualifications from an external Awarding Body.  Decisions about students continuing with subjects where they are struggling will be made by the HOC, following consultation with the SLT Link, subject teachers, HODs, SENDCO, candidates and parents/carers.

At Key Stage 5

A-level certification will be completed in Year 13. Following internal Year 12 KSAS examinations, decisions about Year 12 students continuing with subjects where they are struggling will be made by the HOC, following consultation with the SLT Link, subject teachers, HODs, SENDCO, candidates and parents/carers.

03 Exam Seasons and Timetables

3.1 Exam seasons

Internal exams are scheduled as follows;

• Year 11 Mock Examinations: November 
• Year 13 Mock Examinations: February
• Year 09 and 10 Mock Examinations: April and May
• Year 12 Kings School AS Examinations: June

All internal exams are held under external exam conditions.

External exams, for Year 11 and Year 13 candidates, are scheduled by the Awarding Bodies, normally in May and June.

See Exam Dates

3.2 Timetables

The EO will circulate the exam timetables for both external and internal exams once these are confirmed.

04 Entries, Entry Details, Late Entries and Re-sits

4.1 Entries

Candidates are usually entered for examinations in all their GCSE/A-level subjects, at the discretion of the HOC.

A candidate or parent/carer can request a subject entry, change of level or withdrawal. This may be agreed by HOC, after consultation with HODs.

The Centre accepts external entries from former internal candidates only.

4.2 Re-sits

Candidates may re-sit subject examinations at their own expense. They must seek guidance from their subject teachers, HODs or SLT.

For certain subjects, mainly Modern Foreign Languages, candidates may be liable for all fees incurred, including invigilation and examiner costs.

There may be other circumstances where the School may decide to meet the cost of a re-sit entry. 

4.22 Re-sits Information

Further information, including deadlines, procedures and prices, can be found here.

05 Exam Fees

For both GCSE and A-level examinations, first-sit exam fees are paid by the Centre.

Late entry/amendment fees are paid by the candidate if s/he is at fault, or Curriculum Areas may be charged where the fault lies with them.

Candidates or Curriculum Areas will not be charged for changes of tier, withdrawals made by the proper procedures or alterations arising from administrative processes, provided these are made within the time allowed by the EO for transmission to the Awarding Bodies.

Reimbursement will be sought from candidates who fail to sit an exam or to meet the necessary coursework and Controlled Assessment requirements, unless prevented by illness or other special circumstances approved by SLT.

Re-sit fees are paid by the candidate. (See also section 4.2 Re-sits)

Candidates must pay the fee for an enquiry about a result. If the HOD wishes to challenge a result then that shall be at the Centre’s expense, so long as it is agreed by the candidate in writing and the monies have been approved by the HOC.

(See also section 10.2 EARs)

All fees payable by the candidate include the Board fee and an administration fee for the Centre.

06 The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), Special Needs, and Access Arrangements

6.1 DDA

The Disability Discrimination Act 2010 extends the application of the DDA to general qualifications. All exam centre staff must ensure that the access arrangements and special consideration regulations and guidance are consistent with the law.

6.2 Special needs

A candidate’s special needs requirements are determined by the SENDCO.

The SENDCO will inform subject teachers of candidates with special educational needs who are embarking on an exam course, and the date of that exam. The SENDCO can then inform individual staff of any special arrangements that individual candidates may be granted during the course and in the exam.

6.3 Access arrangements

Making special arrangements for candidates to take exams is the responsibility of the SENDCO and the EO.

Submitting completed access arrangement applications to the awarding bodies is the responsibility of the SENDCO.

Rooming for access arrangement candidates will be arranged by the SENDCO with the EO.

Invigilation and support for access arrangement candidates will be organised by the SENDCO with the EO.

07 Managing Invigilators and Exam Days

7.1 Managing invigilators

External invigilators will be used for exam supervision.

They will be used for all exams.

All invigilation staff will, in line with all other school staff, undertake yearly Child Protection testing.

No invigilation staff are given access to school ICT systems, and therefore do not sign the “ICT Acceptable Use Policy for School Staff” document.

The recruitment of invigilators is the responsibility of the EO and DHA.

Securing the necessary Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance for new invigilators is the responsibility of the Headteacher’s PA, at the request of the EO.

DBS fees for securing such clearance are paid by the Centre.

Invigilators are timetabled and briefed by the EO.

Invigilators’ rates of pay are set by the HOC.

7.2 Exam days

The EO will book all exam rooms, after liaison with other users, and make the question papers, other exam stationery, and materials available for the invigilator(s).

Premises staff are responsible for setting up the allocated rooms at the instruction of the EO.

The EO or Lead Invigilator will start all exams in accordance with JCQ guidelines.
Subject staff are not allowed to be present in the exam unless specifically requested to be so by the Exams Officer – the exceptions to this are those practicals, listening or oral examinations, which require the presence of a subject specialist i.e. Art, Music, and Languages. [This may also extend to colour-blind candidates in Geography map-work, where colour can be critical.] They must not advise on which questions are to be attempted.

All examination candidates must provide official photographic ID – either their school swipe card, or passport or driver’s license. These will be checked at the start of each examination – Pupil Support Officers may be requested to ensure correct identification of the candidates.

Exam papers must not be read by subject teachers or removed from the exam room. Any un-used papers will be distributed to HODs after the despatch of the papers.

08 Candidates, Clash Candidates and Special Consideration

8.1 Candidates

The Centre’s published rules on acceptable dress and behaviour apply at all times.

Candidates should not bring mobile phones or other electronic devices capable of data storage or access into the examination – the consequences are very severe on a candidate’s examinations.

As a courtesy, a numbered zipped-bag is provided to deposit the equipment with the Centre but this in no way implies that the Centre accepts responsibility for that equipment.

Due to health concerns at this time, we are no longer able to collect and return such items. If a candidate does choose to bring these items to school during the exams, they must be left away from the exam room, at their own risk.

We will, however, accept such items if they are presented to us in a sealed, clearly labelled, clear pencil case – see examples here. This must be given to us well in advance of any exam.

Disruptive candidates are dealt with in accordance with JCQ guidelines.

Candidates may leave the exam room for a genuine purpose, requiring an immediate return to the exam room. In this case, an invigilator or other member of staff must accompany them. If this is a case of illness, the invigilator stays with them until the EO and SLT agree they do not need to return. The Centre must always bear in mind the times of 10:00 and 14:30 which are the earliest times that candidates may leave exam supervision.

The EO will attempt to contact any candidate (either directly, or via their parent/carer) who is not present at the start of an exam and deal with them in accordance with JCQ guidelines. The EO can call upon the assistance of PSOs and/or other staff to assist with contacting candidates.

Candidates must start their exams within 1 hour of the published start time – 10:00 for an AM paper and 14:30 for a PM paper. If a candidate arrives at the Centre after this time, they will not be allowed to sit their paper.

If the paper is a first-sit, the candidate will be expected to reimburse the school for the original entry fee.

It is the school policy that all first-sit candidates will remain in their examinations for the full published duration of their examinations.

Should circumstances (such as a candidate feeling unwell) cause delays in the completion of an exam paper, candidates are expected to finish their papers within 3 hours of the published start time – 12:00 for and AM paper and 16:30 for a PM exam.

Full information for exam candidates, including JCQ Regulations, is published in the document Exam Candidate Information.

8.2  Exam Clashes

Candidates will sit all clashing exams consecutively. For operational reasons, the EO will normally set the order in which these papers are to be sat; candidates can however request that papers are sat in a certain order, although the EO cannot guarantee that that order will be possible.

If a candidate is taking two or more papers timetabled in a session, and the total time is more than three hours, they must contact the EO at least four weeks prior to the exam date.

8.3 Overnight Supervisions

The EO is responsible, as necessary, for identifying escorts, a secure venue and arranging parental and candidate guarantees for overnight clashes.

8.4 Special Consideration

8.41 During an Examination

If any incident occurs during an examination, that a candidate feels has had a detrimental effect on their performance, it is the candidate’s responsibility to report this to Examinations staff (Invigilators or the EO) immediately, so that we may investigate and take appropriate action – up to, but not automatically including, applying for Special Considerations. 

If we are told after the event, it may not be possible to make representations to the Awarding Bodies.

8.42 Outside of an Examination

If any incident occurs outside of an examination that a candidate feels has had a detrimental effect on their performance, it is the candidate’s responsibility to contact the EO immediately. The EO can then take appropriate action – up to, but not automatically including, applying for Special Considerations.

8.43 Evidence and Process

Any Special Consideration claim must be supported by appropriate evidence within five days of the exam, for example a letter from the candidate’s doctor.

The EO will then forward a completed Special Consideration form online to the relevant Awarding Body within seven days of the exam.

8.5 Exams Missed Due to Ill-health

Candidates who are too ill to sit their exam must speak to the EO – they will have to complete the “Exams Missed Due to Ill-health” document (available on request)

09 Non-Examination Assessment (NEA) and NEA Reviews

Any reference to Non-examination Assessment (NEA) includes any work marked by staff of the King’s (The Cathedral) School, and moderated by the Awarding Bodies.

9.1 NEA

Candidates who have to prepare NEA must do so by the Centre-defined date.

HODs will ensure that all NEA are ready for despatch at the correct time and the EO will keep a record of what has been sent when, and to whom.

Marks for all NEA work are provided by the HOD’s to the Exams Officer, who then enters these online.

9.2 NEA Marks

The King’s (The Cathedral) School, Peterborough is committed to ensuring that whenever its staff assess students’ work for external qualification, this is done fairly, consistently and in accordance with the specification for the qualification concerned. Staff who have appropriate knowledge, understanding and skills, and who have been trained in this activity should conduct NEA.

Students’ work should be produced and authenticated according to the requirements of the Examinations Board. Where a set of work is divided between staff, consistency should be assured by internal moderation and standardisation.

If a student feels that this may not have happened in relation to his or her work, he or she may make use of the following appeals procedure.

9.3 NEA Mark Review – Process

9.31 Candidates told coursework mark;

Candidates are told their marks by the HOD or class teacher, only after full internal moderation procedures have been completed. 

9.32 Candidate requests copies of material;

Candidate requests copies from HOD or class teacher and, depending on the subject, will normally include copies of the;

• marked assessment
• mark scheme
• assessment criteria

Where a candidate can only view the original assessment materials (for instance, Art) they will not be allowed unsupervised access to the original materials or artefacts.

9.33 Candidate evaluates whether a review is appropriate;

Candidate reviews the available material.

Candidate discusses any concerns with the appropriate HOD.

If the candidate decides that they would like to have a review, they will need to explain, in writing, on what grounds they wish to request a review of an internally assessed mark – these reasons must make specific reference to the marked assessment and the mark scheme and/or assessment criteria.

If a candidate requests a review, they must remember that their marks may go up, down or stay the same – any outcomes are final (pending any change through the awarding bodies moderation process).

9.34 Candidate applies for a review;

Candidates must, within 5 working days of receiving their NEA marks, request copies of materials (see 9.32), review these and apply via email (see 9.33) to the EO for a review.

Once the candidate confirms that they wish a review to go ahead, the EO will;

• Inform the HOD of the candidate request.
• Advise candidate that the review process has started and expected outcome date

If a candidate fails to meet the five day deadline, we may not be able to undertake the NEA review. If marks have been submitted to the exam board (which will happen no sooner than 10 working days after candidates are told their marks) then candidates will not be able to request a review.

9.35 Review is undertaken;

The HOC will appoint a qualified member of teaching staff to conduct the review – it will be undertaken by the following staff, in order of preference, providing the member of staff has no personal interest in the outcome;

• Subject HOD
• Subject teacher
• HOD of another similar subject (i.e. Product Design for Textiles) with suitable support from originating subject team.
• An external agency, who has been verified by the HOD.

The investigation will decide whether the marking of the NEA conformed to the requirements of the awarding body and the examinations code of practice of the JCQ.

HOD supplies EO with written breakdown of the review, including;

• Members of staff involved in the review,• What work was looked at,• The marking outcome.

The review must be completed in time for the EO to submit final marks to the exam boards, to meet published deadlines.

The outcome of the review will be made known to the Headteacher.

A written record of the appeal will be kept and made available to the awarding body at their request.

9.36 Candidate is informed of outcome;

EO informs the candidate, in writing, of the outcome of the review, including any changes to marks.

10 Results, Enquiries About Results (EARs) and Access To Scripts (ATS)

10.1 Results

Candidates receive individual results sheets on Results Days in person at the Centre.
Any candidate who is unable to collect their results in person must organise alternative arrangements, in prior agreement with the EO.

Arrangements for the Centre to be open on Results Days are made by the HOC.

All staff are welcome to join SLT on Results Day(s).

Further information can be found here.

10.2 EAR’s

EARs may be requested by the HOD or candidates, if there are reasonable grounds for believing there has been an error in marking. Where the HOD wishes to make a request, this must be approved by the HOC, and the consent of the candidate(s) must be obtained in writing.

Where the HOD initiates the request, the cost will be met by the Centre. Where the candidate applies to have an enquiry carried out, they meet the costs – as such, all EAR requests from candidates / parents are upheld.

(See section 05 Exam Fees)
By applying, and paying for an EAR, candidates and parents accept that marks can go up, remain the same, or go down.

10.3 Appeals

The school will not fund a candidate or parent requested re-mark, this is the responsibility of the candidate or parent (see 10.2 EAR’s)

Should the centre have sufficient evidence, it may appeal the outcome of an EAR, on behalf of a candidate. Centres can only appeal against the Awarding Bodies procedures for EAR’s – they cannot appeal the mark awarded.

Appeals for EAR’s cannot encompass any incidents or conditions that existed at the time of the examinations (see 8.4 Special Consideration)

Should a candidate wish to appeal against the School’s processes with regards to EAR applications they may do so, in writing to the HOC.

10.4 ATS

After the release of results, candidates may at their own expense, ask the EO for a photocopy of their script within three working days e.g. Monday 16:00 for results issued the previous Thursday.

Centre staff may also request photocopies of scripts for investigation or for teaching purposes. In either case, the consent of candidates must be obtained in writing, costs being met from the Exams budget (investigation), or Curriculum Areas (teaching purposes).

Original scripts can also be requested. If requested by the candidate, they must meet the expenses, if requested by the HOD the consent of the candidates must be obtained in writing, and the Centre will meet the cost. 

Re-marks cannot be applied for once an original script has been returned.

10.5 Post-Results Services Information

Further information, including deadlines, procedures and prices, can be found here.

11 Certificates

Certificates are presented in person on Certificates Presentation Evening in December or January, collected, and signed for.

Certificates may be collected, and signed for, on behalf of a candidate by a third party – see “Third Party Collection

Certificates may be posted – see “Posting Certificates”.

The Centre retains certificates for a minimum of one year, they are then securely destroyed, as per Awarding Body instructions.
Certificates lost, or destroyed securely, can be replaced by the Awarding Body, at a cost to the candidate.

Further information can be found here.

Appendix 01 Non-examination Assessment (NEA) Classroom Warning

The following text is to be read to the group at the start of the NEA session – where the NEA takes place over a number of lessons, it needs only to be read at the very first session:

• This NEA  will be performed under Examination regulations – i.e. the same as any written exam undertaken in the Main Hall.

• You must follow fully all instructions given to you by the member of staff conducting the NEA.

• You may not communicate in any way with another candidate. You may not give help to another candidate or ask for help from another candidate. Should you have any questions, please put up your hand to attract the attention of the member of staff.

• If you are found to have any unauthorised item with you, even if you did not intend to use it, this will be dealt with as a disciplinary issue within the School and, depending on circumstances, may be reported to the Exam Board. 

• If it is discovered that you have broken the regulations, one of the following penalties could be applied by either the School or the Exam Board;

> the piece of work will be awarded zero marks;
> you will be disqualified from that unit for the examination series in question;
> you will be disqualified from the whole subject for that examination series;
> you will be disqualified from all subjects and barred from entering again for a period of time.

Your awarding body will decide which penalty is appropriate.

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