Controlled Assessment Policy

Outlining staff responsibilities – GCSE controlled assessment

Senior leadership team
• Accountable for the safe and secure conduct of controlled assessments. Ensure assessments comply with JCQ guidelines and awarding bodies’ subject-specific instructions.

• At the start of the academic year, begin coordinating with heads of department/subject to schedule controlled assessments. (It is advisable that controlled assessments be spread throughout the academic years of key stage 4).

• Map overall resource management requirements for the year. As part of this resolve:

o Clashes/ problems over the timing or operation of controlled assessments.
o Issues arising from the need for particular facilities (rooms, IT networks, time out of school etc.)

• Ensure that all staff involved have a calendar of events

• Create, publish and update an internal appeals policy for controlled assessments.

Heads of department/faculty
• Decide on the awarding body and specification for a particular GCSE.

• Ensure that at least 40% of overall assessment (controlled and/or external assessment) is taken in the exam series in which the qualification is certificated, to satisfy the terminal assessment requirement in accordance with the awarding body specification.

• Standardise internally the marking of all teachers involved in assessing an internally assessed component.

• Ensure that individual teachers understand their responsibilities with regard to controlled assessment.

• Ensure that individual teachers understand the requirements of the awarding body’s specification and are familiar with the relevant teachers’ notes, and any other subject specific instructions.

• Where appropriate, develop new assessment tasks or contextualize sample awarding body assessment tasks to meet local circumstances, in line with awarding body specifications and control requirements.

Teaching staff
• Understand and comply with the general guidelines contained in the JCQ publication Instructions for conducting controlled assessments.

• Understand and comply with the awarding body specification for conducting controlled assessments, including any subject-specific instructions, teachers’ notes or additional information on the awarding body’s website.

• Supply to the exams office details of all unit codes for controlled assessments.

• Obtain confidential materials/tasks set by awarding bodies in sufficient time to prepare for the assessment(s) and ensure that such materials are stored securely at all times.

• Supervise assessments (at the specified level of control). Undertake the tasks required under the regulations, only permitting assistance to students as the specification allows.

• Ensure that students and supervising teachers sign authentication forms on completion of an assessment.

• Mark internally assessed components using the mark schemes provided by the awarding body. Submit marks through the exams office to the awarding body when required, keeping a record of the marks awarded.

• Retain candidates’ work securely between assessment sessions (if more than one).

• Post-completion, retain candidates’ work securely until the closing date for enquiries about results. In the event that an enquiry is submitted, retain candidates work securely until the outcome of the enquiry and any subsequent appeal has been conveyed to the centre.

• Ask the appropriate special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) for any assistance required for the administration and management of access arrangements.

Exams office staff
• Enter students for individual units, whether assessed by controlled assessment, external exam or on-screen test, before the deadline for final entries.

• Enter students’ ‘cash-in’ codes for the terminal exam series.

• Where confidential materials are directly received by the exams office, to be responsible for receipt, safe storage and safe transmission, whether in CD or hard copy format.

• Download and distribute marksheets for teaching staff to use, and collect and send marksheets to awarding bodies before deadlines.

• On the few occasions where controlled assessment cannot be conducted in the classroom arrange suitable accommodation where controlled assessment can be carried out, at the direction of the senior leadership team.

Special educational needs coordinator/additional learning support
• Ensure access arrangements have been applied for.

• Work with teaching staff to ensure requirements for support staff are met.

Controlled Assessments: Risk Assessment

Example risks and issuesPossible remedial actionStaff

Forward planning


Assessment schedule clashes with other activitiesPlan/establish priorities well ahead (e.g. start of academic year) for all subjects or lines of learningPlan dates in consultation with school calendar – negotiate with other partiesKerry Phillips/ Lyndsey Wyatt/DoL’s
Too many assessments close together across subjects or lines of learningPlan assessments so they are spaced over the duration of the courseSpace assessments to at least allow candidates some time between assessmentsKerry Phillips/ Lyndsey Wyatt/DoL’s
Insufficient space in classrooms for candidatesOnce group sizes are known at the start of the year, flag instances where regular classroom space may not be suitable to conduct controlled assessmentUse more than one classroom or multiple sittings where necessaryLyndsey Wyatt/Dawn Gladrey
Insufficient facilities for all candidatesCareful planning ahead and booking of rooms / centre facilitiesLyndsey Wyatt/Dawn Gladrey/Val Corcoran
Example risks and issuesPossible remedial actionStaff

Forward planning


Downloading awarding body set tasks
IT system unavailable on day of assessmentDownload tasks well ahead of scheduled assessment date in all casesBook IT equipment well ahead and download tasks before scheduled date of assessmentIan Worsley/Lyndsey Wyatt
Teaching staff/assessors unable to access task detailsTest secure access rights ahead of schedule every year and every sessionEnsure teaching staff/assessors have access rights for correct area of awarding body secure extranet sites ahead of timeIan Worsley/Lyndsey Wyatt
Loss of task details in transmissionDownload tasks well ahead of scheduled assessment dateReport loss to awarding body for replacement; download againIan Worsley/Lyndsey Wyatt
Absent candidates
Candidates absent for all or part of assessment (various reasons)Plan alternative session(s) for candidates Lyndsey Wyatt/Subject Staff
Candidates have a scheduling clash for exams or assessment (possibly offsite on consortium teaching) Always consider candidate timetables well ahead and decide on priorities in advance to scheduling clashesCheck before booking the date; provide an alternative date, where necessary and consult awarding body procedures for dealing with timetabling clashes

N.B. retakes of controlled assessment are limited

Lyndsey Wyatt/Subject Staff
Example risks and issuesPossible remedial actionStaff

Forward planning


Control levels for task taking
Assessment is undertaken under incorrect level of control (time, resources, supervision and collaboration)Ensure teaching staff/assessors know what level is applicable and understand what is involved. Provide training if requiredSeek guidance from the awarding bodyDoL’s/Lyndsey Wyatt
Student study diary/plan not provided or completed*Ensure teaching staff/assessors are aware of the need for study diary/plans to be completed early in courseEnsure candidates start, continue and complete study diary/plans that are signed after every sessionDoL’s/Subject Staff
Teaching staff/assessors do not understand supervision of controlled assessment is their responsibilityEnsure teaching staff/assessors understand nature of controlled assessments and their role in supervisionDoL’s/Subject Staff
Suitable supervisor has not been arranged for an assessment where teaching staff/assessors are not supervisingA suitable supervisor must be arranged for any controlled assessment where a teacher/assessor is not supervising, in line with the awarding body specification.Lyndsey Wyatt

* Not all controlled assessment whether for the Diploma or GCSEs will require the completion of a study diary or study plans

Example risks and issuesPossible remedial actionStaff

Forward planning


Task setting
Teaching staff/assessors fail to correctly set tasksEnsure teaching staff/assessors understand the task setting arrangements as defined in the awarding body specification**Seek guidance from the awarding bodyDoL’s/Subject Staff
Assessments have not been moderated as required in the awarding body specificationCheck specification and plan required moderation appropriatelySeek guidance from the awarding bodyDoL’s/Subject Staff
Security of materials
Assessment tasks not kept secure before assessmentEnsure teaching staff understand importance of task securityRequest/obtain different assessment tasksLyndsey Wyatt
Candidates’ work not kept secure during or after assessmentDefine appropriate level of security, in line with awarding body requirements, for each department as necessaryTake materials to secure storageLyndsey Wyatt/DoL’s/

Subject Staff

Insufficient or insecure storage spaceLook at provision for suitable storage early in the courseFind alternative spacesDoL’s/Subject Staff/Lyndsey Wyatt

** All tasks whether set by the awarding body or the centre/consortium must be developed in line with the requirements of the specification.

Example risks and issuesPossible remedial actionStaff

Forward planning


Deadlines not met by candidates

Ensure all candidates are briefed on deadlines/penalties for not meeting themMark what candidates have produced by deadline and seek guidance from awarding body on further action.DoL’s/Subject Staff
Deadlines for marking and/or paperwork not met by teaching staff/ assessorsEnsure teaching staff/assessors are given clear deadlines (prior to awarding body ones) to complete marking/paperwork so the exams office can process and send off marks ahead of AB deadlinesSeek guidance from awarding bodyDoL’s/Subject Staff/Lyndsey Wyatt
Candidate fails to sign authentification formEnsure all candidates have authentication forms to sign and attach to work when it is completed before handing inFind candidate and ensure form is signedSubject Staff/Lyndsey Wyatt
Teaching staff/assessors fail to complete authentication forms or leave before completing authenticationEnsure teaching staff/assessors understand importance of authentication forms and the requirement of a signatureReturn form to staff for signature. Ensure forms are signed as work is marked, not at end of seasonSubject Staff/Lyndsey Wyatt
Example risks and issuesPossible remedial actionStaff

Forward planning


Teaching staff/assessors interpret marking descriptions incorrectlyEnsure appropriate training and practicing of marking. Plan for sampling of marking during the practice phase.Arrange for remarking. Consult awarding body specification for appropriate procedureDoL’s/Subject Staff
Centre does not run standardisation activity as required by the awarding bodyPlan against the requirements for standardisation for the awarding body when and how this activity will be conducted.Check with the awarding body whether a later standardisation event can be arranged.DoL’s/Subject Staff