As part of the 2007 review of GCSE qualification and subject criteria, QCA commissioned a report on internal assessment in GCSE specifications. The report which was published in June 2007 recommended that coursework should be replaced in the majority of subjects by controlled assessment.
Controlled Assessment is a form of internal assessment where the control levels (High, Medium or Low) are set for each stage of the assessment process: task setting task taking and task marking. In some subjects, work will be marked by the awarding body. For most subjects, however, work will be marked by the centre and moderated by the awarding body.
Process Of Controlled Assessment:
The process has 3 stages:
- Task Setting
- Task Taking
- Task Marking
Tasks are set either by the awarding body (High Control) or by the Centre (Medium Control) and in both cases, must be developed according to the requirements of the specification.
Three levels of control apply:
- Low Control - students can work unsupervised outside the classroom
- Medium Control - students can work under informal supervision
- High Control - students complete their task under direct supervision throughout
Task Marking has either a High or Medium Control level.
- High Control means that the awarding body marks the tasks
- Medium Control is where work is assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the awarding body in the same way as coursework
Roles And Responsibilities
The role of the Senior Leadership Team will:
- Ensure that each department carries out controlled assessment in accordance with the instructions issued by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).
- Co-ordinate, with Heads of Department, a schedule for controlled assessment to take place.
- Map overall resource management requirements for the year. As part of this resolve:
- Clashes/problems over the timing or operation of controlled assessments.
- Issues arising from the need for particular facilities (rooms, IT networks, time out of school, etc).
- Ensure all staff, students and parents have access to a calendar of events.
Heads Of Departments Will Ensure:
- The safe and secure conduct of controlled assessment in their area and comply with JCQ guidelines and awarding bodies' subject-specific instructions.
- 40% of overall assessment (controlled and/or external assessment) is taken in the exam series in which the qualification is certificated.
- All marking is standardised.
- All teachers in each department understand their responsibilities with regard to controlled assessment and are familiar with the contents of the JCQ publication "Instructions for conducting controlled assessments".
- Individual teachers understand the requirements of the awarding body's specification, particularly the level of control required, and are familiar with the relevant teachers' notes, and any other subject specific instruction.
- There is a clear policy in the department handbook on the carrying out of controlled assessment and appropriate staff training takes place on an annual basis.
- All confidential materials, together with the work produced by the candidates, are stored securely at all times. Secure storage is defined as a secure locked steel cabinet, a metal cabinet or similar.
- Support Staff are given sufficient notice in which to order and prepare materials needed for assessments.
- The Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator (SENCo) is informed about any assistance required for the administration and management of access arrangements.
- In the case of formal supervision (High Control) candidates do not have access to email, the internet, mobile phones or any other electronic devices.
- Where videos or photographs/images of the candidates are to be included as part of the controlled assessment, consent is obtained from parents/carers/guardians.
- A log is kept which contains:
- The date and time of each assessment together with its title.
- The name of the supervising teacher.
- A list of candidates who were present during the assessment.
- A list of any absent candidates.
- A log of any incidents which occurred during the assessment is kept for each controlled assessment.
Teaching Staff Must:
- 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.
- Obtain confidential materials/tasks set by awarding bodies in sufficient time to prepare for the assessment(s) and ensure that such materials, together with the work produced by the candidates, are stored securely at all times.
- Supervise assessments (at the specified level of control) and undertake the tasks required under the regulations, only permitting assistance to students as the specification allows.
- Ensure that the 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 to the TLR holder at the date required, keeping a record of the marks awarded.
- Retain candidates' work securely between assessment sessions (if more than one).
- 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.
The Exams Officer Will:
- 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.
- Take responsibility for receipt, safe storage and safe transmission, whether in CD, digital or hard copy format.
- Download and distribute mark sheets for teaching staff to use, and collect and send mark sheets 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.
The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) Will:
- Ensure access arrangements have been applied for.
- Work with teaching staff to ensure requirements for support staff are met.
- At the start of a formal session of controlled assessment candidates will be reminded to turn their phone off and disable alarms.
- Staff are encouraged to go through the JCQ Notice to Candidates (for controlled assessments) at the start of each assessment and ensure that they fully understand the penalties incurred in the case of any kind of malpractice.
The Headteacher Will:
- Report to the appropriate awarding body at the earliest opportunity all suspicions or actual incidents of malpractice.
- If the irregularity is discovered prior to the candidate signing the declaration of authentication form, investigate any alleged malpractice internally and record the outcome on the authentication form supplied by the awarding body.
- If the irregularity is identified after the candidate has signed the declaration of authentication, the Headteacher will submit full details of the case to the relevant awarding body at the earliest opportunity.
- Supervise all investigations resulting from an allegation of malpractice.
- Ensure that if it is necessary to delegate an investigation to a member of staff, the member of staff chosen is independent, and not connected to the department involved in the suspected malpractice. This is to avoid conflicts of interest which can otherwise compromise the investigation.
- Respond speedily and openly to all requests for an investigation into an allegation of malpractice, as this is in the best interests of centre staff, candidates and any others involved.
- The school will carry out an investigation where it is evident that a teacher has helped a child with their controlled assessment beyond the guidelines contained within each specification.
- Where there is malpractice, it will be dealt with under the disciplinary policy of the school and the awarding body will be informed.
Responsibility Of Staff In The Implementation Of The Controlled Assessment Policy
- It is the responsibility of each Subject Leader to obtain the controlled assessment task details from the exam boards.
- The Subject Leader should choose the most appropriate time for the controlled assessment to take place.
- The Controlled Assessment may take place during timetabled class time. Learning Areas must plan when and how the assessment will take place, taking into account the accommodation and resources required.
- The Exams Officer should be notified when High Level Controlled Assessment is taking place.
- Relevant display materials must be removed or covered up. All staff must be aware of the relevant level of control permitted (high, medium or low) as this will determine the level of permitted supervision, e.g. high control means that students are under exam conditions.
- All assessment materials must be locked in a suitable secure cabinet at the end of each session.
- Separate user accounts for exam use must be used for High Control Level work. These must have no access to the internet or email and must only be accessible during the controlled sessions. If work is saved on memory sticks, these must be collected in after each session and locked away as in number 6.
- If a student is absent, the teacher must allow that student the chance to make up the time if necessary.
- For long absences, special consideration should be applied for.
- Entries for Controlled Assessment must be made at the appropriate time.
- Attendance records from assessment sessions should be kept by the class teacher.
- Work may be handwritten in black ink or word processed. Printouts, charts and videos can be included where appropriate.
- Where the specification permits students to work with other, e.g. during collection of data, any descriptions of the joint work must be in each candidate's own words.
- Where work is assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the examination board, standardisation of marking must take place in the school if more than one teacher is involved in the assessing.
- If suspected malpractice occurs, the Examinations Officer must be informed.
- If a student's work is lost within the school, this must be reported to the examination board.
- Authentication forms must be signed by the teachers and candidates.
- Access arrangements do apply to controlled assessment.
- The assessment marks must be submitted to the examination board by the appropriate date.
- Candidates' work must be securely stored as in number 6 above until all results have been verified.
- Re-sits of Controlled Assessment may be allowed in the next exam session.
- After the results are published, it may be possible to request a re-moderation of the work.
Monitoring And Evaluation
This policy will be monitored on behalf of the Governing Body by the Governors' Curriculum Committee on a biennial basis.
The policy should be read in conjunction with the Exams Policy.