The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) is an umbrella body formed by the Exam Boards (also sometimes called Awarding Bodies) to oversee the administration of exams and it is the JCQ who create, and monitor the implementation of, the exam rules and regulations. The school must adhere to those rules and regulations and is regularly inspected by the JCQ.
For more detail please visit the JCQ's website.
JCQ produce information for students (candidates) about what is expected of them. There are 4 documents (which are all supplied in electronic format to students) and these can be found in our Downloads section.
A basic summary of the most important rules and regulations is given below.
Every student must be clearly identifiable by the exam invigilator (these are not school staff and do not know the school pupils by sight). The school provides students with KS4 ID cards for this purpose. They must bring this card with them to all of their exams and display it, face up, in the top right hand corner of their exam desk. Whilst a student would never be prevented from sitting an exam because they had forgotten their ID card we do ask that they be responsible about bringing, and displaying it, as is asked of them. Failure to do so may mean that an invigilator has to find a member of staff to identify the student to them and this can delay the start of an exam. Any delay in the start of an exam can cause anxiety to other students who are having to wait as a consequence. Replacements can be obtained from the School's IT Office at a cost of £1.50, however, this is not a "while you wait" service and they cannot be replaced on the morning of an exam.
The school employs external Invigilators to conduct the examinations. Students are expected to behave in a respectful manner towards all Invigilators and follow their instructions at all times.
- Invigilators are in the exam rooms to supervise the conduct of the examination.
- They will distribute and collect the exam papers
- They will tell candidates when to start and finish the exam
- They will hand out extra writing paper if required and deal with any problems that occur during the exam; for example if a candidate is feeling ill.
- Please note that Invigilators cannot discuss the exam paper with students or explain the questions.
- Invigilators cannot read any part of the questions to students (unless a prior application has been made to the exam board for this type of support).
Mobile Phones/Any Internet Enabled Device/Electronic Storage Devices
Mobiles phones and all types of electronic storage device are not permitted in an exam room unless you are expressly told it is permissible for a particular exam by invigilating staff. They must be switched off and then handed in, or stowed safely in bags, as instructed by the Invigilators. Disqualification from the paper you are sitting is almost certain to result from any infringement of this regulation even if the phone or storage device is switched off/is disconnected and it hasn't been used.
Watches that are not internet enabled must be placed on the exam desk and may not be worn during an exam. They are NOT permitted at all in an on-screen exam and must be handed in to invigilating staff or stowed safely the student's bag.
Conduct in the exam room
- No graffitti'ing on exam desks. This is vandalism.
- No graffiti or offensive comments on exam papers. This is malpractice – the exam paper can be disqualified.
- Listen carefully to instructions and notices read out by the Invigilators
- Read all instructions carefully and number answers clearly.
- Stay in the exam room for the duration of the exam.
- Disruptive behaviour won't be tolerated. There will be sanctions:
- two strikes policy
- will be roomed away from other candidates for all further exams
- parents/carers will be charged for the cost of employing a separate Invigilator for that student
- current cost of an Invigilator is approximately £8 per hour.
- check over answers/make sure all details are correct
- cross out neatly any rough work.
- treasury tag loose pages in order
- papers will be collected before you leave the room.
- Question papers, answer booklets and additional paper must NOT be taken from the exam room.
- remain seated in silence until told to leave the exam room
- leave the room in silence
- show consideration for other candidates who may still be working.
- move quietly around the site after an exam
Talking is not permitted in an exam under any circumstances unless it is to communicate with an invigilator. This rule also applies if there is an emergency evacuation - exam conditions remain regardless - unless it is to communicate with the invigilator.
In addition to the infringements mentioned above other forms of malpractice can include plagiarism, submitting offensive words or drawings on an exam paper and having any kind of revision note about your person e.g. in a pocket or written on your hand. The school is required to report any such incidents to JCQ and disqualification from that exam is almost certain to result.
For further details about Malpractice please visit the JCQ website.
The school has a duty to ensure that students' work is marked fairly and also to ensure that is produced in a fair and appropriate manner. With this in mind there is an "Internal Assessment Appeals Policy" and a policy regarding "Disciplinary Procedures for Academic Misconduct" both of these can be found in the Downloads section.
- In the Sports Hall bags and coats should be left in the changing rooms
- In the Assembly Hall bags and coats must be stowed safely under the stairs (so that they don’t cause an obstruction) unless otherwise instructed by a member of staff or an Invigilator.
- In a classroom room, or the Refectory, bags and coats should be left where the Invigilator instructs you (normally at the front of the room).
Talking is NOT permitted as soon as you enter the exam room
- You are under “exam conditions” from the moment you enter an exam room right up until you leave the room at the end of the exam.
- If an exam is stopped for ANY reason part way through there must be NO communication between candidates.
- If an emergency necessitates an evacuation you remain under “exam conditions” throughout. Talking is a reportable breach of exam regulations.
Emergency Evacuation Procedures
- If the fire alarm sounds during an exam the Invigilators will tell you what to do.
- Don’t panic.
- If you have to evacuate the room you will be asked to leave in silence and in the order in which you are sitting.
- If you are doing an onscreen test you will be instructed to SAVE your work before leaving your workstation.
- Leave everything on your desk.
- You will be escorted to a designated assembly point. This is NOT the normal assembly areas because you will not be permitted to meet up with students who are not taking the exam.
- Follow the Invigilators instructions at all times.
- You must not attempt to communicate with anyone else during the evacuation.
- When you return to the exam room do not start writing until the Invigilator instructs you.
- You will be allowed the full working time for the exam and a report will be sent to the awarding body detailing the incident.
- If candidates talk during an evacuation then they risk disqualification of their own paper and the paper of any student with whom they communicate.
Uniform in Exams.
Normal school uniform is expected to be worn in all exams with the following exceptions:
- If a student has returned to school from their College course to sit an exam and they are still in their College uniform
- After summer half term Year 11 students are not required to wear uniform when coming in for exams. A letter is posted home to parents in March/April of Year 11 giving details of this arrangement together with other essential information.
- All clothing worn during an exam must be appropriate and not cause a distraction to other students or be offensive in any way.
Other points to bear in mind regarding clothing for exams:
- any exam room can start to feel chilly when you have been sitting still for a long period of time
- if you feel the cold (and even if you don’t) it is recommended that you always wear your school sweater/cardigan as well as your jacket. You can always take them off if you get too hot
- white t shirts, with NO visible slogan may be worn under shirts and blouses
- if it is particularly cold then sweatshirts may also be worn under jackets provided they are removed before and after exams and hoods are NOT worn up.
- Hats, gloves, hoodies, coats and scarves may NOT be worn in an exam room at any time (this includes accessorising scarves worn by girls). The reason for this is that to do so contravenes either exam regulations or school uniform policy or both.
If you have any queries or questions then please contact the THS Exams Office staff:
Liz Ford, Exams Manager
Cathy Britton, Exams Assistant