Schools encouraged to review exams policy annually

08/06/2016 09:49:16 | Fiona Buchanan

The excitement - and headaches – have begun for probably the most important time of the year for schools: exams.

Independent schools have long been regarded as bringing in the best results, and according to the Independent Schools Council, last year “Nearly a third of ISC Year 11 entries were awarded A* grades compared to 7% nationally and half of A-level entries were awarded A or A*.”

Behind the front line of teachers and pupils, is the staff with administrative responsibilities to keep the whole process not only smooth running but also to accurately record data for submitting to the awarding bodies and reporting results.

For those of us not directly involved, GOV.UK gives an eye-opening insight into what goes on behind the scenes with their information on what exam centres should do when planning and running exams. It’s not just a matter of how to advise the tutor on issuing the command “Turn over your papers NOW”, but more about the myriad of responsibilities for staff in various roles.

Exam Policy templates are available from the website along with those for risk assessment, late entries and exams office reviews, and at the other end of the process, advice on how to run results day.

For most independent schools, this best practice has been in place for years: the end results for a school is one of the most important factors for maintaining their healthy admissions levels, and reviewing the policy annually helps keep up with revised procedures and uncovers any training requirements.

WCBS has long been involved in the Exams process. The External Exams module (and in Scotland, the module specifically designed for SQA) has been at the heart of the Exams Office for accurate reporting ensuring that Exam Boards, parents, children and of course, school records are kept up to date. It can be operated as a stand-alone module or as part of the full integrated solution.

It uses pupil records to deliver the information required and stores exam boards’ base data, so that entries can be handled efficiently with the minimum amount of manual work.

The necessary output files are generated for entries and amendments, forecast grades and coursework, plus processes the results file produced by the boards. Importantly all information about entries and results is written back to the pupil’s record, which means it is available now and for future reference.

A range of reports designed to make the exam administration process easier is included and results are delivered in a suitable format for display and further statistical analysis. More information can be downloaded here, (SQA here).

Please contact us by email or phone +44 (0)1458 833 344 if you would like to discuss this or any of our products specifically designed for independent schools.


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