Exams

Exams 2022: Invigilator rules relaxed over shortage fears

But experts warns schools still face 'huge challenge' in securing enough invigilators

But experts warns schools still face 'huge challenge' in securing enough invigilators

3 May 2022, 13:52

More from this author

Schools will be allowed to use fewer exam invigilators and also staff that teach the subject being examined under new guidance designed to alleviate anticipated disruption.

Guidance published by the Joint Council for Qualifications late last week has relaxed normal protocols after schools voiced concerns they would not be able to source enough invigilators.

It comes after the National Association of Examinations Officers revealed over four in five of 1,000 exam officers surveyed reported a shortage.

Here is what schools need to know:

1. Invigilator ratio expanded to 40:1 …

Under normal circumstances, exam centres are required to ensure at least one invigilator is present for each group of 30 or fewer pupils. For practical exams, the ratio is normally 20:1

However, schools will be allowed to use one invigilator for a group of up to 40 pupils during summer exams “where it is not possible for the centre to meet standard requirements”.

Student penalties for exam breaches were up 43 per cent in 2022, with mobile phones making up the majority of offences

The threshold for practical exams has also been increased to 30:1.

JCQ states that in “exceptional cases”, where all other options have been exhausted, “the examination may continue with the invigilators that are available provided that the centre notifies the relevant awarding body on the day of the examination”.

The awarding body will then decide if the exam scripts can be accepted.

But if the exam centre is not confident the exam “can be conducted with integrity” due to a lack of invigilators, they are advised to consider delaying the exam until later that day or splitting the cohort into smaller groups.

2. … and subject teachers CAN invigilate

If no other suitable invigilators are available, subject teachers can invigilate an examination in their own subject.

This is normally prohibited, but will be allowed this summer as long as the teachers are briefed to be “particularly careful not to influence candidates’ responses”.

These teachers must not be the sole or lead invigilator for a group of pupils they have taught, the guidance adds.

Tom Middlehurst, assessment specialist at the Association of Schools and College Leaders, supported the changes but warned that “even with this in place, schools and colleges face a huge challenge in ensuring they have enough invigilators”.

“A lot of the uncertainty surrounding this summer’s exams could be eradicated if students and staff still had access to free testing and we have repeatedly asked the government to reintroduce this.”

3. Exams can start later, but must be on same day

Exam centres can normally vary an exam start time by up to 30 minutes.

This summer’s exams may start later as long as they take place on the timetabled date and pupils are supervised “from no later than 30 minutes after the published start time until the examination starts”.

In this scenario, the exam centre must notify the relevant awarding body on the day of the exam.

The guidance adds: “If groups of candidates are due to take the examination in different rooms, centres may start each group as soon as they are ready, provided that the remaining candidates remain under supervision.”

4. Prior approval required for remote invigilation

Remote invigilation may be permitted in “very exceptional cases”.

But JCQ warns that prior approval must be granted from the relevant awarding body and “will not be granted on the day of the examination”.

5. Alternative sites can split exam cohorts

Schools are are advised to follow existing alternative site guidance, which requires exam centres to submit a notification of intent six weeks before exams begin.

It is acknowledged this may not always be possible for a candidate in hospital or sitting an exam at home, but “late submission should be made as soon as the details are known”.

JCQ adds: “This process can also be used if it is necessary to split a cohort of candidates and relocate one group of candidates to an alternative site.”

6. Pupils unable to sit exams can get ‘calculated grade’

Where candidates cannot sit the exam within the centre or at an alternative site a “calculated grade”, known as an aegrotat, may be used to ensure they are not disadvantaged.

This scenario would occur when some exams in the qualification have already, or can be, completed, and centres must apply for special consideration in the normal way.

Where candidates cannot sit any exams, they should sit them in a later series, the guidance adds.

Latest education roles from

Electrical Installation Trainer

Electrical Installation Trainer

Barnsley College

Sessional Science Lab Technician

Sessional Science Lab Technician

Merton College

Sessional Lecturer – Plumbing

Sessional Lecturer – Plumbing

South Thames College

EA to the CEO & Senior Directors

EA to the CEO & Senior Directors

Haberdashers’ Academies Trust South

Chief Executive Officer Cornwall Education Learning Trust (CELT)

Chief Executive Officer Cornwall Education Learning Trust (CELT)

Satis Education

Head of Faculty (History and RS)

Head of Faculty (History and RS)

Ark Greenwich Free School

Sponsored posts

Sponsored post

How can we prepare learners for their future in an ever-changing world?

By focusing their curriculums on transferable skills, digital skills, and sustainability, schools and colleges can be confident that learners...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Inspiring Education Leaders for 10 Years

The 10th Inspiring Leadership Conference is to be held on 13 and 14 June 2024 at the ICC in...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Inspire creativity in your classroom. Sky Arts’ Access All Arts week is back!

Now in its third year, Access All Arts week is a nationwide celebration of creativity for primary schools (17-21...

SWAdvertorial
Sponsored post

Unleash the Power of Sport in your setting this summer! National School Sports Week is back!

Unleash the Power of Sport this summer with National School Sports Week powered by Monster Kickabout! From 17-23 June,...

SWAdvertorial

More from this theme

Exams

Exams: Entries boost in statistics and engineering GCSEs

Further maths and physics A-levels also see increase in entries, but GCSE citizenship and A-level sociology become less popular

Freddie Whittaker
Exams

Sir Ian Bauckham is Keegan’s pick for permanent Ofqual chief

But his confirmation will be left up to whoever forms the next government

Freddie Whittaker
Exams

Civil service boss: Covid exams U-turn ‘most awful governing ever’

Simon Case said in August 2020 that 'lots of people should lose their heads' over exams fiasco

Samantha Booth
Exams

Exams: GCSE and A-level prices soar by inflation-busting 6.4%

CPI over the same period was 3.8%, but Ofqual says prices in line with inflation over a longer period

Freddie Whittaker

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *