Managing non-examination assessment for GCSE (9-1) Computer Science (first teaching September 2016)

Thu Dec 08 00:45:00 UTC 2016

A message issued on behalf of all four awarding organisations with accredited GCSE (9-1) qualifications in England (AQA, OCR, Pearson and WJEC Eduqas).

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This document sets out the key control processes that have been agreed with
Ofqual, and will be implemented by all four awarding organisations.

GCSE (9-1) Computer Science is the only Ebacc subject which has non-examination assessment (NEA). As awarding organisations, we know how important it is that learners have confidence in the services and outcomes they receive and Ofqual has asked us to introduce additional controls and processes to support the management of NEA in this subject. These processes have been designed to address Ofqual’s concerns about the robustness of the NEA assessment.  

Conducting NEA: what you need to know

  • Tasks will be released in September prior to the final assessments. For example, tasks will be released on 1 September 2017, for students taking their exams in summer 2018.
  • Information about the regulations relating to the security of NEA tasks and sharing of solutions will be provided on the front of NEA task booklets.
  • Assessment takes place as normal within the centre. You should follow your awarding organisation’s normal procedures for submitting marks and work. Please contact your awarding organisation for further information about how to submit marks and work.
  • The deadline for submission of NEA marks will be 31 March, rather than 15 May.This is to allow awarding organisations time to conduct additional checks during moderation.

Centre visits: what you need to know

  • Every September, following the issuing of results, awarding organisations will identify centres of concern, and conduct mandatory visits to these centres to inspect the delivery of NEA. Centres will be visited if:
    • They had a statistically unusual distribution of written paper and NEA marks.
    • They are suspected of malpractice in GCSE Computer Science (9-1) NEA (or GCSE Computing in the previous year).
    • They have been found guilty of malpractice in GCSE Computer Science (9-1) NEA
  • Additionally, a small percentage of new and small centres will be visited.
  • Visits to centres will take place between September and March each year.
  • Further information about the arrangements for the visits will be published soon.

What else are awarding organisations doing?

Awarding organisations are also introducing some additional processes behind the scenes. These processes will not require centres to take any additional action.

  • Awarding organisations will proactively monitor websites to identify inappropriate sharing of material.
  • Awarding organisations will provide moderators with additional training in detecting common signs of malpractice.
  • Centres which have a statistically unusual relationship between their written paper and NEA marks will have additional, enhanced moderation checks. These will be carried out by senior moderators before results are issued in the summer.
  • Marking tolerance will be reduced from 6% to 4%.This means that if the difference between a centre’s mark for a piece of work and a moderator’s mark is more than 4% of the total marks available, then the centre’s marks may be adjusted.

Suspected malpractice

If suspected malpractice is identified then awarding organisations will follow published JCQ procedures.

See the JCQ website for more information 
If you have any queries regarding the content of this document please contact your chosen awarding organisation for clarification.
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