JCQ Advice to centres - severe weather conditions

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Advice to centres: Examinations during severe weather conditions and periods of disruption 

Awarding bodies have well rehearsed processes in place to deal with disruption caused by severe weather  conditions, which ensure that no student is disadvantaged.  

It is important to note that rescheduling the examinations is not an option due to the consequences this  would have across the system. For example, it would reduce significantly the amount of time schools and  colleges have to teach, and students to learn, in preparation for the summer examination series. The  integrity of the question papers could also be compromised, as the task of ensuring that all schools and colleges do not offer the examinations on the original scheduled date would be difficult to undertake and  guarantee. 

Taking all the factors in to account, drawing upon experience of previous years such as the disruption  caused by adverse weather conditions in 2010 and 2011, and in consultation with the regulators, awarding  bodies have agreed the following: 

  • Wherever possible the examinations should be conducted according to the centre's published  examination timetable. 

  • If conditions are so severe that a decision is made to close the school or college, whether by the local authority or the senior leadership team, or where a school or college remains open but some  individual candidates are unable to reach it because of extreme weather conditions, and no  alternative arrangements can be made to take the examination at a different location, then the  options are: 

      • Where candidates are entered for examinations but this is not their terminal
       (final) examination series, they may be entered again for the June 2012 series. 

      • Where candidates are sitting units as part of their terminal examination series or no
       further  re-sit opportunity is available, then an application for Special Consideration
       may be made. 

The candidate must meet the published criteria for Special Consideration as indicated in the JCQ publication, Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration. 

There is a published contingency plan for the examinations system at http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/files/2010-12-13-joint-contingency-plan-nov-2011-v5.pdf

Additional guidance is also available on the websites of individual awarding bodies and students should contact their school or college for further information. 

JCQ can be contacted on 0207 638 4132 or via email: info@jcq.org.uk


1 January 2012

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