The Joint Council of Qualifications (JCQ) and the Department for Education have issued guidance on protocol for students who miss key exams. After two years of cancelled GCSE and A levels, exams will be going ahead this summer but infection rates may mean some pupils are unable to take an exam.
What do I do if my child has to miss an exam?
If your son or daughter is unwell due to Coronavirus and has to miss an exam, a JCQ self-certification form 14 needs to be completed and returned to their school or college to be verfiried. The form needs to be completed by both the exam candidate and their parent or carer. The school will then submit the verified form to the relevant exam board as part of a special consideration application.
How does the exam board verifiy the illness?
At present, there isn't any rule regarding needing to provide any proof of Covid-19. However, the Department for Education suggests taking a photograph of a positive test result.
How does the exam board decide whether to allow special consideration due to Covid?
In addition to the pupils self-certification form, the school submits a form. This form says self-certification can only be submitted if "the centre has no reason to suspect that this may be a fraudulent claim". The form also makes it clear to students and parents that a false claim carries heavy consequences.
If the exam board accepts both forms, they will award the student a grade based on the student's overall performance. This might be using non-exam components, such as coursework, or if the course is only made up of examinations, then using the marks from the other exams the student were able to sit.
Is this the same procedure for a student is unwell for any reason?
Yes, it's the same for any missed exam due to illness and the same as in previous years if a student is unwell on the day of their examination.
What happens if a pupil goes to school to sit and exam and then feels unwell?
The Department for Educations says that all students should follow the UK Health Security Agency guidance that says people "who have a high temperature, or do not feel well, should try to stay at home and avoid contact with others".
What my son or daughter misses more than one exam?
There are longer gaps between papers this year to allow for exams to be spread out in each subject. Gaps of at least 10 days are standard. However, if a student misses two of their exams, as long as one component of that exam has been completed and the student has been prepared for the entire course, they should still be given a grade.