The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) has issued a range of materials aimed at both supporting Exams Officers and explaining their role to other staff and to parents.
Among the materials is a blog post from Marcia Woods, Exams Officer at Brookfield Community School in Chesterfield, who describes what she and her colleagues do during the year.
Exams Officers must be familiar with a 60+ page manual of rules and regulations on how exam papers are managed and securely stored, she writes, as well as how exam rooms are set up, the equipment students are allowed to take in with them, and other factors intended to ensure that the process is secure and fair to all students.
Ofqual acknowledges that running exams is “a tough job”, requiring all-year-round effort as well as presenting particular challenges during the exam season.
In addition to explaining what Exams Officers do, Ofqual has been working with them to create a film about their role.
It has also produced a recording and transcript of a webinar for Exams Officers held in November 2018, which is available, along with links to other materials, at www.gov.uk.
One of the main issues highlighted in Ofqual’s discussions with Exams Officers is that of mobile phones.
As is made clear in an exam checklist for students, mobile phone and any web-enabled devices must be switched off and stored in line with advice from the relevant Exams Officer.
Interestingly, evidence suggests that most students want to have their phones with them not to cheat, but because they are concerned about loss or damage.
The checklist also advises students to: make sure they are aware of the date, time and location of their exams; check that they have any equipment needed (such as black pens, ruler, calculator); and that there is no label on any drinks bottle they want to take into the exam room.
Last reviewed 3 April 2019