Controlled assessment policy


The 14-19 education and skills reforms aim to make learning post-14 more engaging by providing a broader range of qualifications such as the Diplomas and apprenticeships. GCSE specifications have been revised to include features of the new secondary curriculum.
Controlled Assessments (CAs) have replaced coursework in 26 GCSE subjects. Different GCSE subjects will require different amounts of controlled assessment. All GCSE subjects are in one of three categories:

  1. Subjects with 60% CA (Art, DT, Dance, Drama, Media Studies, Music, PE, English Language, French, Spanish)
  2. Subjects with 25% CA (Classical Civilisations, Geography, History, RS, Business Studies, English Literature)
  3. Subjects with no CA (Maths)

Each CA will take place under supervised conditions. The key ideas underpinning the change from coursework to CA are:

  • Enables a more integrated approach to teaching, learning and assessment
  • Enables assessment of those aspects of a subject which cannot be readily assessed by an external examination such as undertaking research
  • Provides an increased facility to ensure that work is the student’s own
  • Enables teachers to choose the timing of the controlled assessment
  • Enables teachers to select from a choice of tasks and contextualise them
  • Is viewed as part of the course, rather than a separate activity. It is an integral part of teaching and learning
  • Usually takes place in the classroom, within the normal timetable
  • Features levels of control designed to maximise reliability and authenticity Process of Controlled Assessment:
  • The process has 3 stages
  1. Task Setting
  2. Task Taking
  3. Task Marking Task Setting:
  4. Tasks are set either by the awarding body (High control) or by the Centre (Medium Control) and, in both cases, must be developed according to the requirements of the specification. In some subjects, the awarding body sets the task, but the school may be able to select from a number of comparable examples or adapt a task to fit its own circumstances.

Task Taking

Three levels of control apply:

  1. Low control – students can work unsupervised outside the classroom. This is normally the research stage
  2. Medium control – students can work under informal supervision. This is normally the analysis stage
  3. High Control: Students complete their task under direct supervision throughout. This is the write up stage.

Task Marking

Task Marking has either a High or Medium Control level. High control means that the awarding body marks the tasks. Medium control is where work is assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the awarding body in the same way as coursework. In this case, staff will use internal moderation procedures to standardise marking.

Responsibility of staff in the implementation of the Controlled Assessment Policy

  1. The Senior Leadership Team has overall responsibility for ensuring CAs operate successfully. The Deputy Head (Curriculum) will be responsible for consulting with departments and monitoring arrangements. This will include dealing with problems with the timing or operation of CAs as well as issues arising from the need for particular resources.
  2. It is the responsibility of each Subject Leader to obtain the controlled assessment task details from the exam boards. If the CA material is electronic and requires authorised access (for example, it is password protected), the Exams Officer will need three days notice ahead of the material being used.
  3. The Subject Leader should choose the most appropriate time for the controlled assessment to take place.
  4. The Subject Leader should ensure that 40% of overall assessment (CA or external exam) is taken in the year/exam series in which the qualification is certificated.
  5. The Controlled Assessment may take place during timetabled class time.
  6. Departments must plan when and how the assessment will take place, taking into account the accommodation and resources required.
  7. Each department will be responsible for keeping a log which contains:
    • The date and time of each CA
    • The name of the supervising teacher
    • A list of candidates present during the CA
    • A list of absent candidates
    • A log of any incidents which occurred during the CA
  8. The Exams Officer should be notified when high level CAs are taking place.
  9. Relevant display materials must be removed or covered up.
  10. All staff must be aware of the relevant level of control permitted (high, medium or low) as this will determine the level of permitted supervision e.g. high control means that students are under exam conditions.
  11. When required, each student is to keep a research diary where they note the guidance and feedback received from their teacher. The diary should also contain a record of the research and planning stage containing notes, diagrams, essay plans and bibliography.
  12. All assessment materials must be locked in a suitable secure cabinet at the end of each session.
  13. If work is completed electronically, separate user accounts for exam use must be used for high control level work. These must have no access to internet or e-mail and must only be accessible during the controlled sessions. If work is saved on memory sticks these must be collected in after each session and locked away as in 12 above.
  14. If a student is absent, the teacher must allow that student the chance to make up the time if necessary.
  15. For long absences, special consideration should be applied for.
  16. Entries for controlled assessment must be made at the appropriate time.
  17. Attendance records from assessment sessions should be kept by the class teacher.
  18. Work may be handwritten in black ink or word processed. Printouts, charts and videos can be included where appropriate.
  19. Where the specification permits students to work with others, e.g. during collection of data, any descriptions of the joint work must be in each candidate’s own words.
  20. Where work is assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the exam board, standardisation of marking must take place in the school if more than one teacher is involved in the assessing.
  21. If suspected malpractice occurs, the Exams Officer must be informed.
  22. If a student’s work is lost within the school, this must be reported to the exam board.
  23. Authentication forms must be signed by the teachers and candidates.
  24. Access arrangements do apply to controlled assessment.
  25. The assessment marks must be submitted to the exam board by the appropriate date.
  26. Candidates’ work must be securely stored as in 12 above until all results have been verified.
  27. Re-sits of controlled assessment may be allowed in the next exam session. (This may not be necessary if a student has accumulated a portfolio of work to choose from.)
  28. After the results are published it may be possible to request a re-moderation of the work.