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Latest information and updates from JCQ

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For up-to-date information on the cancellation of the summer 2020 exams in light of the Covid-19 outbreak, please click here​. 

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) is a membership organisation comprising the seven largest providers of qualifications in the UK offering GCSE, A level and vocationally related qualifications: AQA, CCEA, City & Guilds, Edexcel, OCR, SQA and WJEC.

JCQ undertakes a wide range of activities, such as the publishing of national GCSE and A level results in August; handling enquiries from examination officers; and publishing advice, guidance and regulations on delivering examinations, including:

  • access arrangements, reasonable adjustments, and special consideration guidance and forms;
  • key exam dates and timetables;
  • malpractice guidance and declaration forms;
  • past GCE and GCSE examination papers;
  • post-results services. 

NAHT meets with JCQ regularly along with other school leader and teaching associations, and the JCQ awarding organisations.

Latest JCQ information
  • The JCQ's consultation on banning all watches in examinations from the summer series 2021 was timed to end on Good Friday, 10 April 2020. As many centres are rightly focused on pressing matters, the JCQ has decided to extend the closing date until Friday 30 October

  • The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has published a report into the findings of the Independent Commission on Malpractice. The Commission was established by JCQ because of concerns about the impact of the small, but often high-profile examples of malpractice, which can damage the reputation of the UK’s qualifications system.

    The Commission found that the system in the UK works well and there is a very low level of malpractice. However, the report notes many ways in which the system can be improved, good practice encouraged, and malpractice better prevented. The Commission has made a number of recommendations. 

  • Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments 2019-20 guidance released: JCQ has released revised guidance on access arrangement and reasonable adjustments for the academic year 2019-20. Changes made to the content of the document since the previous version have been highlighted for easy identification. These include:
- the inclusion of the Equality Act 2010 definition of disability;

- clarification that SENCos must consider the need for access arrangements on a subject-by-subject basis;
- clarification that a person appointed to facilitate an access arrangement must not be a relative, friend, peer or private tutor of the candidate;
- further detail on the supplementary evidence required for applications of extra time, where a candidate’s score(s) is between 90-94 relating on standardised tests of speed;
- confirmation that “for candidates with learning difficulties assessment evidence and Form 8 is no longer required”; instead SENCos need only produce only a “short concise file note” confirming the nature of their impairment, and that the use of a reader reflects the “normal and current way of working” for that pupil.
- confirmation that the a centre must have a policy on the use of word processors.

  • JCQ has launched new video guidance for students focused on having mobile phones in examinations. We recommend that members share this with their students, perhaps as part of a school assembly or tutor time, to raise students awareness of the rules and regulations around having mobile phones in examinations. 
  • In response to the publishing of Ofqual's consultation into 'teacher involvement in developing exam papers and other confidential assessments', JCQ and its member-awarding organisations that offer GCSEs and GCEs in England, Cambridge Assessment International Education, International Baccalaureate Organization along with NAHT, AoC, ASCL, and HMC have released a statement outlining seven areas on which they will continue to collaborate to strengthen the system and build on the actions already taken by individual exam boards. See the full details. 
  • Recruitment of examiners is an ongoing process and all subjects were recruited sufficiently this year. JCQ is aiming to engage subject associations in examiner recruitment activity.

  • An initial draft document has been produced to express the commitment to working together of JCQ, awarding organisations and teacher associations, in light of the ending of the standing joint councils.

Last updated 27 March 2020