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					                          HILLS ROAD SIXTH FORM COLLEGE

                                    Coursework Policy

Date approved by Standards Committee                                             June 2009

Post of member of staff responsible:                                       Deputy Principal

Date of equality impact assessment:                                               June 2009


A      16-19 Full-time Students

1.0    Policy Statement

1.1    Coursework refers to work that is completed independently and not under
       examination conditions; coursework marks contribute towards the final grade of
       the subject concerned.

1.2    It is the responsibility of each department to keep the coursework database1 up-
       to-date and to ensure that students are aware at the beginning of each academic
       year of major coursework requirements, including dates, deadlines and the JCQ
       guidelines2.

1.3    Coursework must be the independent work of the student concerned. The
       College’s Plagiarism Policy explains the procedures to be followed in the event of
       suspected malpractice.

1.4    Students must meet coursework deadlines.

2.0    Procedure

2.1    Where a coursework deadline will clash with another College activity3 (eg a
       foreign language exchange visit), a head of department may decide to adjust the
       final coursework deadline for those students affected. In such circumstances, the
       head of department should communicate the adjustment to all concerned at the
       start of the coursework period. Such adjustments may only be initiated by the
       head of department or by his/her deputy.

2.2    Interim deadlines will be used to monitor progress for coursework that
       contributes a significant proportion of marks and/or which is undertaken over a
       significant period of time.

2.3    Signatures will be obtained from both a member of staff and the student when a
       completed piece of coursework is handed in, providing evidence of:
       o     the date the coursework was handed in
       o     the identity of the designated member of staff who received the work.


1
  This is available, under the heading ‘coursework system maintenance’, on the staff site of
the College intranet.
2
  The JCQ document, “Notice to Candidates - ….Coursework and Portfolios” is available via
Coursework Regulations in the examinations section of the intranet
3
  Purely recreational activities (eg College ski trip) are excluded.
      Submission of coursework by email or by post is unacceptable.

2.4   It is not acceptable for students to miss lessons in order to meet a coursework
      deadline; such absences will be treated as unauthorised.

2.5   A student who anticipates a difficulty in meeting a deadline should discuss the
      difficulty as soon as it is identified with the subject teacher, head of subject or
      the head of department; any request for an extension must be in writing and
      will trigger a level 1 referral. The head of department may grant an extension if
      the circumstances are very exceptional and beyond the student’s control. The
      granting of an extension will be recorded in the e-log.

2.6   Any student who has unforeseen difficulty4 near the deadline will be required to
      bring proof of the difficulty; in the case of illness, this should be a doctor’s
      certificate. This will trigger a level 1 referral and a record of the outcome will be
      ‘e-logged’ by the head of department or head of subject.

2.7   If a student looks likely to fail to meet a final coursework deadline (for example,
      by missing an interim deadline), and there are no grounds for granting an
      extension (see 2.5 above), a level 1 referral will be completed. The head of
      department will then check with the tutor whether there are any extenuating
      circumstances before using the standard letter (see appendix 1) to inform
      parents of the missed deadline. A copy of this letter should be sent to the tutor.

2.8   Failure to meet the final coursework deadline set by the department will mean
      that the coursework will not be marked or submitted to the awarding body for
      assessment/moderation. This may mean that a student will be unable to
      complete his or her course in the current academic year. A level 2 referral will be
      completed and parents informed in writing by the tutor using the standard letter
      in appendix 2. Parents will be invited to discuss the situation with the tutor and
      departmental staff.

B     Adult and Part-time Students

1.    Coursework for examined courses is managed by the relevant Adult Education
      Co-ordinator and Tutors.

2.    It is the responsibility of each Adult Education Curriculum Area where coursework
      is part of the overall assessment to ensure that adult students are made aware at
      the beginning of each academic year of major coursework requirements.
      Wherever possible, coursework will be set early in the course and no coursework
      deadlines will occur in the summer term unless absolutely unavoidable.

3.    This information, including dates and deadlines for submission of coursework, will
      be communicated to students in writing.

4.    Long pieces of coursework will have interim deadlines. If a student fails to meet
      an interim deadline, the relevant Adult Education Co-ordinator and the Assistant
      Principal for Lifelong Learning will be informed.

4
 Problems with information technology will not be accepted as a reason for granting an
extension; students must ensure they back up their work regularly and should be advised to
keep a back-up copy on their College user area.
5.    Failure to meet the final coursework deadline set by the Adult Education Tutor
      will mean that the coursework will not be marked. This may mean that the
      student will be unable to complete their course in the current academic year.

6.    Any student who anticipates a difficulty in meeting the final deadline should
      discuss the matter well in advance with the Adult Education Tutor. The Adult
      Education Co-ordinator, after consultation with the Assistant Principal for Lifelong
      Learning, may grant an extension if the circumstances are very exceptional and
      beyond the student’s control.

7.    Any student who has unforeseen difficulty near the deadline will be required to
      bring proof of the difficulty (for example, a letter from a doctor or other relevant
      evidence in the case of sudden illness). A record of the outcome will be kept by
      the Adult Education office.

8.    Problems with Information Technology will not be accepted as a reason for
      granting an extension, and students must ensure that they back up their work
      regularly.

9.    Emailed coursework is unacceptable.       Posted coursework must arrive at the
      College on or before the deadline.

10.   Signatures will be obtained from both the Adult Education Tutor and adult
      student when a completed piece of coursework is handed in, providing evidence
      of:
           the date the coursework was handed in
           the identity of the designated member of staff who received the work.

C     Appeals procedure for internally assessed coursework (all candidates)

1.    The following appeals procedure has been designed to comply with the relevant
      JCQ regulations, which are available in the Examinations section of the intranet.

2.    An appeal about an internal coursework assessment, which should be taken to
      include internally assessed practical work, must be submitted by an individual
      candidate.

3.    The basis for an appeal can only be in relation to the College’s compliance with
      its own procedures designed for ensuring accurate assessment, or the
      effectiveness of those procedures. In particular, the appeal cannot merely be an
      assertion that the mark awarded is too low.

4.    A student will have access to their raw mark for internally assessed work at least
      four days before the deadline for the submission of marks to the awarding body.
      [Note: for most subjects this is 15 May for the summer series]

5.    If a candidate is dissatisfied with the assessment of her/his coursework, s/he is
      encouraged to discuss the matter with her/his teacher and/or Head of
      Department.

6.    If the matter remains unresolved, the student is entitled to submit an appeal in
      writing, by summarizing as concisely as possible the basis for the appeal.
7.    This should be submitted within 3 working days of the receipt of the coursework
      assessment to the Deputy Principal, who will inform the Principal that an appeal
      has been received.

8.    Unless the Deputy Principal is able to make an immediate ruling that the appeal
      is unfounded (in which case she will notify the candidate directly), s/he will invite
      the relevant Head of Department to respond in writing to the appeal (a copy of
      which will also be provided to the candidate).

9.    Having assessed the circumstances, the Deputy Principal will make a judgement
      about the validity of the appeal and, if warranted, decide any remedial action
      (notifying all relevant parties in writing, including the awarding body if
      appropriate).

10.   If the candidate believes s/he has grounds for dissatisfaction with the Deputy
      Principal’s judgement, s/he has the option of proceeding to a formal hearing*
      according to section 2.3 of the College’s complaints procedure (as published on
      the College intranet). Any such complaint must be submitted to the Chairman of
      the Corporation (c/o the Clerk to the Corporation) within 5 working days of the
      Deputy Principal’s judgement.

11.   After work has been assessed internally, it is moderated by the awarding body to
      ensure consistency between centres, sometimes resulting in adjustments to the
      provisional internally awarded marks. Equally, some coursework is only subject
      to external assessment. In neither case, it is possible to submit a request for any
      individual student’s coursework to be re-marked. Nonetheless, if the College has
      concerns about the external assessment it is entitled to submit a general appeal
      to the awarding body.

Related Policies – Complaints Policy; Plagiarism Policy.
Also refer to – Adult Student Handbook; Adult Education Tutor Handbook.
Appendix 1


Standard letter for alerting parents to coursework risk

Dear

(Subject and unit)

I am writing to inform you that (student) has failed to meet the interim deadline for an
important piece of coursework on (title). This work was started on (date) and the
submission deadline was (date).

Interim deadlines are set in order to allow teachers time to monitor progress and,
where appropriate, to offer advice and feedback in advance of the final deadline. The
consequence of this missed deadline is that (student) will not receive any interim
feedback on his/her work. The missed deadline may also indicate a risk in relation to
the final deadline which, for this piece of work, is the (date). You should be aware that
failure to meet the final deadline could seriously affect (student’s) performance and/or
his/her ability to complete the course:

“Failure to meet the final coursework deadline set by the department will mean that
the coursework will not be marked or submitted to the awarding body for assessment/
moderation. This may mean that a student will be unable to complete his or her
course in the current academic year.” (Extract from the College coursework policy)

It is essential that every effort is now made to complete this coursework on schedule.
If there are any extenuating circumstances that the College should be aware of please
contact me as a matter of urgency.

Thank you for your continuing support.

Yours sincerely




Head of ……. Department
Appendix 2

Standard letter for alerting to parents of failure by 16-19 students to meet a
final coursework deadline (level 2 referral)

(see “Procedures for managing coursework” document)

Dear

(Subject and unit)

I am writing to inform you that (student) has failed to meet the final coursework
deadline set by the department for the unit stated above. This means that the
coursework will not be marked or submitted to the awarding body for
assessment/moderation. This may mean that (student) will be unable to complete his
or her course in the current academic year.

You will already have received a letter from the (subject) department alerting you to
the fact that (student) was at risk of not completing (his/her) coursework. We are
obviously disappointed that (student) was not able to submit (his/her) coursework by
the required deadline.

I am writing to invite you to attend a meeting with me and (relevant subject staff) in
order to discuss the situation and the implications for (student)’s overall programme
of study at Hills Road.

Yours sincerely,




Tutor

				
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