Assessment Policy

A.  PREAMBLE 
 
The policy provides guidance to learners, parents and educators on the procedure for class tests; School based assessment (SBA) assignments, SBA tasks and examinations. 
 
Assessment is a process of collecting, analysing and interpreting information to assist teachers, parents and other stakeholders in making decisions about the progress of learners. Assessment and should provide an indication of learner achievement.  
 
The assessment procedure must ensure that the results obtained are a fair and true reflection of the ability of the learner. The policy wishes to ensure that all parts of the school community, parents, learners and educators take responsibility for the academic progress of the learner. Through this we wish to promote academic excellence throughout all areas of the school. 
 
The assessment policy is informed by the following legal frameworks: 
 
  • Section 6 of SASA. 
  • National Policy on the Conduct, Administration and Management of the National Senior Certificate: A qualification at level 4 on the National Qualifications framework (NQF).Department of Education (2009). 
  • WCED (2011). ASSESSMENT MANAGEMENT MINUTE:  0011/2011, Risk management of the 2011 
  • National Senior Certificate and ABET level 4 examinations. 
  • The Language-in-Education Policy, 1997:  
  • Question papers must be set in the Languages of Learning and Teaching (LoLT). Unless otherwise directed in the examination question paper, learners must answer all questions in the Language of Learning and Teaching (LoLT) applicable to the learner. 
  • Education White Paper 6 on Special Needs Education:  
  • Building an inclusive Education and Training System that provides a policy framework for the transformation of practices related to assessment and examinations in general with a view to achieving enabling mechanisms to support learners who experience barriers to learning; 
  • WCED minute 0012/2008 -The establishing of a School Assessment Irregularities Committee (SAIC), based on Gazette 30048 of 2007, and Gazettes 29626 and 29467 of 2007. 
  • The CAPS documents for all subject areas. 
 
B. PURPOSE OF THE POLICY 
 
  1. To promote academic excellence.  It is important that learners know what knowledge and skills are being assessed and feedback should be provided to learners after assessment to enhance the learning experience. 
  2. To ensure that assessments are conducted in a fair manner for the learners to achieve the best results. 
  3. To ensure the integrity of the assessment and thus the results. 
  4. To ensure that all classes follow the same procedure with regards to tests, examinations and SBA to ensure that the system is fair and transparent. 
  5. To provide regular and insightful feedback to parents on the academic progress of their child 
  6. To identify barriers to learning timeously, which will then inform the intervention strategies required to assist the learner. 
 
C. INTERVENTION 
 
  1. Comments/feedback are to be given by educators to individual learners either written (e.g. on the learner’s work or in the learner’s book) or verbally. 
  2. Problems are to be communicated to parents on a regular basis by inter alia:
    1. Parent/Teacher evenings 
    2. Special meetings with parents or a specific grade 
    3. Letter of concern requesting specified parents to meet with their child’s teachers
    4. Daily report forms 
  3. Parents are encouraged to communicate with educators to express concerns regarding their child’s progress whenever the need arises. 
  4. Counsellors are to give support where necessary and/or appropriate. 
 
D. CONTROL TEST AND CLASS TEST PROCEDURES 
 
  1. Class tests must be undertaken on a regular basis and forms part of the informal assessment. The control test is written on the day designated by on the control test calendar. This is available to learners and parent via the school’s web page. 
  2. The learners must be given at least two (2) days’ notice before a class test. The content for both the class test and control test must be clearly set out for the learner. The learner must write the content to be tested and the date of the test in their homework diary.  
  3. The test must be typed by the educator and be given in for printing as stipulated in the photocopy procedure of the school. 
  4. The control test must be kept in the safe once printed. Ensure that there are enough copies for the whole class and a few extra. 
  5. Any learner who requires an enlarged copy, or any other aid due to a barrier to learning, must be identified before the test day and be catered for appropriately. 
  6. The class test and control test must be marked within two weeks of it being written. 
  7. The mark must be recorded in the educators’ record books. 
  8. The test may be sent home to be signed by the parent. This is to ensure that parents remain informed and assist with the learning process of their child. 
  9. The educator must go through the test with the learners and provide the correct answers. This is to ensure that the learner can correct any misconceptions he/she has and improve on their results in the next assessment. 
  10. No other class test may be scheduled on the day that a control test is being written (i.e. Thursdays). 
 
E. PROCEDURES WHEN WRITING A CLASS TEST, CONTROL TEST OR EXAMINATION 
 
  1. An accurate absentee register should be taken and recorded in the educator’s record book or on the brown folder if it is an examination or a control test. 
  2. All learners have to be seated in their desks (preferably in alphabetical order). 
  3. Only the stationary needed for the test must be on the desk. Pencil bags and calculator covers have to be placed in the learners’ school bags. The bags have to be closed and placed under the desk. 
  4. Learners are to check that that there are no notes, cell phones or other materials that could aid them, on their person. Cell phones have to be off and placed in the school bag. 
  5. The test has to be handed out face down. 
  6. Once each learner has a test, they can be asked to turn it over. Go through each page of the test with the learners. Read the first and last line on each page to ensure that each learner has every page before the test is started. 
  7. Ensure that the learners adhere to the time indicated for the test. Do not give any extra time for the test, unless a learner has a card indicating that they have been approved for extra time. (The school counsellor applies to the WCED for extra time). 
  8. The educator must be vigilant and walk around the class while the test is being written. 
  9. All learners must remain seated and silent until all the tests have been collected. 
  10. The educator has to count the tests to ensure that all the learners have handed in. 
 
F. EMERGENCIES 
 
  1. Learners must be discouraged from going to the bathroom during a test or examination. If a learner needs to go to the bathroom during a test or examination (in an emergency), the educator should call the office for assistance. Another educator will be sent to assist. Learners may not go to the bathroom during the first hour and the last half hour of an examination. Learners that have medical conditions and need to go to the bathroom more regularly must be in possession of a permission slip. 
  2. If an emergency evacuation commences during the test, follow the policy as set out for emergency drills. 
 
G. IRREGULARATIES  
 
  1. Irregularities concerning learners must be dealt with in terms of paragraphs 47, 48 and 49 of the policy document, National Policy on the Conduct, Administration and Management of the National Senior Certificate: A qualification at Level 4 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). 
 
If a learner is suspected of cheating: 
  • Remove the answer sheet and write the time on the page. 
  • Issue another answer sheet/folio paper. The learner continues to write the test on the new answer sheet/folio paper. 
  • At the end of the test, take the learner and the sheet to the deputy in charge of academics.  
  • The irregularity will be dealt with in accordance to the policy of the irregularities committee. 
 
  1. Suspected internal irregularities involving teachers constitutes an act of misconduct and will be dealt with in accordance to the Employment of Educators Act and SACE regulations. 
 
H. SUBMISSION OF WORK BY LEARNERS 
 
GENERAL 
 
  1. Learners should adhere strictly to deadlines. 
  2. Deadlines may be negotiated between educator and learners, but they must be the SAME for all classes in that subject area. 
  3. Deadlines or interim deadlines are to be clearly indicated as an integral part of the instructions for the task, and progress should be monitored accordingly. 
  4. The concept “met the requirements of the subject” is to be strictly adhered to. This implies that all work must be completed and handed in by a learner even though the due date has passed. 
  5. Individual oral presentations: learners absent on presentation day are to be given the opportunity to present on another day and time to be negotiated by the learner and the educator involved. Learners who refuse to an oral must be given an opportunity to do it without the class present. If they still refuse to do the oral, they will receive zero for the oral. 
  6. Educators are not obliged to provide extra tuition to learners who have been absent. It is the learner’s responsibility to make up work they have missed and it is the learner who must approach the educator for extra help. 
 
I.  SUBMISSION OF GROUP WORK 
 
  1. To discourage “passengers”, peer assessment in group work will count heavily to determine the amount of input of individual group members, i.e. a learner should not be awarded the average mark for the group when she has played little or no part in the research or preparation of the assignment. 
  2. Oral group presentations: learners absent for presentations must submit a medical certificate and the assessment will be rescheduled where possible. 
 
J. ORIGINALITY OF LEARNER’S WORK 
 
  1. Copying of work from others and/or intrusive parental or other assistance does not contribute to a learner’s development of skills and competence. 
  2. Plagiarism in any form is a serious offence and will not be tolerated. Zero marks will be awarded for work copied from resources or from other learners, or for information downloaded or copied from the internet. 
  3. All sources used in assignments have to be acknowledged in a properly constructed bibliography or reference list. 
  4. Work that has been plagiarised or copied from another learner must be referred to the head of Academics. The work and learner concerned will be referred to the irregularities committee. If the learner is found guilty of plagiarising or copying work they may be given zero and may be punished in terms of the code of conduct. The learner may be given an opportunity to redo the work and the mark will then only be calculated in the final SBA at the end of the year. 
 
K. LEARNERS WHO ARE ABSENT FOR AN ASSESMENT. 
 
  1. A learner who misses an assessment with a valid reason: 
  • The permission letter or doctor’s certificate must be kept with the learner’s record of assessment. 
  • A mark is NOT estimated for the task. The learner’s mark is indicated as an INCOMPLETE on the report and a comment is written by the class educator indicating that the learner did not write the test in the particular subject and so, has not met the requirements for that subject for the term and that the report is incomplete. 
  • The learner’s final SBA mark is to be adjusted with the revised total for the SBA mark for the year. At the end of the year, in order to calculate the final mark, the tasks that had not been written, are not assessed, but the total marks are scaled up to the correct total for the SBA. 
  • This adjustment is done at the end of the year only. 
  1. A learner who misses an SBA task WITHOUT a valid reason: 
  • The learner is given zero (0) for the task and the intervention form must be completed and added in place of the task in the learner’s record of work. 
  • The parent MUST be contacted telephonically and a note made of the date of the telephone call on the intervention document. 
  1. “Valid reason” in this context includes the following: 
  • illness supported by a valid medical certificate, issued by a registered medical practitioner; 
  • humanitarian reasons, which includes the death of an immediate family member, supported by a death certificate; 
  • the learner appearing in a court hearing, which must be supported by written evidence; or 
  • any other reason as may be accepted as valid by the Head of the Assessment body or his or her representative. 
 
L. PROMOTION REQUIREMENTS (CAPS) 
 
Grade 8 and 9 
  • Adequate Achievement (Level 4, (50-59%)) in one language at Home Language level. 
  • Moderate Achievement (Level 3, (40-49%) in the second required official language at First Additional Language level 
  • Moderate Achievement (Level 3, (40-49%)) in Mathematics 
  • Moderate Achievement (Level 3, (40-49%)) in any three (3) of the other required subjects 
  • At least an Elementary Achievement (Level 2, (30-39%)) in any two (2) of the other required subjects 
  • Immigrant learners may be exempted from achieving one official language, provided they obtain at least an Elementary Achievement (Level 2, (30-39%) in all three (3) the remaining subjects. 
  • A learner may only be progressed once in the Senior Phase in order to prevent the learner being retained in this phase for longer than four years. 
 
Grade 10-12 
 
A learner must obtain: 
  • 40% in English HL 
  • 40% in two other subjects 
  • 30% in three additional subject 
 
The promotions committee may adjust the mark in ONE subject to a maximum of 2.0% in order for a learner to meet the pass requirements if the committee feels it is in the best interest for the learner to be promoted. 
 
  • A learner may be retained only once in the FET Phase in order to prevent the learner from being retained longer than four years in the phase. 
  • Progression in grade 10-12 does not guarantee the final certification of a learner in Grade 12 and such a learner must comply with the certification as contemplated in paragraph37(1)(a) of the policy document, NPPPR to enable him/her to obtain a NSC. 
 
A learner must offer two official languages unless classified as an immigrant. Immigrants may do another officially recognised subject in place of the second official language. Application to the WCED for immigrant status is completed by the head of academics. 
Bachelors pass: In order to obtain a bachelors pass a learner must obtain 50% in four subjects. (Tourism, Design and Life Orientation are not included as one of the subjects).  
 
M.  IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW 
 
This policy will be reviewed by the academic committee at the start of each year to ensure that it complies with the changing legislation.  It will be work-shopped with the educators at the start of each academic year.  Each class educator will explain the procedures to their class at the start of each year. 
 
 
SCHOOL ASSESSMENT 
IRREGULARITIES COMMITTEE (SAIC) 
(ADDENDUM TO ASSESSMENT POLICY) 
 
1. INTRODUCTION 
 
In terms of The National Policy on the Conduct, Administration and Management of the National Senior Certificate (Section 78) in Gazette 30048, each school must establish a School Assessment Irregularities Committee (SAIC) to deal with internal assessment irregularities involving learners. 
This policy will ensure that every learner is treated fairly when suspected of committing an irregularity
 
2. COMPOSITION OF THE SAIC 
 
2.1  The SAIC will consist of the following persons: 
 
2.1.1 The circuit manager or the district official serving the school (chairperson of the SAIC) 
2.1.2 The school principal 
2.1.3 One person from the school management team (SMT) who shall be the deputy principal in charge of academics. 
2.1.4 One person from the teaching staff who is not a member of the SMT 
2.1.5  One member of the SGB 
2.1.6 The school councillor 
2.1.7 The deputy in charge of Pastoral 
 
2.2  The SAIC may co-opt members on a needs basis. The following persons may be co-opted: 
 
2.2.1  One subject / learning area specialist from the school 
2.2.2 One subject / learning area specialist from the district 
 
2.3  In addition, one representative from each of the recognised teacher unions will be nominated as an observer. 
 
3. APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE SAIC 
 
3.1  All members of the SAIC will be appointed by the circuit or district manager, with the assistance of the school principal, and a list of names and their designation must be submitted to the Head of Department for approval. 
3.2  The duration of the term of office of the SAIC will be three years.
 
4. THE JURISDICTION OF THE SAIC 
 
The SAIC will have jurisdiction in any alleged internal assessment irregularities, both at GET and FET levels. 
 
These irregularities may occur during the various stages of the internal assessment process, and they would include, among others, irregularities in connection with the following: 
 
  • Compilation of internal assessment marks 
  • Monitoring and moderation of internal assessment 
  • Conditions under which teachers conduct internal assessment 
  • Conditions under which learners are internally assessed 
  • Capturing and processing of data derived from internal assessment 
  • Setting and moderation of internal assessment question papers and tasks • Any other irregularity related to internal assessment 
 
5. THE FUNCTIONS OF THE SAIC 
 
The SAIC must 
 
5.1 investigate all irregularities by teachers in the internal assessment process; 
5.2 investigate all internal assessment irregularities by any other person involved in the internal assessment process; 
5.3 investigate all irregularities committed by learners during the internal assessment process; 
5.4  investigate any other internal assessment irregularity as and when requested by the district director or his or her nominee and 
5.6 report all internal assessment irregularities, via the district offices, to the district assessment irregularities committee (DAIC). 
 
6. INTERNAL ASSESSMENT IRREGULARITIES THAT MAY BE HANDLED BY THE SAIC 
 
6.1  Irregularities involving learners during internal assessment may include the following: 
6.1.1 A candidate who refuses to abide by any or all of the minimum requirements for the compilation of a mark for internal assessment in a subject. 
 
The SAIC must either approve or reject the reason for the refusal given by the candidate. A “valid reason”, in this context, constitutes the following: 
 
- Medical reasons as supported by a valid medical certificate issued by a registered medical practitioner; 
- Humanitarian reasons, e.g. the death of an immediate family member, if supported by valied written evidence; 
- The learner appearing in a court hearing; supported by written evidence; or - Any other reason as may be declared valid by the SAIC. 
 
6.1.2  A candidate who presents work that is not his or her own work. This may take various forms and may include the following: 
 
(i) Copying verbatim from another source (In this case, if the teacher is suspicious and has evidence of sections or the complete assignment having been lifted verbatim from another source, this must be declared as an irregularity). 
(ii) An assignment or project that is not his or her own effort. (This may have been completed by another learner or person or his or her parent, or even purchased). 
(iii) Reproduction of an assignment or project from another learner and there is evidence of such copying. 
(iv) Work that has been previously presented and for which credits were received, which could either be his or her own effort or that of another individual. 
(v) The whole or part of a portfolio that is not his or her own, but that of another learner from the same school / learning institution or another school / learning institution. 
(vi) Any dishonest act aimed at misleading the teacher in terms of the authenticity or originality of the portfolio presented. 
 
6.1.3  A candidate who, in respect of any component of a mark for an internal assessment that is completed under controlled conditions does any of the following: 
 
(i) Creates a disturbance or intimidates others, or behaves in an improper or unseemly manner, despite a warning 
(ii) Is drunk or behaves in a disorderly manner 
(iii) Disregards the arrangements or reasonable instructions of the teacher, despite a warning 
(iv) Continues to disregard assessment regulations, despite a warning 
(v) With the writing of an internal examination, engages in dishonest acts before the commencement of 
the examination, while the examination is being written, or as the answer scripts are handed in or marked.[Refer to Section 4 (4) (c) to (f) of the National Policy document.] 
 
6.1.4  A candidate making a false statement in respect of the authenticity of a particular component of a mark for internal assessment. The fabrication of evidence in general and especially in respect of the stipulations of above constitutes fraud, and will be dealt with as such. [Refer to the relevant sections of the Code of Conduct] 
6.2  Irregularities involving teachers and other assessment officials during internal assessment (CASS/SBA) may occur during the following stages at the school or learning institution: 
 
(a) The compilation of the mark for internal assessment 
(b) The monitoring or moderation of the mark achieved in an internal assessment 
(c) The capturing and processing of assessment data 
(d) Investigations in respect of suspected internal assessment irregularities. 
 
The assessment irregularities may include the following: 
 
(a) The teacher wilfully and intentionally, and without a valid reason, fails to satisfy the requirements or excludes one or more assessment tasks from the compilation of the final assessment marks. 
(b) The teacher or practitioner alters, in other words, either decreases or increases the marks of candidates without the approval of the head of the institution. 
(c) The teacher wilfully provides assistance to a learner that advantages a learner unfairly in comparison with other learners. 
(d) The teacher collaborates with a learner who presents the whole or part of a portfolio that is not her or his own work. 
 
Suspected internal irregularities involving teachers constitutes an act of misconduct and will be dealt with in accordance with the Employment of Educators Act. 
Suspected internal irregularities involving assessment officials employed in terms of the Public Service Act constitutes an act of misconduct and will be dealt with in accordance with the relevant Public Service Regulation. 
 
7. REPORTING 
 
The SAIC must report all internal assessment irregularities in writing, via the district office, to the DAIC within seven days of the alleged irregularity. In cases where an irregularity requires an investigation; the initial reporting must be followed by a detailed report, once the investigation has been concluded. 
 
The irregularity and sanction will be reported to the parent of the child, telephonically and in writing. 
 
8. SANCTIONS 
 
The SAIC will recommend, via the district office, to the DIAC the sanctions to be imposed for each alleged irregularity investigated.  
 
9. IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW 
 
The policy will be reviewed by the academic committee at the start of each year to ensure that it complies with the changing legislation. 
 
It will be work shopped with the educators at the start of each academic year.  
Each class educator will explain the procedures to their class at the start of each year.