Summer entries with half term swallowing deadline

Deadline for summer GCSE entries is 21 February, but for many Exams Officers the true deadline in 12 February due to half term holiday swallowing up the week before this official deadline. Teachers and Senior Staff may not be aware of this, so it’s a stressful time for Exams Officers right now. Even for those who work through half term, the stress is not relieved as many signatories who will sign off the expenditure and teaching staff who will give the entries information will not be in over half term break. So the race is on to get entries in by tomorrow.
Myself, I’ve got all the entries done except for the Mathematics ones, so I’ll be submitting all the Awarding Bodies except one tomorrow. Edexcel will be my bug bear until the Mathematics entries are correct and signed off by the Head of Department (HOD) and then by the Principal. As usual, I can see it going right to the wire again! If necessary I will submit entries and then make amendments or withdraw candidates rather than pay late fees, even if that means submitting them before they’ve been signed off – it works out cheaper in the long run!
At least I have a couple of days when I am in over half term – hopefully it will be quiet and I’ll be able to take a look at clashes and numbers of candidates with a view to rough drafting seating plans prior to discussions with Senior Leadership Team (SLT) about any adaptations (e.g. clash seating arrangements or double sittings) that I need to make.
I think I’ll draft up any concerns I have about the summer as well, so that I can get as many questions as possible answered in one session. That way it gives my queries more strength and depth and SLT are more likely to give it slot at their regular meetings with a view to sorting things out with other members of staff for me.

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