Last reviewed on 21 December 2021
Statutory/mandatory for: Maintained schools Academies Free schools Independent schools Sixth-form colleges Further education Pupil referral units Non-maintained special schools

Download and adapt our model exam contingency plan to keep compliant, and see examples of contingency plans from other schools.

Download our model plan

All examination centres must have an examination contingency plan. This is explained on the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) website. To understand requirements for other awarding organisations, you'll need to contact the organisation directly. 

Our model plan is:

  • Designed for you to adapt to suit your school's context
  • Approved by Forbes Solicitors

Example plans

Maintained schools

Our Lady's Catholic High School in Lancashire has an exam contingency plan with actions in case of situations including:

  • Absence of exams officer and special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO)
  • Lack of trained invigilators 
  • IT system failure 

Moorside High School in Staffordshire has a contingency plan that has similar events to our model plan, but they also have actions specific to the school context. 


Manchester Academy has an exams policy with a contingency plan for 2020/21. It covers events such as: 

Further reading: consult the