Access Arrangements – Information for Parents

Access Arrangements are ‘reasonable adjustments’ for students who have a disability, a temporary injury or a special educational need that significantly affects them in exams.

Assessments to establish access arrangements

A specialist assessment may be needed to support an access arrangement application. We will co-ordinate this if it is needed and use it to help make decisions about exams. Please do speak to the SENDCO before arranging any assessment yourself as the school is not obliged to automatically accept the findings of a privately commissioned report. No-one is guaranteed an arrangement simply because they have a learning difficulty- evidence is needed to show the impact it has on the student in college.

We will always seek to work with parents to ensure the most appropriate outcome for students. Please speak to the SENDCO if you have concerns and we will be happy to advise.

When applying for Access Arrangements we are obliged to work within the framework laid down by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).

These regulations are very complex, and there have been major changes for this academic year. The current guidance can be viewed at www.jcq.org.uk.

Access arrangements

  • Do not change the skills or knowledge being tested,
  • Must not give an unfair advantage, but..
  • Do give a level playing field so students can show their knowledge.

There is a ‘menu’ of arrangements available. Students may be able to have one or more of these. The precise arrangement depends on: the student’s needs AND their normal way of working in class AND the type of exam AND the current regulations. This means different arrangements might be allowed in different exams but all arrangements should reflect normal practice so last minute applications are rarely permitted.

The most commonly used arrangements are:

  • Extra time – for candidates who read or write below a nationally recognised words per minute rate
  • Rest breaks – a short break from the exam to help those with very poor concentration, extreme stress or who might need a break for medical reasons
  • Reading Aloud – for those who work more effectively if they hear themselves read – this is assessed by a nationally recognised assessment programme
  • Word Processors – for candidates who use a word processor in class and exams
  • Transcripts – for those with handwriting difficulties this is assessed by a nationally recognised assessment programme
  • Bilingual Dictionary – for those who have English as an Additional Language ( only for certain students, conditions apply)
  • Readers – for those who need help with reading
  • Scribes – for those who have writing difficulties – those who write slowly, whose spelling or grammar is very weak, or whose handwriting is illegible
  • Prompters – for those who lose concentration very easily
  • Oral Language Modifiers – for those who have problems with comprehension and a supporter is needed to re-phrase the exam questions, but not the technical language.

Again, please note that these needs are all assessed by a nationally recognised assessment programme

We will always seek to work with parents to ensure the most appropriate outcome for students. Please speak to the SENDCO if you have concerns and we will be happy to advise.

Yours sincerely

SEND Team May 2017

 

Leave a Reply