Exam Access Arragements
Introduction (2019-2020 Series)
According to the JCQ site: Access Arrangements are pre-examination adjustments for candidates based on evidence of need and normal way of working. Access Arrangements fall into two distinct categories: some arrangements are delegated to centres, others require prior JCQ awarding body approval. Access Arrangements allow candidates/learners with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to access the assessment without changing the demands of the assessment. For example, readers, scribes and Braille question papers. In this way Awarding Bodies will comply with the duty of the Equality Act 2010 to make 'reasonable adjustments'.
Eligibility - Learning Difficulties
Section 5.2.2. (pg. 22) of the Access Arrangement regulations states that for a student with learning difficulties...
- In order to award 25% extra time the SENCo must determine the needs of the candidate based on one of the following documents:
- a current Statement of Special Educational Needs, or an Education, Health and Care Plan, or an Individual Development Plan, which confirms the candidate’s disability (see pages 23 and 26 for the required centre based evidence); or
- an assessment (Part 2 of Form 8) carried out no earlier than the start of Year 9 by an assessor confirming a learning difficulty relating to secondary/further education.
- So as not to give an unfair advantage, the assessor’s report (Part 2 of Form 8) must confirm that the candidate has at least one below average standardised score of 84 or less which relates to an assessment of:
- speed of reading; or
- speed of writing; or
- cognitive processing measures which have a substantial and long term adverse effect on speed of working (see pages 79-81).
- In exceptional circumstances an awarding body may grant 25% extra time to a candidate where the assessment confirms that he/she has at least two low average standardised scores (85-89) which relate to two different areas of speed of working.
Rare and very exceptional circumstances
- Where there are a cluster of scores (at least three, relating to three different areas of speed of working) just within the average range (90 to 94), in rare and very exceptional circumstances an awarding body may grant 25% extra time.
- The candidate must have a diagnostic assessment report, from no earlier than Year 9, confirming a significant learning difficulty or disability which has a clear, measurable and substantial long term adverse effect on performance and speed of working.
- This must have been undertaken by a specialist diagnostic assessor.
Eligibility - Complex needs
- Applicable to learners with: Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Sensory and/or Physical Needs (HI, MSI, PD, VI), Social, Mental and Emotional Needs (e.g. ADD, ADHD) or Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)
- 5.2.3 Where a candidate has complex needs, i.e.
- Communication and Interaction Needs; or
- a learning difficulty with a current EHCP or Statement of special educational needs; or
- Sensory and/or Physical Needs; or
- Social, Mental and Emotional Needs;
- ...which have a substantial and long term adverse effect on his/her speed of working, appropriate evidence of need (as below) must be available at the centre for inspection. Form 8 is not required and must not be used.
- So as not to give an unfair advantage, the SENCo must address both bullet points below, on centre headed paper/template, signed and dated):
- confirm that 25% extra time is the candidate’s normal way of working within the centre;
- provide evidence from teaching staff that the candidate has persistent and significant difficulties, and how these substantially impact on teaching and learning.
- The SENCo’s detailed information, as above, will be supported by confirmation of the candidate’s disability:
- a letter from CAMHS, a HCPC registered psychologist, a hospital consultant, a psychiatrist, a Speech and Language Therapist (SaLT); or
- a letter from the Local Authority Specialist Service, Local Authority Sensory Impairment Service or Occupational Health Service (For example, an Occupational Therapist specialising in Children and Young People Services, learning disability, mental health); or
- a current Statement of Special Educational Needs, or an Education, Health and Care Plan, which confirms the candidate’s disability.
- Note:Page 31 and 32 provide examples of how this process might be applied.
- Form 8 - For use from September 1 2019
- 2010 Equal Opportunities Act - Definition of Disability
- 2010 Equal Opportunities Act - Guidance on disability definition
- JCQ - Instructions for conducting examinations, 2019-2020
- JCQ - Access Arrangements homepage
- JCQ - Access arrangements and reasonable adjustments
- JCQ - A guide to the special consideration process, 2019-2020