Examination Access Arrangements: GCSE and GCE examinations to be taken summer 2019
24th September 2018
As the Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCo) I am responsible for applying for access arrangements for girls sitting their examinations next summer. 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 complex and are updated and become more stringent each year. As a school we are inspected annually during the examination period to ensure that we are compliant in every detail.
If your daughter is eligible for any access arrangements for her examinations next summer, then they will be familiar with them and have used them in all of our internal examinations. I will have advised them on the best way to use their access arrangements and reviewed them with your daughter after each set of examinations. This ensures that the access arrangements are effective. We have to demonstrate that access arrangements mirror a candidate’s normal way of working within the centre and that I, as SENDCo, have a body of evidence to support their arrangement. Where possible JCQ asks that all access arrangements are processed at the start of their two year GCSE course, in the Upper Transits (Year 10) or Study I (Year 12).
For access arrangements to be approved by JCQ strict criteria and deadlines must be adhered to and as SENDCo I must provide detailed evidence that without provisions in place then your daughter would be at a substantial disadvantage. It cannot simply be their preferred way of working.
With the tightening of regulations, arrangements cannot be put in place suddenly near to the time of the examinations as there will not be time to collect the evidence required by JCQ to support the arrangement and your daughter would not have had enough experience to be able to decide whether the arrangement was effective. The only exceptions are for temporary conditions such as a broken arm or a late diagnosis of a medical condition supported by an appropriate medical letter.
I would ask you to contact me immediately if your daughter is sitting public examinations this summer and you feel she is eligible for access arrangements and that these are not already in place. Arrangements already in place will be rolled over.
For more details regarding JCQ Access arrangements please visit www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/access-arrangements-and-special-consideration/regulations-and-guidance/access-arrangements-and-reasonable-adjustments-booklet
If you have any concerns at all, please do get in touch and I will be happy to discuss them with you.
Mary Stephenson (SENDCo)