Support in exams

Support in exams

Young people with SEND may qualify for help when they are taking public exams, this support is known as access arrangements. The support is dependent on the needs of the young person, but commonly it can be extra time, or the use of a computer, or a person to read or write for the young person.

The adjustments come under the Equality Act 2010, and so in general, the young person must qualify for the additional help because they fall under the definition of ‘disabled’ in the Act. The school and examination boards then have a duty not to discriminate against them.

Schools decide whether access arrangements are needed by referring to the rules laid down by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). The JCQ sets evidence requirements for each type of access arrangement, and these must be met by the pupil for them to qualify. The rules are lengthy and updated every year – you can access the latest version here: Regulations and Guidance - JCQ Joint Council for Qualifications.

IPSEA also have a section about help in exams on their website:

Help in exams | (IPSEA) Independent Provider of Special Education Advice

Further and Higher Education

In further and higher education ‘Access Arrangements’ still apply; therefore the college or university should let the student (or their parents) know about how to make an application for support in exams. Those students in higher education must make sure they are familiar with the relevant policies about applying for Access Arrangements at their university.

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