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What are Access Arrangements?
Access Arrangements allow candidates/learners with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to access the assessment without changing the demands of the assessment. Therefore, enabling us to implement readers, scribes and other required arrangements where needed. This means the Awarding Bodies can comply with the duty of the Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments’.
The Equality Act 2010 requires an Awarding Body to make reasonable adjustments where a disabled person would be at a substantial disadvantage in undertaking an assessment.
A reasonable adjustment for a particular person may be unique to that individual and may not be included in the list of available Access Arrangements.
How reasonable the adjustment is will depend on a number of factors including the needs of the disabled candidate/learner. An adjustment may not be considered reasonable if it involves unreasonable costs, timeframes or affects the security or integrity of the assessment.
The Access Arrangements Process
To start the process for access arrangement applications; you need to complete an application form. The application form has the option to indicate the need for access arrangements. We are then able to arrange an initial meeting to discuss your needs. Our SEN Specialist will discuss with you what is required to apply and to complete the necessary paperwork. The Access arrangements process varies from candidate to candidate and the evidence needed will be different for each application. We are able to work with you throughout to ensure you are kept up to date. There are additional fees associated with access arrangements and the process of applying, a full list of these fees is available on our website.
Learner Appointments are available between 10am-1pm Monday to Friday during term time.
Access Arrangements Regulations
Joint Council For Qualifications (JCQ)
“The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) is a membership organisation comprising the eight largest providers of qualifications in the UK, including all Awarding Bodies delivering GCE/GCSE qualifications in the United Kingdom. Its chief aim is to reduce bureaucracy for schools and colleges by facilitating and delivering common administrative arrangements for examinations.”
Cambridge Assessment International Education
Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) is one of the leading providers of International Qualifications in the UK and across the world. CAIE are an independent awarding body outside of the UK awarding body regulations. CAIE publish their own regulations about administering assessments and Access Arrangements. The process is similar to other awarding bodies, although they do have their own key differences.
Access Arrangements Deadlines
To ensure you don’t miss out; the deadlines for applying for Access Arrangements are:
– 23rd January for Summer Exams (CIE)
– 14th February for all other Summer Exams
– 23rd June for November Exams (CIE)
– 1st October for January Exams (Edexcel)
What Evidence Might I need for Access Arrangements?
The regulations for access arrangements require us to hold a file containing evidence that the candidate would be at a disadvantage without assistance. In order for us to do this you will need a selection of evidence to show that there is definite need for the access arrangements. We have provided a list of board accepted evidence below. You will not need to supply everything on the list, just the items you already have. We can help work on obtaining more evidence if and when required.
All documents supplied must be originals and not copies.
Form 8 from
of a disability
If the learner is under the age of an equivalent Year 9 school child; there may be a possibility that Access Arrangements will not be granted. This is dependent on the Exam Board decision and specific conditions relating to your child. Obtaining reports and testing does NOT guarantee approval will be granted. Applications, evidence and documentation is provided to the Exam Boards and the final decision is theirs.
Upon completion of the evidence gathering, our SEN Specialist will apply to the awarding body for the access arrangements required. The outcome of the application will be communicated to the learners as soon as it is completed.
What access arrangements are available to me?
By far and away, the most commonly requested Access Arrangement is “Extra Time”. This enables candidates with low processing scores the ability to have a “level playing field”. The next most common is the use of a word processor. This may be able to be used in conjunction with other approved arrangements and is a “centre allocated” Access Arrangement.
Typically, this is granted where handwriting is illegible or brings processing speeds up to a “norm”. We can also facilitate the need for Reader/Scribe, Prompt, Supervised Rest Breaks, Own Room and a whole host more. Be aware that any Arrangement will require evidence of need with which we can support you. Contact us in the first instance to find out how you can benefit from our service.