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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. 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’.

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 Process

To start the process for access arrangement applications; an application form will need to be completed indicating the need for access arrangements and then an initial meeting to discuss your needs will be arranged. Our SEN Specialist will discuss with you what is required to apply and to complete the necessary paperwork. Access arrangements and the process involved varies from candidate to candidate and the evidence needed will be different for each application. 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.

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

“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.”

Deadlines

Please be aware that 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)
– 23rd November for January Exams (Edexcel)

What Evidence Might I need?

The regulations for access arrangements require us to hold a file containing evidence that the candidate would be at a disadvantage without assistance. Learners will firstly 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. Learners do not need to supply everything on the list, just the items you already have.
All documents supplied must be original.

Previous
Form 8 from
school or
college
Any
supporting
reports from
your
educators
Samples
of writing,
(completed
within the
centre)
Mock exam
papers
(conducted
within the
centre)
An IEP
or equivalent
stating the
need of
support
A current
Educational
Health and
Care Plan
A letter from
a professional
showing
evidence
of a disability
Learners 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 Access Arrangements 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 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 Access Arrangement is the use of a word processor. This may be able to be used in conjunction with other approved Access 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. Please be aware that any Access Arrangement will require evidence of need with which we can support you. Just get contact us in the first instance to find out how you can benefit from our service.

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