It is the responsibility of every School and college to ensure that all students have equal opportunity to achieve their academic potential. In order to level the playing field, exam access arrangements are put in place for students with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). This includes, but is not limited to, extra time, readers, scribes, and adjusted seating.
This blog post will outline the JCQ requirements for assessment, as well as what can be tested and your duty as a school or college.
We will also be hosting a free webinar on 1st November 2022, via Teams. By the end of the webinar, participants will be fully equipped with a detailed understanding of the JCQ regulations and procedures including changes that affect the way in which evidence is collated, no longer is ‘normal way of working’ sufficient. Find out more here.
Your Duty as a School or College
Ensuring that all students have fair and equal access to exams is essential in order for them to reach their academic potential. As such, it is imperative that schools and colleges follow the JCQ guidelines when conducting assessments for exam access arrangements. These guidelines ensure that all assessments are carried out fairly and accurately. If you have any questions about these guidelines or need clarification, you can find more information on the JCQ website.
What can be Tested?
There are three elements that can be assessed when determining whether a student requires exam access arrangements:
- Cognitive Functioning – this includes memory, processing speed, executive functioning, etc.
- Motor Skills – this includes handwriting speed and quality, keyboard skills, etc.
- Sensory impairment – this includes visual impairments, hearing impairments, etc.
It is important to note that while a diagnosis in itself does not warrant exam access arrangements, it can be used as evidence to support an application.
JCQ Requirements for Assessment
In order for an assessment to be valid, it must adhere to the JCQ requirements. These include:
- The assessor being qualified and experienced in administering psycho-educational assessments;
- Standardised cognitive ability and academic achievement tests must be used;
- Referring to the pupil’s current Education Health and Care Plan (ECHP) or Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN)
- Written consent obtained for the assessment to go ahead from:
- The parent/carer
- The pupil (if over 16 years old)
- The school/college;
- Assessment should only go ahead if there is evidence that the proposed arrangement(s) will mitigate the effect of the diagnosed condition on examination performance.
If you are a school or college who requires your students to be assessed, we can help. Our team of qualified assessors will carry out the appropriate assessments in a fair and timely manner. Getting these arrangements in place early will give your students plenty of time to become familiar with this way of working.
If you would like more detail on this topic, please join us for our FREE webinar on 1st November 15.30-16.30.
By the end of the webinar, you will be fully equipped with a detailed understanding of the JCQ regulations and procedures including changes that affect the way in which evidence is collated, no longer is ‘normal way of working’ sufficient. Find out more here.
Do you require any assistance?
About the Adviser
Marsha Blissett – Adviser, Services For Education
Marsha Blissett is a qualified teacher with over 15 years experience. She has worked in a variety of educational settings, and is currently an access arrangement assessor. Marsha firmly believes that all children have the ability to achieve their best, and she goes to great lengths to ensure that students are able to maximise their potential through levelling the playing field.