Access Arrangements Policy

Key staff involved in the access arrangements policy

SENCoKate Diveney
Head of CentreMike McGhee
AssessorsMoira Harwood

Peter Collinge

Access Arrangements facilitator(s)LSA’s (deployed by Peter Collinge)

Invigilation Staff

Lyndsey Wyatt (Exams Officer)

What are access arrangements and reasonable adjustments?

Access Arrangements:

“Access arrangements are agreed before an assessment. They allow candidates with special educational needs, disabilities and temporary injuries to access the assessment and show what they know and can do without changing the demands of the assessment. The intention behind and access arrangement is to meet the particular needs of an individual candidate without affecting the integrity of the assessment. Access arrangements are the principal way in which awarding bodies comply with the duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments’”.

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. There is no duty on the Awarding Bodies to make any adjustment to the assessment objectives being tested in an assessment”.

Purpose of the Policy

The purpose of this policy is to confirm that Blessed John Henry Newman RC College complies with its obligation to identify the need for, request and implement access arrangements.

This policy is reviewed annually to ensure that arrangements are carried out in accordance with the current edition of the JCQ publication Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments.

Disability policy (exams)

A large part of the access arrangements policy is covered in the Disability Policy (exams) which covers staff roles and responsibilities in identifying the need for, requesting and implementing access arrangements and the conduct of exams.

* Disability Policy (exams) can be located via school website

The access arrangements policy further covers the assessment process and related issues in more detail.

The Assessment Process

An assessor appointed by the head of centre carries out all assessments. The assessor is appropriately qualified as required by JCQ regulations.

The qualification(s) of the current assessor:

Assessors: Moira Harwood and Peter Collinge

Qualifications: CPT3A, Test user: Educational, Ability/Attainment (British Psychological Society)

Checking the qualification(s) of the assessors:

The qualification of our assessors is checked by SENCO via production of certificates and the assessors are kept up to date with qualification criteria via regular updates from the original training provider. Where updated training is needed the assessors will access this in order to maintain qualifications. Signpost to the location of the evidence of the assessor’s/assessors’ qualification(s) held by the SENCO.

The assessor’s qualifications are held on file by HR, Exams Officer and SENCO.

Both assessors are qualified and employed by the school and have expertise in SEND and meet regularly to discuss and review the JCQ requirements for AA.

How the assessment process is administered:

The assessment process begins with initial information from Primary School around the need and requirements of certain pupils. An initial assessment is then carried out with these pupils to determine whether provision needs to be made throughout school.

There is a great deal of collaboration between the assessors, teaching staff and SEND staff in order to ensure that a detailed picture of pupils can be formed.

The official assessment process consists of referral from class teachers, parents, other school support staff and external professionals. An initial assessment is conducted using internal assessment methods by the qualified assessors. The use of LUCID EXACT, LUCID LASS and WIAT – II to decide whether to go forward with an application for access arrangements.

The assessors then work with the Exams officer to process an application and detail the recommendations to Parents/carers as well as staff and then update the Access Arrangement register. This application doesn’t happen until the end of Year 9 to allow for the 26 month valid period to see the pupils through their formal examinations.

Recording evidence of need:

Evidence of need is recorded via lots of different methods in order to gain a complete picture of the pupil.

A form 8 is then completed by the SENCO and Assessor which details the need of the pupils as well as all the assessment data and provision applied for and gained. The form 8 paints an accurate picture of the pupils’ normal way of working within the centre and details the history of support that has been put in place.

The SENCO keeps a record of these in order to produce on inspection.

Gathering evidence to demonstrate normal way of working:

Close liaison with classroom teachers and support staff allows a big picture to be painted of ‘normal way of working.’

A pupil won’t be considered for access arrangements without the evidence of normal way of working in our centre.

We send out the Section A of the form 8 to teaching staff in order to gain their evidence from inside their classroom and collate this along with evidence from support staff and assessors.

Assessors will carry out regular ‘drop ins’ to ensure that pupils are using the access arrangement as their normal way of working and the access register is updated regularly.

Processing access arrangements

Arrangements requiring awarding body approval:

Access Arrangements online (AAO) is a tool provided by JCQ member awarding bodies for centres to apply for required access arrangement approval for the qualifications listed on page 2 of AA. This tool also provides the facility to order modified papers for those qualifications listed on page 74.

AAO is accessed by logging in to any of the awarding body secure extranet sites. A single application is required for each candidate regardless of the awarding body used.

We access the Access arrangements online via the specialist assessor and Exams Officer who sit and process the application together. The application is completed with the information from the Form 8 section C and submitted and a decision is given online instantly. A report is the drawn up via the specialist assessors and sent to parents/carers informing them of the tests that have been done and the outcome of the submission.

The files with application approvals are kept with the SENCO and the applications that didn’t get approval are kept also. There is a hard copy and an electronic copy kept and the information is kept in line with the schools data protection policy.

Centre-delegated access arrangements:

Separate invigilation is decided in collaboration with the SEND department and the mental health team. This is recorded by the Exams Officer and SENCO and recognised as a reasonable adjustment.

For the use of word processors we have a separate statement regarding this which is kept on file by the SENCO and Exams Officer.

Centre-specific criteria for particular access arrangements:

Word processor policy (exams):

An exam candidate may be approved the use of a word processor where this is appropriate to the candidate’s needs and not simply because this is the candidate’s preferred way of working within the centre.

See Appendix 1

Separate invigilation with the centre:

The SENCo will make a decision where an exam candidate may be approved separate invigilation within the centre.

The decision will be based on whether the candidate has a substantial and long term impairment which has an adverse effect and the candidate’s normal way of working within the centre.

Separate invigilation is decided in collaboration with the SEND department and the mental health team. This is recorded by the Exams Officer and SENCO and recognised as a reasonable adjustment.

Appendix 1 – Use of Word Processors

Statement regarding use of Word Processors during public examinations

The use of a word processor must reflect the student’s normal way of working at Newman College and must be appropriate for their needs.

The use of a word processor will not be granted to a student because he/she prefers to type rather than write or because he/she can work faster on a keyboard or because he/she uses a laptop at home.

Reasons why the use of a word processor might be granted:

  • The student has a Specific Learning Difficulty which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on their ability to write legibly or fluently.
  • Formal assessment has shown the student to have a below average speed of handwriting.
  • Formal assessment has indicated that a student has illegible handwriting (i.e. 10% or more words are illegible in context) and teachers judge this to be significantly impacting on his/her performance in assessed work.
  • A student has a medical condition or physical disability which impacts on his/her ability to write by hand. (Here evidence will be required from a relevant medical professional).

*NB the above list is not exhaustive.

In all cases the use of a word processor must be the student’s normal way of working prior to the exam series in question.

When a word processor is used in any internal/public examination in accordance with this policy, the grammar and spell check facility and any predictive text facility will be disabled along with the internet unless the student has also been granted the use of a scribe/spell check in accordance with JCQ regulations.

Any student wishing to use a word processor in public examinations must consult with the Learning Support Department at the start of their examination course to confirm that they qualify to do so. Such students will be spoken to by the Learning Support Department or the Examinations Office to ensure that they understand how to use the word processor efficiently in an examination.

The use of word processors in controlled assessment or coursework components will be considered standard practice unless prohibited by the specification.

This policy will be reviewed annually.

Signed:……………………………………………………………………..Kate Diveney (SENCO)