Assessing Sen and Formal Examinations

Special Educational needs are a vast area incorporating many areas including physical, emotional and learning needs. Legislation over the past years has removed many of the barriers for candidates with a disability or any form of SEN, to ensure a fully inclusive educational system.
The SEN and disability act of 2001 states that schools have to make adjustments to ensure that any student with a disability is not disadvantaged. Educational establishments have to develop a curriculum that meets the needs of a diverse society incorporating many needs, ensuring equality.
This also applies within the examination and assessment framework across all educational provision from reception to adult.

To ensure consistency and validity the Joint Council for Qualifications (QCF) along with the Federation of Awarding bodies have set up guidelines and procedures with regard to Access Arrangements for general and vocational qualifications. These guidelines are updated, published and sent out to all examination centres each academic year. They are also available online.

Access arrangements allow examination or assessment candidates with long term or temporary need to access the exam/ assessment with some form of concession. This concession must not compromise the examination or give the candidate any unfair advantage. The access arrangement that is put in place will ensure that the candidate can show their knowledge and skills within the demands of the assessment.
Some examples of access arrangements are:
• Reader
• Scribe
• Additional time to complete the exam
• Supervised Rest breaks  
• Use of a word processor
An example of use would be
A candidate has a physical need that results in tiredness of limbs; supervised rest breaks would be put in place to allow the candidate to complete the assessment. The candidate would still complete the exam within the required time and time taken for breaks would be discounted.

A student with Dyslexia may struggle to...