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Can anyone answer a question re JCQ regulations on extra time for exams?

(13 Posts)
wherewasi Fri 19-Apr-13 15:08:24

Ds school have said that according to JCQ Regulations only students with a Statement of SEN are eligible for extra time during an exam.

I have looked through the JCQ information but I can't see where it states this. I also tried phoning them but they said they don't take queries from parents.

Anyone here know the definitive answer?

creamteas Fri 19-Apr-13 16:36:23

The s school are talking rubbish.

Two of mine have extra time (one also with a scribe) and whilst both have SEN neither have a statement.

They both had to take some assessments (which they did in school) and it has to be their normal way of working.

wherewasi Fri 19-Apr-13 17:48:08

Oh thanks very much for that creamteas. The trouble is i've had mixed messages from the school. Glad to hear yours get the help they need smile

Ds has epilepsy and has a lot of absence seizures when he's under stress. After a mock in January where he failed to complete the paper he told me he had a lot of absences during the exam. I asked the SENCO if he would be able to get some help. The person she passed me on to said he could sit the exams in a smaller venue and would get extra time of approx 25% to compensate for the seizures.

That was a couple months ago. Now that person is off sick and the person covering says that although ds can have a rest break in the exam he can't have extra time to do the work and that is because of JCQ regs.

Not sure what to do now - JCQ refused to discuss with me and said I had to take any query up with the school. Should I go the LEA?

eatyourveg Fri 19-Apr-13 18:05:42

I would contact the governors (our school has one specifically for sen) its rather late in the day for this year so you might have to get your skates on but as creamteas says - they really are talking rubbish.

Tons of my students (FE) get extra time, scribes, assistive technology etc and none of them have statements as they stop when they leave school and come to college.

wherewasi Fri 19-Apr-13 18:18:37

What's the best way to approach it without sounding confrontational? I have had a series of emails back and forth with this person over the last couple of days and the last one stated adamantly that rest breaks were the only form of extra time available to someone with medical needs - sounded very much like someone digging their heels in...

Really annoys me that we've never asked for any help before - ds has just got on with it and hates having attention drawn to him - and now when we do it's turning into a stand-off.

I suppose on the bright side he 'only' has 3 exams this year ( his school policy is to start taking GCSE's from year 9) so if we are too late this year I could make sure it's sorted for year 10.

wherewasi Fri 19-Apr-13 18:22:24

eatyourveg do your students do an assessment like creamteas?

tethersend Fri 19-Apr-13 18:24:23

The school are wrong.

It's not help BTW, it's removing the additional barriers to ensure your child is on a level playing field with their peers.

You need Feenie- IIRC, she coordinates access arrangements. Maybe try PMing her?

I think emailing the head would be the next step.

wherewasi Fri 19-Apr-13 18:33:21

tethersend that was exactly the expression I used - 'level playing field' - in one of my emails to the exam person to try to explain why extra time is needed rather than a rest break.

In her message she insists that taking rest breaks will amount to the same thing but I argued that it is not because it will disrupt his concentration even more and he won't be allowed to do any work during the break. Plus it relies on him asking for the break which, knowing him, he will not want to do!

I've got a horrible feeling if I email the head they will close ranks and I will end up looking like an unreasonable parent who's trying to force some unfair advantage.

Can't get onto Feenie's details - maybe I should put out a call for her?

titchy Fri 19-Apr-13 19:23:04

Try this:
http://www.jcq.org.uk/Download/exams-office/access-arrangements-and-special-consideration/regulations-and-guidance/access-arrangements-reasonable-adjustments-and-special-consideration-2012-2013

(Sorry cant link on phone - page 17 gives you what you need I think.)

wherewasi Fri 19-Apr-13 19:36:10

Ok. Read through more thoroughly this time (ta for the link titchy) I can see where she's coming from. Generally the extra time is for SEN that have been assessed in some form. In 'rare and exceptional' cases they can make an exception for a disability/medical condition but it has to be shown to have a 'clear, substantial and measurable' effect on performance.

It isn't going to be possible to demonstrate this in ds case as the seizures can't be brought on at will in order to measure them. I suppose also, to be fair, I can't claim that they have a substantial effect, just that they do have a detrimental effect. Oh well.

creamteas Fri 19-Apr-13 19:53:31

I've just checked the guidance at my uni, and it is suggested that potential access arrangements could include:

Sitting the exam in a separate room, with does not have any triggers
Changing the time of the exam if there is a temporal pattern
Supervised rest breaks
Having a invigilator monitor for absence seizures and adding on time at the end.

They are always assessed on an individual basis, so something should be possible

eatyourveg Fri 19-Apr-13 21:15:12

yes the students wanting concessions have to be assessed and take various tests. Usually a score less than 85 will mean some sort of concession though you can get concessions with a higher score if there are other circumstances. ds3 scored higher than 85 but because he has a statement and had a recent report from the SALT stating he would need extra time he was given 25%. If its a separate room because of potential triggers for an episode, then the usual tests such as Digit Memory Test (DMT) and the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) would not be appropriate.

The testing has to be done by someone qualified to conduct the tests - our place it is done by a specialist with a Dip SpLD.

The concession usually lasts roughly 2 years. Extra time is probably the most common concession in our place but loads of students have readers, scribes, word processors etc and sitting the exam in a different room is not at all unusual

camptownraces Sat 20-Apr-13 19:26:24

Wherewasi:
This is a medical condition, not a learning difficulty, so the school does NOT have to do an assessment of learning difficulty.

See para 2.1.3 of the current JCQ regs - it looks as if you have already referred to them.

It would be very straightforward for school to put in rest breaks. I would have expected Senco to make the case to the school's Exam officer. If the Senco won't take telephone enquiries, send him/her a note, copying it to your son's tutor. There is probably a letter somewhere in the school explaining your son's medical condition. (Best thing is a doctor's letter, but they will accept parents' or previous school's letter sometimes).

The Exam Officer then has to have a note on file explaining why they have given rest breaks, referring to medical note. Exam officer would be responsible for keeping this info, in case an examinations inspector wanted to see it.

Extra time might be possible, but rest breaks are probably the correct response in these circumstances. Your son would need to be monitored during the exam so that rest breaks can be actioned when needed.

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