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School not allowing scribe to student who is entitled?

(93 Posts)
CanvasAwning Thu 03-Mar-16 06:27:06

I believe that if a student is entitled to a scribe then school are legally bound to offer one. I am thinking that they could use "normal way of working" as a reason for refusal. But if they haven't offered a scribe then how could it be normal way of working and if student has only just qualified for a scribe then it couldn't be normal way of working either.

What can be done if the school is refusing to offer a scribe to student who is entitled to one? Year 11.

LadyPenelope68 Thu 03-Mar-16 06:36:17

Depends on the circumstances. Are you talking about a scribe for lessons or for exams?

CanvasAwning Thu 03-Mar-16 06:41:33


Nospringflower Thu 03-Mar-16 06:45:31

Who has said that they are entitled to one and what reasons are school giving for not providing one?

jellyhead Thu 03-Mar-16 06:54:09

For exams my understanding is that the student has had to use a scribe previously so it is a usual way of working.
My ds used a laptop in his GCSES but had to use it pretty much continuously over the previous 2 years even in lessons where it wasn't helpful so the school could demonstrate it was necessary for his exams.
Ask the senco for advice .

CanvasAwning Thu 03-Mar-16 06:54:17

Have qualified for one via normal route of standardised tests.

Needs already being catered for (laptop).

CanvasAwning Thu 03-Mar-16 07:03:28


I don't think it cannot be "normal way of working" if they have only recently qualified.

lborolass Thu 03-Mar-16 07:08:58

What have the school said? Did they apply to the exam board for permission to use a scribe and then say they wouldn't provide one?

I'd say you need to have a discussion with them but I wouldn't advise mentioning anything legal, I'm pretty sure the law doesn't extend to how exams are administered and you might get off on the wrong foot by taking such an extreme position.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 03-Mar-16 07:15:09

Talk to the school first, but yes, they should legally provide the help that the student needs in order that they are not disadvantaged in an exam by whatever disability they have.

Reasonable provision needs to be made - if an alternative option is available, then the school can offer that instead - but it should all be about the student not being disadvantaged.

OddBoots Thu 03-Mar-16 07:21:33

If a child is not used to using a scribe then having one in an exam may well make it harder not easier for them. We were offered the choice of a laptop or a scribe for my ds and when we looked into it a laptop was much better for him in his situation (physical disability in his hands). To use a scribe you have to dictate clearly exactly the way it should be written which is harder than it sounds and it is almost impossible to get the SPaG marks ( See AQA for details )

Does the child have a statement/EHCP that specifies a scribe?

CanvasAwning Thu 03-Mar-16 07:47:07

Too many mistakes on laptop, even with extra time and spellcheck turned on. Doesn't have statement.

rosebiggs Thu 03-Mar-16 07:59:31

Is their writing actually illegible?

CanvasAwning Thu 03-Mar-16 08:02:54

Yes, illegible.

OddBoots Thu 03-Mar-16 08:05:16

Is this for exams coming up this year? Is this as a result of a long term disability?

I am reading the rules form the PDF download here and it repeats that the access arrangements used in the exam have to be the ones used as normal way of working in the lead up to the exams including using them in internal school tests and mock exams. "†The only exception to this is where an arrangement is put in place as a consequence of a temporary injury or impairment (see section 8.3, page 89)."

The final date for this ear's GCSEs to apply for special access is 21st March so less than 3 weeks away. There is just about enough time to get a mock exam in using a scribe but it would still be hard to argue that it is a usual way for working for him. It sounds very frustrating for you and I understand why you would want to push this but it might be best to make sure they apply for him to use the laptop (my ds's school forgot for his first GCSE which he was thankfully taking early so we noticed) and extra time if that would be applicable in your son's case then work with him to use the laptop to his maximum advantage.

MrsJayy Thu 03-Mar-16 08:12:37

Dd had a scribe for her exams in 4th 5th and 6th year exams (scotland)it isnt hard to do for schools they are being awkward and not inclusive we tried the laptop too it didnt work for her either, i think you need to speak to the SEN department today if no joy go to the Education department ask to speak to their inclusion person for schools .

00100001 Thu 03-Mar-16 08:15:30

Err, how is the candidate allowed spell check on?

A scribe will also ask the candidate how to spell words and will write then exactly as told.

I've never heard of a scribe and laptop.

And we have some pretty "difficult" requests!

MrsJayy Thu 03-Mar-16 08:19:27

Dd tried with a laptop for a prelim her scribe was in the room with her supervising but a scribe can read out cant they ?

rosebiggs Thu 03-Mar-16 08:23:55

The candidate can be allowed the spell check but they lose the spag marks.
Does your dc have a reader op?

rosebiggs Thu 03-Mar-16 08:28:09

...should add to above the that spell check can be enabled only if the pupil has qualified for a scribe. So op's dc presumably can't use this option either.

CanvasAwning Thu 03-Mar-16 17:28:43


He qualifies to use the spellcheck, so therefore qualifies for scribe. He doesn't have a reader.

BackforGood Thu 03-Mar-16 22:32:09

Just a warning.
ds was involved in a traffic accident just before his mock a-levels, and was given a scribe for a couple of exams. He thought it would be great, but actually found it really disconcerting - not being the way he normally worked. If it's not the way you normally work, I don't think it will be helpful to suddenly do it for exams.

Pontytidy Thu 03-Mar-16 23:28:25

There has apparently been a large increase in the number of children being given extra time, scribes and computers for their exams as I think the school is given the power to grant this. As a result the system has been abused, hence the tightening up. Some children have gained unfair advantages so I think more consideration is being given to each case

Bluebonnie Thu 03-Mar-16 23:33:17

OP - can you explain how he "has only just qualified" to use a scribe?

Did the school commission an assessment, and if so, was it in Year 9 or later?
Has he had a scribe in tests and exams before, or has he word processed?

CanvasAwning Fri 04-Mar-16 08:03:40

He has always word processed but only recently scored low enough to qualify for scribe. He qualified for extra time a year or so ago.

Definitely not into abusing the system... just want him to be able to demonstrate ability. Would actually prefer him to be self sufficient and type but it's not working out.

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