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New regulations on extra time in exams? Paniced 17 year old.

(7 Posts)
Copthallresident Sat 06-Apr-13 16:18:05

Has / Is anyone else experiencing difficulty with a change in the regulations for extra time

DD is 17 and has been diagnosed since Year 5, and had 25% extra time in all her essay subject GCSEs. Her previous school had provided the evidence needed to justify that based on the Ed Psychs report and recommendation and gathering evidence from her teachers and through the use of a different coloured pen during extra time in mocks.

We have just heard from the SEN teacher at her new school that the fact that she has a number of scores within the average range though Verbal and Non verbal are in the Very Superior range, and speed of reading and writing are at the tenth decile, well below average, they may have difficulty justifying her entitlement and we need to get another assessment to ensure the evidence on speed is up to date.

Is anyone else encountering this issue. When I spoke to the centre where she is assessed they said they are overrun with parents in the same situation and are beginning to struggle to be able to help everyone in time.

My DD has real problems with anxiety before and in exams, gets absolutely exhausted during them and has the typical tendency to misread questions and provide an excellent answer, just not what is asked for in the question. She is therefore absolutely distraught about this development and talking about not even sitting the exams if she does not get extra time as she is so sure that she would struggle to even pass. (She got Bs in her mocks, with extra time)

Anyone want to handhold, provide insight, suggest anymore we can do?

eatyourveg Sat 06-Apr-13 18:48:57

ds3 (ASD) scored too highly in the various tests to be considered for extra time but the senco said that when she entered the scores on the computer there was a box asking if he had a statement which he has and also if there was any diagnostic/other evidence - she ticked yes as the salt had written a report for his latest annual review saying he would need extra time. She wasn't sure what the reply would be when she sent it off but the exam people came back with a yes and he will have 25% so all is not lost for your dd

The extra time concession has a time limit on it (2 yrs I think) so I would suggest that you try to establish when your dd's concession expires and if it has already done so try to get some recent reports from outside professionals who may be involved with your dd. Could you get another ed psych report through school or would you consider a private one

Flappingandflying Sun 07-Apr-13 12:26:40

Yes the guidelines have tightened up big time. It is normal to retest once in year 12. She ill need a really low processing speed test to qualify. The school may well not have this test in school as it is very expensive. Her diagnosis was a long time ago. I think it worth getting her retested. Frankly, most people taking exams could do with extra time and lots of people feel nervous and anxious. Really, if her scores are above the standardised score of 85 then it is very very hard to justify except on exceptional medical need. Whatever happens she needs to start developing strategies to help her anxiety. She will need this sort of control for life. After all how many of us at work have had a demanding boss ask for something to be read and a report written quickly.

The school can give increments of 25 percent so ten percent for say a maths exam and 25 for english. Would using a word processor be a better option for her? You can get et on handwriting speed or if word processing is a norml way of working then that needs no paperwork.

Copthallresident Sun 07-Apr-13 18:03:34

Hi. Thanks for the comments. We do have it in train with the Dyslexia centre that first diagnosed her to get her retested, we can apparently bring forward the test we would have required to get done for university. The problem is they are so overrun with people in the same position that timing may be an issue. It is one thing to tighten up but quite another to have failed to provide enough warning so that pupils have adequate notice of any change to their situation. My DD has her first exam in six weeks, which if she does loose the extra time she has had in every essay based subject since Year 10 then she is going to have to put some new strategies in place, which is why she is saying she will not be able to do so by May. Indeed she and the school might never have embarked on 4 essay based ASs in the first place since the conversation we had at that time was that she clearly had the potential to do well and with hard work (which she does ) and extra time there was every chance she would fulfil her potential. There is however no evidence that her speeds will have improved beyond being at the tenth percentile for the population so it looks like it may be possible

On the anxiety side, she has had considerable help from our GP Counsellor and even a hypnotherapist. It is only triggered by exams, in every other situation she is a sensible girl who gets on with things. However an exam is a perfect storm of issues for her.

I don,t worry about her in real life, I am dyslexic and though school and exams were a nightmare I came into my own at uni and in a marketing career. I do worry though that we now seem to have departed from the original aim of special provisions for special needs to level the playing field to one where if they have average working memory and processing ability then no allowance is made for that being well below the level you would predict for a person of high ability. If someone has reasoning at the 98th percentile and working memory and processing at the 50 th they are clearly working at a disadvantage .

eatyourveg Sun 07-Apr-13 18:58:01

might be worth asking if the school have dragon software - its a speech recognition thing which the exam boards have started to approve of in place of a scribe, laptops are fine but ime some of my dyslexic students have problems finding their way around the keyboard so its a hindrance time-wise rather than a help

Although it is rather late in the day for the AS exams, do still go ahead with getting any extra evidence you can so that the A2s are covered.

Copthallresident Sun 07-Apr-13 23:35:40

eatyourveg Should have added we had a full Ed Psych report at the end Year 11 so she has an unbroken record of SLD diagnosis and support actually stretching back to Year 2 when she first had help, too early to diagnose but the SEN teacher was sure that was the issue and put the right support in place and we all worked really hard, which has a lot to do with some of her attainment scores in reading and spelling not being on the floor. Ironically being a family of dyslexics we were always alert to the signs. Seems a pity that after all that support it may evaporate. We do have all that evidence and I am sure that her last school would help too. None of her teachers have ever been anything but absolutely sure that she needs the extra time to enable her to fulfil her potential so we will put that in the mix......

Copthallresident Sun 07-Apr-13 23:46:31

We did explore using laptops etc. but having been programmed with a formal academic education she finds the half way house between having the support of Word and putting pen to paper very hard. She couldn't adjust to having no editing /spellcheck when she was fluent in their use. I think verbal would be even harder as her auditory memory is at also sub 10th percentile . ONe of the ways I have managed my career to compensate for my issues is to always do the written wash up of ideas sessions , then I can clarify my ideas , not always brilliantly articulated at the time, in writing.

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