Access Arrangements GCSE(2 Posts)
Seeking advice for DD who has recently been diagnosed with Dyspraxia and SPD re: Access arrangements for exams, particularly own room and extra time.
DD is easily distracted and overwhelmed by other people in the room eg other students turning pages. She is also a slow writer and finds it difficult to put thoughts into words. She was referred by her English teacher to the specialist Assessor who did the extra time tests and one score indicated she needs extra time, however Senco said this could be due to her anxiety. We have further evidence of this in the form of class tests and controlled assessments where she has run out of time.
We have recently had a meeting with the Head of Year and the Senco following DD mocks where she was unable to concentrate as although she was in the quiet room there are still too many students there who distract her. Previously she had been on her own for Science CA and was able to work the whole way through without getting distracted. Head of year and Senco suggested rest breaks and suggested with exam technique DD wouldnt get distracted and if she did to use a restbreak. We tried to explain that no amount of exam technique would stop DD getting distracted as it is part of her condition and she would therefore be on a restbreak all the time.
We feel they are not listening and taking DDs problem seriously enough. DD will be having an Assessment with an Educational Psychologist this month but the Senco informed us they do not need to take it into account and they will not permit an extra room or extra time despite a full OT report detailing her difficulties and her history of not coping in the exam room in the past two sets of mocks - but being fine in her own room for CAs. Please advise us as to what our next step should be.
They are wrong in this one, and unusually so. If I were feeling charitable I would suggest the SENCO is not familiar enough with JCQ guidance and/or recent SEND reforms.
One standardised test score below 85 in any cognitive processing test or subtest is sufficient for extra time, regardless of any diagnosis or otherwise.
A diagnosis of Dyspraxia alone would often award use of a scribe/reader/word processor/extra room (whichever required) purely on the basis of diagnosed disabilities. Many AA assessors will still perform a DASH or free writing check just for extra evidence.
I would write a formal letter to the school, copy in LEA and Ofsted, make it clear that you feel they are discriminating against your daughter by refusing to account for a diagnosed disability and refusing to make reasonable adjustments for exams on that basis.
It is an odd dance to do to state that extra time is only required due to anxiety, but that they will both with-hold an adjustment for anxiety AND extra time...
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