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Extra Time for Exams Assessment - WWYD and advice pls?

(13 Posts)
DogsBeastFiend Sat 15-Oct-11 13:00:56

Not looking for a flaming here or accusations of not wanting to cooperate with school, just genuinely not knowing the way SEN etc works and wanting the best for my DD.

DD is 14 and in the first term of a new secondary school. New school is very hot on pastoral care, very aware that old school allowed DD to be horribly bullied and that the LA broke the law by refusing to place her in a school for months so I suspect that they are even more anxious to do their best. So far very pleased with them.

I'm in the process (slowly) of putting together supporting documents for a recent SEN application - part of this being that DD has a very slow handwriting speed and poor spelling though she's tested to be average/above average in intellect. I'm pretty sure that the handwriting/spelling are far more likely to be due to be a result of her not being educated for months and months thanks to the LA, together with being HE in the past without an emphasis on written work (which would've been fine and evened itself out over time had I not been ill and had to send her back into the state system). I don't know this though of course, hence adding it to my SEN application for their assessment and conclusion.

On Friday I received an email from the examinations officer saying that they have someone coming in to assess for extra time in exams and controlled assessment and would like to include my DD in this.

That's great BUT I'm a bit concerned that this might be a sticking plaster approach. I'm pretty convinced that it's down to education and not a medical condition and that both can be improved upon tremendously with the right tuition and am happy to work with school, coach at home etc to achieve that. My fear is that if she has this extra time the school will consider that they've done their bit and that's that. Certainly when the suggestion that extra time "might be a possibility" was mooted in the old school they made it clear that this was all they would even consider offering.

Does anyone have an experience of this please? I'm in the middle of composing my reply, politely saying pretty much what I have here (without reference to the old school at all!) and asking for further advice and reassurance about my concerns, cc-ing to both the SENCO and Pastoral Support Teacher ... is that an acceptable response do you think?

The other thing is that the email was worded that the school " would like to include DD" in the assessment for extra time. Does that mean that they need my permission? I'm happy to grant it but don't want to look like a snooty, condescending cow by doing so if they don't need it!

Thanks ever so much.

DBF

lisad123 Sat 15-Oct-11 13:13:41

I would be tempted to reply, that yes that would be helpful in the short term and that you agree it may be of helpful to dd in the short term. However, you still want to persist with dx or whatever it is you want them to do.

Extra time in exam was very helpful to me smile

IndigoBell Sat 15-Oct-11 13:24:51

Sounds like she's going to get extra time under the criteria of slow writing speed - and the test will just be a writing test which they'll time. (ie write about something, then count how many words she did in 20 minutes.

I wouldn't turn that down!

But it doesn't stop school also helping her with her writing speed - though I'm not exactly sure how they would do that.

Occupational Therapy might be able to help - but you'd never get that for free or through school.

coff33pot Sat 15-Oct-11 13:43:25

I would gladly accept it like the others have said. I would also write that although the extra time will be beneficial owing to her writing speed you would still like to continue with her dx as you would much rather she had the opportunity to improve during her remaining school years.

DogsBeastFiend Sat 15-Oct-11 13:51:57

Thank you, I appreciate your help. Sorry for the delay replying to you... don't laugh but I put a ball of string down, went to feed the dogs, returned to put the picture on the wall... and can I find the ball of effing string? Been wandering from room to room, garden to shed and back muttering, "Where the feck... !".

Cheers from a string-less Dogs.

Dawndonna Sat 15-Oct-11 13:54:05

Mine all get extra time, for hand writing and processing (the question) speed. It is worth it, if for no other reason than gaining a bit of confidence.

DogsBeastFiend Sat 15-Oct-11 13:54:21

The way you ladies have worded your replies - do you think that the school might be offering this in response to my recent application for an SEN assessment or am I over-thinking this? (Serious question, not being cynical for once).

insanityscratching Sat 15-Oct-11 13:55:52

Eldest ds who has dyspraxia sat the assessment your dd will be doing because his writing is slow and his spelling dodgy although he's pretty bright. His school told him to do his best and he'd get extra time but if he put in little effort he'd get a scribe. Hence he got a scribe grin It meant that his GCSE's reflected his intelligence rather than his ability to handwrite (he can touch type with no trouble at all) I would jump at the opportunity tbh if dd makes huge strides in the next couple of years then she can leave when the rest do if she doesn't need the extra time.

insanityscratching Sat 15-Oct-11 13:58:16

I'd say that it's about the time that it would be done routinely for any child who they thought might need extra time so that it's in place for any module exams. I think it's coincidental that you have asked for a statutory assessment tbh.

DogsBeastFiend Sat 15-Oct-11 14:00:01

Thanks for the tip comment, insanity grin and for the reassurance that it's coincidence. I was very much hoping that would be the reply. smile

IndigoBell Sat 15-Oct-11 14:04:45

I agree. It should be routine to check all Y10s (or whatever) and see who might be eligible for extra time - it's obviously in the school's interest for kids to get extra time if it means they'll do better in their exams.

It doesn't mean they have SN or are on the SEN register, it purely means their handwriting speed is slow.

nightcat Sat 15-Oct-11 14:09:34

my ds had extra time and on one occasion had the scribe, but the scribe didn't work out at all sad They are all different and I would def say yes to extra time, but our school didn't offer much more in a way of help, it was just sitting him in front of the computer for some exercises - that was all not subject specific and didn't help really tho I am sure school ticked all the boxes from their end in terms of providing help

Minx179 Sun 16-Oct-11 00:17:38

I would agree to have her assessed. I'm surprised your school are getting somebody in though, usually the school SENCO carries out a short test, then send the info to the exam bodies for approval.

Getting extra time in an exam theoretically helps to level the playing field between those with difficulties and those without.

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