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Why has DS not been given extra time for Access Arrangements?

(9 Posts)
jodee Tue 16-Dec-14 23:55:16

Evening, DS has almost come to the end of the first term in Year 10 and (finally) this week I received his SEN Progress Tracker, where his "Proposed Access Arrangements" going forward is to use a Word Processor. I had chased this up at the beginning of term as he was assessed at the end of Year 9. (He was on School Action Plus before the changes).

I had been expecting DS to be given 25% extra time; he told me that when he had a History assessment recently, the other children on his table had extra time but he didn't, and as expected he didn't finish the assessment. He also didn't finish an RE assessment today.

I spoke to the SENCO today for an explanation of the Tracker form as it's the first one I've seen, instead of the IEP. I was told no extra time for DS, he can use a word processor - if he wants to!

His standardised scores are 76 for non verbal, 86 for verbal, 83 for quantative. (Below average is said to be below 85).

I have not been informed by anyone that his writing is so illegible that he requires a word processor (which we would have to provide) whereas he has difficulties processing information, needs instructions repeated and understanding checked (had speech therapy at a younger age).

As he has at least one score of 84 or less (I have been reading the new AA Regs for 2014-15), surely this qualifies DS to have the extra time? I want to go back to the SENCO and also the person who carried out the assessment with an informed argument.

Thanks for reading, I'm off to bed now!

jodee Wed 17-Dec-14 10:54:07


Charingcrossbun Tue 23-Dec-14 09:50:36

Hmm to me this doesn't make sense.

As you know your son's average scores would qualify him for 25% extra time. To use a word processor requires them to prove it is his normal
Method of working, this isn't instead of extra time (unless the extra time is specifically for slow writing say for a broken arm or similar) and the school can apply for both. As a senco I have applied for a laptop rather than extra time in the past because i knew the pupils was quicker on a laptop and would not use extra time (but this doesn't sound like your son). Asking you to supply the word processor is crazy - in a Gcse (or similar) you have to ensure all programmes, Internet access, data files etc are locked so the candidate only access to word pad. This is best done by a it person and I'm very surprised at a school that doesn't have a couple of laptops around for this purpose. If they mean you have to provide a laptop so he can use it in lesson then clearly a word processing is not his normal way of working and so shouldn't be done in the exam.

Extra time is easy for a school to implement as it doesn't require extra equipment or staff (although getting during assessments in lessons csn be a struggle if it over runs the period) so the only thing I can think if is that the tests you referred to are
out of date and the school doesn't want to redo them ( if the SENCo is not qualified to administer the test they may have to pay an outside assessor which is a pain in the bum but their problem not yours or your sons).

Ultimately it is in the school's interest to give your son the best exam experience possible so hopefully this won't be too hard to resolve. Book a face to face meeting with your SENCo ASAP.
The no tracker instead of iep thing will be due to recent changes in the code of practise and should not affect the level of support your DS requires.
Hope that helps

Ohmygrood Tue 23-Dec-14 10:01:59

'His standardised scores are 76 for non verbal, 86 for verbal, 83 for quantative. '
What test is this, who assessed him and when was he assessed? It sounds like a reasoning test.

Your ds will need a below average score in either speed of reading, speed of writing or processing for extra time, as well as a history of need.

Charingcrossbun Tue 23-Dec-14 18:51:53

Good point ohmygrood. They sounds like cats tests and so were probably done in year 7..?
You say he had 25% before was that in formal exams or just in class?

senvet Sat 03-Jan-15 15:12:10

Now is the time to sort it, and I agree, you are not getting clear correct advice.

My daughter was assessed by a truly excellent ed psych at the end of year 10, and her slow processing rate (24th centile, ie slower than 25% of kids her age) contributed to her 25% extra time. She had another score under 25% and the two together clinched it.

She needs to touch type because her joints are hypermobile (OT assessment) but as touch typing lessons brought her speed up to the speed of other kids' writing it didn't automatically qualify her for extra time - but it did qualify her for rest breaks and a room to herself so she can shift position.

If you can find the money, I would suggest you get really good Ed Psych and OT assessments and that should sort out your son's difficulties. The pace in Years 10 and 11 picks up, so I wouldn't leave this with the school now. By the way, if you live in Kent, the Bedgebury Foundation may contribute to the cost of reports, touch typing lessons etc
Good Luck

EveryChildMattersMum Thu 29-Jan-15 21:22:31

senvet, i am looking for an excellent ed psych right now for my own son, an am in Kent - can you recommend one?

senvet Fri 30-Jan-15 14:50:55

OK! The very best I know is Peter Parkhouse and is in the west country.
If you just need a clinic assessment then a nice trip through Cheltenham and some pretty west country towns - or a visit to Stonehenge - and you cut the cost.
If you need him to visit a school in Kent then he has to charge travel time, and the cost rockets up. Personally I felt it was worth it, but we were a bit luck with an unexpected windfall, so it seemed like a good way to spend it to help dd.

The next suggestion is Ann Baumber who lives Kent way. She is pretty booked up, but very good, and excellent in Tribunal. No question she is up with the best on complex cases. used her on a relatives case. No hesitation in recommending her

I could suggest more, but depends on what SN you have and whether it is tribunal or not. Heard Sally Kemp is good but doesn't do Tribunals, I think

For help with costs if you would struggle to pay go to Bedgebury Foundaton
They usually consider applications maybe 4 times per year, but can respond to emergencies. They look at your finances (income and outgoings) and apply a formula to scale the % they will contribute. Very nice admin person. My friend, where both work but have 3 kids and in-work benefit got well over half from memory.

Is this doing the trick?

fattyma1973 Thu 16-Feb-17 16:30:23

Hello does anyone know if there is a similiar foundation to the Bedgebury Foundation which supports folks in London? I contacted this foundation but you need to live in Sussex or Kent.

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