Exam ACCess Arrangements (EAA) – 8th September 2017

Exam ACCess Arrangements (EAA) – 8th September 2017

Think you or your child should have support for upcoming exams? The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) publish a definitive guide every August about what and how, exam access arrangements (EAA) are put in place. The guide is generally for England and Wales.

EAA can be applied for if a candidate has a persistent and significant difficulty and/or substantial long term impairment. Within the JCQ regulations, a candidate can be assessed for and granted EAA without a diagnosis of dyslexia. EAA are to ensure that a candidate is not disadvantaged.

Two pieces of information must be in place to support an application:

1.       The EAA requested must reflect the candidate’s normal way of working and evidence of this must be held on file. For example, EAA should be put in place for internal tests and mock examinations prior to the main examination and this evidence should be recorded.

2.       Recent statistical evidence recorded via an assessment by a qualified practitioner and/or medical evidence, where appropriate.

The changes to the JCQ regulations for 2017/18 are minimal. However, one notable change is that,

“In exceptional circumstances 25% extra time may be awarded to a candidate where the assessment confirms that the candidate has at least two low average standardised scores (85-89) which relate to two different areas of speed of working.”

Additionally,

“Where there is a cluster of scores (at least three, relating to three different areas of speed of working) just within the average range (90 to 94), in rare and very exceptional circumstances 25% extra time may be awarded.” However, this candidate must also have a report undertaken by a specialist diagnostic assessor confirming a significant learning difficulty or disability.

Although EAA, particularly extra time, for candidates whose assessment scores were above 84 were always available, if applied for on a case by case basis, the current regulations clearly state what is acceptable regarding assessment scores.

Whilst the regulations are comprehensive, a reasonable adjustment may be unique to that individual and may not be included in the list of available EAA. This does not mean it cannot be applied for.

Finally, for assessors the content of ‘at least 100 hours relating to individual specialist assessment’ has been clarified to include lecture, seminar and tutorial time, study time, assessment time and time spent completing assignments.

For more information speak to your school/educational setting and get in touch with National Dyslexia Network.