Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments Policy
Access Arrangements Explained
Access arrangements are agreed before an assessment. They allow candidates with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to access the assessment and show what they know and can do without changing the demands of the assessment. The intention behind an access arrangement is to meet the particular needs of an individual disabled candidate without affecting the integrity of the assessment. Access arrangements are the principal way in which awarding bodies comply with the duty under the Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments’.
Access Arrangements could be (for example)
- Extra Time
A comprehensive list is available in the JCQ guidance on access arrangements, the link for which is supplied at the end of this Policy. These arrangements are determined by specialist assessment.
As a tuition provider, we are part of the assessment process for these arrangements, and will provide advice. As a qualification provider, we work within the frameworks outlined by JCQ, and staff are provided with training where appropriate.
Reasonable Adjustments Explained
The Equality Act 2010 requires an awarding body to make reasonable adjustments where a candidate, who is disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010, would be at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to someone who is not disabled. The awarding body is required to take reasonable steps to overcome that disadvantage. An example would be a Braille paper which would be a reasonable adjustment for a visually impaired person who could read Braille, or the use of rest breaks for a young person who has a condition such as ME/CFS or Arthritis. A reasonable adjustment for a particular person may be unique to that individual and may not be included in the list of available access arrangements. Whether an adjustment will be considered will depend on a number of factors which will include, but are not limited to:
- The needs of the candidate/learner
- The effectiveness of the adjustment
- The cost of the adjustment
- The likely impact of the adjustment upon the candidate
Where the candidate is defined as disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010 all parties involved with the assessment process have a duty to ensure that their needs are met, and that all reasonable adjustments are made. An example of these types of arrangements could be;
- Time Prompts
- Adapted papers (colour/font)
- Supervised rest breaks
- Read out loud
A full and comprehensive list is available via JCQ. However, we recognise that some adjustments may not be covered in this guidance and therefore take an individualised approach in ensuring that young people have the adjustments that they need.
Access Arrangements and Tuition Extra
Tuition Extra adheres to the definitions in relation to access arrangements, reasonable adjustments, disability, special educational needs and learning difficulties as agreed by the JCQ awarding bodies. In line with JCQ regulations, Tuition Extra will make all decisions with regard to access arrangements in consideration of the following: Definition of Disability as stated in the Equality Act 2010 Disability:
“a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities”.
The Children and Families Act 2014 s20 defines clarifies the definition of Special Educational Needs as;
‘A child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.
A child of compulsory school age or a young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she—
has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions’
Access Arrangements must be considered in the context of the candidate’s normal way of working with Tuition Extra and any other associated educational provision – demonstrating the involvement of the teaching staff from the principal school, and the tutors from Tuition Extra in determining the need for the access arrangements.
The process of implementing access arrangements at Tuition Extra ensures a “level playing field” for all examination candidates and most importantly, ensures that the integrity of assessments is not compromised. As far as possible, any access arrangement granted to a candidate will support independent working in order to enable the candidate to demonstrate their knowledge in a manageable way.
Evidence of Need
Appropriate evidence of need will be gathered by Tuition Extra, and made available for inspection. This evidence may be in a variety of forms and will be inline with the suggested requirements from JCQ, for example;
- Education, Health and Care Plans.
- The SEN register and data in relation to the young person’s needs, and associated plans in relation to the identification of needs.
- A History/Chronology of need as well as relevant provision.
- Intervention Strategies
- Assessment results
- Staff observations and reports
- Form 8 (Where required) and specialist assessor reports
- SENCO Cover Notes
- Medical Letters/Evidence
This is in order that we can;
- Provide relevant evidence of the nature and extent of the disability or difficulty/impairment which has a substantial and long term effect on the candidate’s ability to carry out day to day activities.
- Provide evidence that the difficulties are persistent and significant.
- Show evidence of how the disability, difficulty or impairment has impacted on teaching and learning.
- Confirm that the candidate would be at a substantial disadvantage when compared with other non-disabled candidates undertaking the assessment.
- Confirm that the access arrangement is the candidate’s normal way of working as a direct consequence of their disability and therefore reflect the normal way of working.
The requirements of different subjects vary – an English assessment would require a greater amount of prose writing than a Maths assessment, for example. Therefore it is often the case that a candidate’s difficulties mean that he/she only requires support in one or two subjects. Equally, another candidate may need support in all their subjects. The key principle is that the SENCO can show a history of relevant support and provision.
As per JCQ regulations certain applications may need to be supported with for example:
- A letter from CAMHS or a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.
- A letter from a hospital consultant.
- A letter from the Local Authority Educational Psychology Service.
- A letter from the Local Authority Sensory Impairment Service.
- A letter from a Speech and Language Therapist (SALT)
All of the above will be at the request of the SENCO or other authorised staff within the service.
For those pupils potentially requiring access arrangements, formal assessment and application to JCQ is carried out, where possible by the published deadline date.
When granted, access arrangements are valid to the end of the GCSE examinations.
Any pupil with standard assessment scores which indicate a substantial impairment will be considered for access arrangements.
Specialist assessments for access arrangements will be carried out by an appropriately qualified assessor. We will not be able to accept private reports for the purposes of establishing whether or not a young person needs access arrangements, as per JCQ guidance.
For further information please contact;