Can arrangements be made to allow for dyslexia in school exams?...
Arrangements to make exams fairer for the dyslexic student are called 'access arrangements’.
Who decides what arrangements to make?
If tests show that special arrangements are needed for a student, the school must take action. But the school can choose what arrangements to make, despite the recommendations of an Educational Psychologist.
What happens next?
The school has to apply to the Exam Board for approval for access arrangements well before the exam. Making exams fairer for your child will improve the school’s results overall, but special arrangements give extra work or costs to the school. You may need to keep asking and checking that your child gets what he/she is entitled to.
What kind of arrangements can be made?
Arrangements may include one or more of the following;
• Extra time - this can vary according to need
• Scribe - somebody to write what the student dictates
• Reader -somebody to read out aloud to the student
• Quiet separate room – for example: the students may need to read out aloud to him/herself
• Laptop with or without spell check
• Voice-activated software to change speech to text – if this is the student’s usual way of working
• Rest breaks
• Coloured overlays or coloured exam papers – if this is the student’s usual way of working
• Special marking – for example: non-consideration of spelling errors
• A viva – this is a spoken exam instead of a written on
Computer Reader – text-to-speech computer software such as ClaroRead. Have exam questions and answers read aloud and tint the screen (as long as it’s the students usual way of working.
GCSE/GCE Exam Access Arrangements are usually organised by the school/college. However, as a parent/carer of a child with a specific learning difference such as dyslexia, it's useful to understand what access arrangements are and the process for applying for them. For a summary of what you need to know go to http://dyslex.io/gcse-and-gce-level-exam-access-arrangements
ipsea has a really useful FAQ about how to obtain help for your child in exams click here to read
For official guidelines issued by the examination authorities see http://www.jcq.org.uk/exams-office/access-arrangements-and-special-consideration
For official guidance from Gov.uk on access arrangements for SAT’s click here for Key Stage 1 and click here for Key stage 2. For a summary go to http://dyslex.io/exam-access-arrangements-ks2-sats