Assessment Arrangements is the process for ensuring pupils with Additional Support Needs get the appropriate support when it comes to their final exams. The aim is to replicate the support available in class in the exam environment. For example, a pupil with dyslexia may have someone read the test paper to them for class tests; the Assessment Arrangement (AA) process enables the school to apply to the SQA for them to get this in their final exam in that subject.
The system is complex with a number of checks and balance to ensure schools do not take advantage of the system and only provide AA to pupils who really need it. In the City of Edinburgh the school’s educational psychologist has to verify all our requests and the SQA moderate school’s AA process every few years.
In order for schools to put AA in place for a child the following criteria need to be met.
- The child needs to have some recognised Additional Support Need – a label or diagnosis isn’t necessary, but we must be able to identify an issue with some aspect of their learning, be it very poor spelling, weak decoding skills or excessive lack of focus.
- Subject teachers need to see the negative impact this is having on a pupil’s performance. This is required for each individual subject.
- Appropriate support, such as a reader or extra time, needs to be shown to have a positive impact on a pupil’s performance.
It is important to note that a diagnosis of an ASN on it’s own is not enough to apply for AA. The above criteria need to be met. National 3 and 4 assessments are often not time limited and teachers are able to tailor assessments to a child’s needs, so we may not need to apply for AA.
More details can be found on the SQA’s website: http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/14976.html
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
EAL pupils can use a bilingual dictionary in some exams to assist with their understanding of English. In order for the school to apply for this the pupil must be seen to be making regular use of a dictionary in classes. In addition to being able to use a dictionary, EAL pupils get 10 minutes extra per hour to give them time to consult the dictionary. This cannot be requested for English qualifications or exams in the child’s native language. The pupil must provide their own dictionary.
Pupils with medical conditions
If your child has a medical condition with you feel will impact on their performance in exams please get in touch with your child’s Support for Pupils teacher. In such instances the school will need a letter from your child’s doctor detailing the impact their condition will have on their performance. We will contact the SQA to see what provisions can be made.