It can often be a difficult time for parents when they suspect that their child may have some sort difficulty with succeeding in exam conditions. A few tips can be found here which are intended to be useful guidance for parents. They include how you might go about finding out if there is an educational reason why your child could be eligible for extra time.
Examinations can be a very stressful time for both your child and for you as parents, particularly if your child has a history of educational problems. If your child has identified needs, Access Arrangements can be sought for GCSE, AS and A Level exams. Arrangements can also extend to higher educational facilities.
However, establishing the nature and degree of the difficulties needs to be instigated well in advance to ensure that your child receives the necessary support they require in the classroom, well before an application for Access Arrangements is sought with an Examining Body. This is because there are clear guidelines that stipulate there should be continuity of provision between the classroom and the examination room. Your child’s usual method of working in the classroom will be considered when approval and the type of arrangement are being decided upon.
Educational Centres are now able to award up to 25% additional time if they have a report from a qualified psychologist, or from an appropriately qualified teacher, or if your child has a Statement that verifies the need for this kind of requirement. The fact that a child has a Statement of Educational Need, is currently on School Action or School Action Plus, or has a physical, attentional, behavioural, social or emotional disability may or may not qualify them for extra time.
Extra time in exams is a very common arrangement where a child has specific learning difficulties however, there is a wide range of alternative arrangements that can be made, for example the use of a laptop in exams or the provision of a reader or scribe, to name but a few. Each arrangement is made dependent on the individual needs of each child.
If you are concerned about your child’s educational performance, both in school exams and in the classroom, you should seek professional advice as soon as possible. Time has a way of slipping through your fingers and before you know it your child will be facing the rigour of external exams. It puts great stress on everyone concerned when any extra time arrangements are sought at the last minute.
It is advisable to have some diagnostic testing done early to assess the need for any extra provision your child may require at school. This provision will form the basis for any application for Special Arrangements that may need to be lodged further down the track. However it is worth noting, that in a number of cases, children that receive early intervention may improve to the point that extra exam provision is not required. As a parent, being proactive about your child’s education may eliminate the need to be reactive to their difficulties at such a critical time as senior exams.