Examination Concessions (access arrangements)

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What are Examination Concessions?

Examination Concessions are also called Access Arrangements. These are reasonable adjustments that an examination centre makes to ensure students with SEN are not placed at a substantial disadvantage to their peers and are an integral part of the support we provide for students with SEN. 

Reasonable adjustments enable schools to meet the statutory requirements set out in the Equality Act 2010. Schools must follow the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) guidelines

The guidance states that teaching staff and members of the senior leadership team must support the SENCO in determining and implementing appropriate arrangements for examinations.


What are the different Examination Concessions?

  • Extra time
  • Word processer
  • Scribe
  • Reader
  • Supervised rest breaks
  • Prompter
  • Individual room or small room
  • Read aloud
  • Different colour paper e.g. blue or pink


These are determined by the Exam Concessions assessment

For children with dyslexia and/or those that have external assessments relating to speed of working or examination access arrangements, further information can be found here regarding any external reports provided.


When and how are Examination Concessions assessed?

Examination Concessions should be processed at the start of the GCSE course e.g. Year 9 or 10 having firmly established a picture of need and ‘normal way of working’ throughout KS3.

The arrangement(s) put into place must reflect the normal way of working and support given to the candidate within the centre, for example:

  • in the classroom (where appropriate);
  • working in small groups for reading and/or writing;
  • literacy support lessons;
  • literacy intervention strategies;
  • in internal school tests/examinations;
  • mock examinations


Frequently asked Questions

My child is in Year 11 and has literacy difficulties. Can they have extra time in their GCSE examinations? 
The school needs to provide evidence that this concession is their normal way of working in school. It cannot be suddenly granted to a candidate at the time of their examinations.

My child has dyslexia. Can they have their examination papers on different colour paper? 
If your child has a dyslexic report recommendation for the use of different colour paper then this exam concession can be granted. Extra time and additional exam concessions will need to be assessed internally and the school cannot use an external Dyslexia report to apply for exam concessions. Further information can be found here

My child has poor handwriting. Can they have extra time or a scribe in their GCSE examinations?

Your child cannot have extra time for poor handwriting but handwriting intervention programmes are available. Please contact the English department. A scribe can only be granted if this is your child’s normal way of working. 

A scribe must only be used where a candidate is not sufficiently competent or confident in using a word processor with the spelling and grammar check or predictive text facility disabled (switched off). Some candidates will be able to use a word processor in most of their subjects but may require a scribe in subjects such as Maths and Science.

If a word processor (with the spelling and grammar check disabled) is the candidate’s normal way of working within the centre, then it should be used in examinations in order to encourage independent working and access to marks awarded for spelling, punctuation and grammar.