Exam Access arrangements: external reports and dyslexia

Dyslexia diagnosis and external access arrangement assessments


Access Arrangements Assessments must be carried out at the start of Year 9 and by a school appointed assessor. This means that the school is unable to accept an external professional’s report, including Dyslexia Specialist Assessors and Educational Psychologists, and must carry out their own assessments. A candidate must always be assessed by the centre’s appointed assessor and directed to assess the candidate by the SENCo.


Please see below for the JCQ Access Arrangement Guidance:

5.2.2 In order to award 25% extra time the SENCo must determine the needs of the candidate based on one of the following:

• a current  Education, Health and Care Plan, or an Individual Development Plan, which confirms the candidate’s disability (supplemented by the required centre based evidence); or

a fully completed Form 8 with an assessment (Part 2 of Form 8) carried out no earlier than the start of Year 9 by an assessor confirming a learning difficulty relating to secondary/further education.


7.3.6 A privately commissioned assessment carried out without prior consultation with the centre cannot be used to award access arrangements and cannot be used to process an application using Access arrangements online.

The SENCo must provide the assessor with at least a ‘skeleton’ Part 1 of Form 8 prior to the candidate being assessed (Part 2 of Form 8).

(Where a learning difficulty specifically arises as a result of a medical condition please see paragraph 5.2.3 and section 5.7 - 25% extra time and/or a scribe.)

Where a privately commissioned report, or a report from an external professional, is rejected by a centre, the head of centre or a member of the senior leadership team should provide a written rationale supporting their decision to the parent/carer.

SENCos and assessors working within the centre should always carefully consider any privately commissioned assessment to see whether the process of gathering a picture of need, demonstrating normal way of working within the centre and ultimately assessing the candidate themselves should be instigated.