“What paperwork do I need to complete to refer someone for exam arrangements?”
You will need to complete an EP1 form (which needs to be signed by the student’s parent/guardian if they are under 18) and an EAA2 form. The EAA2 form must be fully completed, providing details about the student’s normal way of working and the types of difficulties they have – make sure you use the updated form for 2017-18 please.
“Why do I have to fill all of this paperwork in?”
The EP1 form is required to make sure that the student (and their parent/guardian if they are under 18) is aware they are being referred for an assessment. The EAA2 form is required to meet JCQ regulations that any exam arrangements reflect the student’s “normal way of working” at the centre where they are studying – without this, exam arrangements cannot be put in place.
“My student’s been at college a couple of years – has s/he already got exam arrangements in place?”
You can check this by finding the student on ProMonitor and any the details of arrangements already in place will be in the Learning Support Plan section (you may have to check the 2015/16 or 2016/17 records from the drop-down menu for the details) This will also tell you the approximate date of expiry of any arrangements so you will know if they need to be re-referred for an updated assessment.
“I’ve sent in a referral – how will I know what’s happening?”
You will receive an email once an appointment has been arranged for the student tell you the day and time and asking you to remind them – the student will also receive a letter (addressed to their parent/guardian if under 18) informing them of the appointment.
“I haven’t heard anything back from the assessor about any appointments – what should I do?”
Please bear in mind that appointments may take some time to arrange during busy referral periods – it would be suggested that if you haven’t heard anything within 3 – 4 weeks that you contact the assessor and check on the progress of the referral. Once an assessment has taken place you will receive an email informing you of the arrangements put in place.
“Several of my students have asked for separate rooms for their exams because of anxiety – what should I do?”
To grant this arrangement, the students will need to provide some evidence of their anxiety – this can be a GP’s letter, a letter from their counsellor or written confirmation from their previous school that they received this arrangement.
“I don’t think this student’s going to pass their exams because their attendance is poor and they just mess about in the class on their phone etc. Can I apply for exam arrangements to help them pass?”
No! Exam arrangements are put in place because a student has an underlying learning difficulty, disability or medical/mental health condition – they cannot be put in place solely because the student isn’t trying or is perhaps on the wrong level of course!
“My student’s just brought in a letter from their doctor requesting a reader, a scribe and extra time – is that ok?”
No! JCQ regulations state that this would not be sufficient evidence for these arrangements. The student would need to produce evidence from a consultant to have these arrangements considered – even then, evidence would need to be provided that these arrangements were in line with their “normal way of working” so the completed EAA2 form would still need to be submitted as well.
“My student hates writing with a pen and wants to do their exam using a keyboard – is that ok?”
Not necessarily- if the expectation is that an exam is handwritten, there needs to be a reason for allowing them to use a keyboard as an alternative; this could be because their handwriting is illegible, they are very slow at writing, they have a medical problem which makes it difficult to write etc. Unless the student can produce some medical evidence confirming this, they will need to be referred in the normal way. If they are doing Functional Skills exams, the tutor could consider the option of allowing them to do it on-line where they can use a keyboard.
“One of my students doesn’t speak English as their first language – can they have a reader and extra time for their exam?”
No – the expectation from JCQ is that students are entered for examinations that they are capable of doing and that their levels of English are suitable for this. If the student has some history of learning difficulties then they can be referred for an assessment to see if they might qualify for EAAs. If they are doing Functional Skills exams they can also use a bilingual dictionary, if this is their “normal way of working” – depending on how long they have lived in the UK they may be able to have an additional 10% extra time, but this is very rare.
“My student has missed two appointments with you – can you arrange another one for them please?”
The College’s procedures state that each student will be allowed two appointments – each appointment letter sent out states that, if they are unable to attend the appointment for some reason, they need to contact the assessor so that another can be arranged. If the student/parent/guardian/tutor has not done this for either of the two appointments offered then no further appointments will be arranged for that academic year.
“My student wanted a reader for their exams but you haven’t awarded one – why not?”
This could be for one of two reasons; firstly, their reading has been assessed and they don’t qualify for a reader as their reading skills are above the level required. Secondly, the EAA2 form does not suggest that having help with reading is their “normal way of working” in class – all exam arrangements must reflect support the student receives during their course.
“I’ve missed the college’s deadline for submitting a referral for a GCSE student – can I still put it in?”
JCQ regulations clearly stipulate that deadlines are non-negotiable and the College has to abide by this as putting in late applications could subject us to an inspection of our examination procedures. Tutors are given advanced warning of deadlines for submitting referrals and the expectation is that this will be adhered to. The only exception JCQ would consider would be for temporary arrangements due to an accident e.g. a hand injury requiring the student to have extra time, rest breaks or use a keyboard for their exam etc.
“One of my students had a reader and extra time at school but they’ve said they didn’t use them and they don’t want them at college – what should I do?”
If they didn’t use them at school then it could be considered that it is not their “normal way of working” in exams anyway! In this situation, it would be advised that some record is kept by the tutor, and signed by the student, that an opportunity for a referral for an assessment was offered but that the student didn’t wish to take up the offer. It has been known for students to change their minds a week before the exams so it is useful to have a record confirming that the referral process was properly carried out!
“I’ve got a student who is finding this level of maths very difficult – can I refer them for extra time to help them pass?”
No – exam arrangements can’t be awarded just to make it easier for students to pass their exams! In this case, it might be appropriate to consider transferring the student onto a course which they are better suited to.