More requests for exam concessions


Ofqual is looking into a rise in requests from schools for special arrangements for candidates at GCSE and A-level, reports the BBC.

Candidates with special needs cvan be allowed extra time, a reader or scribe, coloured exam papers or a sign-language interpreter, for example.

Michelle Meadows, Ofqual's executive director of strategy, risk and research said they will be asking exam boards to investigate and find out more.

During the 2013-14 academic year there were 271,850 requests for access arrangements - up 10% on the year before. However in 2012-13, Ofqual says a tightening of the rules for access arrangements, particularly for extra time, had resulted in a fall in requests. The numbers of requests have now again increased so they are back to previous levels.

Moreover, the total number of requests is higher than the number of candidates as schools and colleges may request more than one type of access arrangement for a candidate - for example a candidate may require both a reader and a scribe.

Ofqual says the most frequently granted access arrangement was the allowance of up to 25% extra time, which represents 53% of all approved access arrangements.

  • A total of 271,850 requests were made for access arrangements in the 2013/14 academic year. This up ten per cent on 2012/13 but is more in line with 2011/2012, when there were 276,650 requests.
  • Requests increased by 20 per cent on last year, from 413,150 in summer 2013 to 496,500 for the summer 2014 exam series. This is in context of an 18 per cent increase in scripts.
  • There has been a 6 per cent decrease in GCSE entries and a 15 per cent decrease in A level entries.
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