Support for my child with exams

Exam access arrangements help students with special educational needs and disabilities, or if a student has a temporary injury or illness, to have fair access to their exams.

A school or college can apply for special arrangements to be made with evidence of your child’s needs which may be based on support in the classroom or from professionals.  The arrangements must be appropriate for the student and the type of exam. 

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What extra support for exams is available and how to request it

If you think that your child will need extra help in order to take their exams, you should talk to the school examinations officer or Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCo) as soon as possible.

The School can make their own access arrangements during internal exams, but for public or external national exams ( year 6 statutory tests, GCSE’s A levels ), schools or colleges must apply to the exam board for these access arrangements to be put in place.  The exam board will notify your child’s school on the outcomes of their decisions.  If an application is refused the school can appeal.

Schools will have deadlines to apply for access arrangements so make sure you plan for this, preferably the summer before taking the exams.  

Some examples of support and special arrangements are:

  • extra time is given to complete the exam
  • a separate room either in a small group or alone
  • a reader
  • a scribe
  • a prompter to keep students focused
  • an oral language modifier
  • a computer instead of handwriting
  • assistive software (screen reader/voice recognition)
  • exam papers in different formats, such as digital
  • supervised rest breaks

Circumstances for adjusting my child’s exam results

The exam board can give special consideration to adjust a student’s mark or grade once an exam has taken place.  This may be given to reflect temporary illness, injury or some other event which is likely to have affected their ability to demonstrate their normal level of attainment.

If you feel your child requires special considerations or you require further information speak to the school examination officer or the school special educational needs coordinator (SENCo)  

Further Information

The Joint Council for Qualifications website has more detailed information about exam arrangements and special considerations.

For general enquiries regarding SEND, including SEN Support Services, please contact Will Pritchard, Strategic Lead for inclusion and SEND: