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SENCo Exam Help Will No Longer Require Proof

SENCo Exam Help Will No Longer Require Proof

senco exam help

Exam boards have announced that special educational needs coordinators requesting permission to use readers for students will no longer have to provide evidence that the students need the extra help. The Joint Council For Qualifications represents the four GCSE and A-level exam boards. They have announced that as of next year, SENCos won’t have to complete a form which requires proof that students need help from a human or computer reader. To be honest, SENCo exam help has been long overdue so this is a very welcome change.

The document, known as ‘form 8’ was basically a waste of time. It only served to create more work for schools already suffering insane workloads. In a time where schools and technology companies are trying everything they can to reduce workload, it’s great to see that exam boards are trying to help as well.

As of next year, the JCQ only require SENCos to produce a “short, concise file note” to confirm their impairment. The note must also state that the use of a reader reflects the “normal and current way of working”. After requests for extra time, use of a reader is the second most popular type of help given to students. Last year, the percentage of students requiring help from a reader jumped from 6.8 per cent to 7.3 per cent.

People Support Extra SENCo Help

senco exam help

The British Dyslexic Association is incredibly happy with the announcement. It has said the scrapping of form 8 will “encourage schools and education providers to maximise their use of technology, levelling the playing field for dyslexics in education”. Helen Boden, chief exec of the British Dyslexic Association said:

This announcement is great news for young people with dyslexia and schools. It is simpler whilst maintaining standards and is more reflective of the world of work. Being able to use computer technology more easily in exams we hope will see it become more mainstream, embedding technology in all educational settings leading to greater equality and higher attainment levels for those candidates with learning difficulties like dyslexia.

Anne Heavey, from Whole School SEND, agreed that it was:

A pragmatic decision which hopefully will ensure that candidates can access assessments in a way that helps them to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding without generating significant additional workload for the SENCo. The challenge will be maintaining confidence in the system and not imposing unreasonable burdens on schools.

This announcement comes just after data from Teacher Tapp revealed primary schools were stretching the rules around readers in exams. Previously, readers have only been allowed for students who require help with reading on a regular basis. The survey took place during SATs week this year. It showed that primary schools were using scribes or readers for large numbers of KS2 pupils requiring SENCo exam help.

As always, we’d love to know what you think. Do you think this will help to reduce your workload around exam season? Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

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