SEND, Access Arrangements and assistive technology

If the examination system is to truly support the needs of SEND learners, then exam protocols need to change so that assistive technology can be more widely adopted, argues Andrew Harland

A recent survey conducted by the International Examination Officers Association (iEOA) focused on last summer’s examinations. One of the major areas for concern raised by the exams officer community was over the delivery of Access Arrangements (AAs) in centres.

More than 56 per cent of the respondents stated that there has been an increase in AAs, which put additional pressure on overstretched budgets within many exam centres as they tried to secure suitable accommodation, specialist support and resources.

AAs allow students with SEND or temporary injuries to access the assessment without changing the demands of the assessment. Traditional solutions include readers, scribes and Braille question papers.

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