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 Post subject: Extra time for dyslexia
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:05 pm 
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Our DD was diagnosed in late Autumn with moderate dyslexia. The Ed Psych report recommended extra time of 25% be given and found her general intelligence to be 135. We're appealing since the school offered 10% extra time only. Also, since the test was only a few weeks following diagnosis, she had yet to benefit from interventions (e.g. extra help with spelling, writing skills tuition, discovering visual stress - she now wears precision tinted lenses) or the full impact of the diagnosis on her self esteem. She has made great academic progress since the start of the year and is in a very different place emotionally now too. Had the diagnosis been earlier we think she would have performed much better in the test. Had she been given extra time, we also think she would have performed better. She did well in the tests, but missed the cut off by 2%, and had to rush/ guess questions.
Has anyone else experienced the Ed Psych's recommendation being disregarded and either no extra time given or a lower amount? Succesfully appealed or appealing? Any suggestions?
Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:35 pm 
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Quote:
Our DD was diagnosed in late Autumn with moderate dyslexia. The Ed Psych report recommended extra time of 25% be given and found her general intelligence to be 135. We're appealing since the school offered 10% extra time only.
My experience was that it would be unusual for an admission authority to allow as much as 25% - and unusual for an EP to suggest a figure as low as 10%!

It would be interesting to establish whether the admission authority/school uses its own EP as part of the process to assess individual requests for special consideration. It's a question you could ask at the appeal, if you don't already know the answer.

Quote:
Also, since the test was only a few weeks following diagnosis, she had yet to benefit from interventions (e.g. extra help with spelling, writing skills tuition, discovering visual stress - she now wears precision tinted lenses) or the full impact of the diagnosis on her self esteem.
This ought to count as an extenuating circumstance.

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She has made great academic progress since the start of the year
Recent rapid progress could be your strongest argument - provided you have sufficient evidence from the current school.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:00 pm 
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Quote:
Etienne wrote:
It would be interesting to establish whether the admission authority/school uses its own EP as part of the process to assess individual requests for special consideration. It's a question you could ask at the appeal, if you don't already know the answer.


As far as we know they don't use their own EP, but I'll ask at the appeal. We challenged the fact that she was only to be offered 10% at the time and were told that 25% was only ever offered to those with a Statement (no-one then, given how hard it is to get one of those!) and they always only offered 10%. When I said I thought that the Rose Review had recommended that schools and LAs follow advice from professionals such as EPs, even if they weren't employed by them and that by not giving the recommended 25%, he was giving us grounds for appeal, the Deputy HT replied that he fully expected us to appeal!

In contrast, her primary school have been really helpful since diagnosis - she has had weekly intervention in small groups to help with writing skills, she is on the SEN Register and they applied for and gave her 25% additional time in the SATs for which she has been predicted level 5s, 5a in maths. They have also given us some evidence that her work has improved in a letter and report so fingers crossed.

Would it be reasonable/ appropriate/ relevant to ask if anyone offered 10% additional time (where more was recommended) has been successful in this year or previous years?


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:42 pm 
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Quote:
Would it be reasonable/ appropriate/ relevant to ask if anyone offered 10% additional time (where more was recommended) has been successful in this year or previous years?
I'm not sure how wide a range of dyslexia the 10% is applied to, and therefore how helpful to your case the answer might be. If I were in your shoes I think I'd put in a Freedom of Information request for some statistics for the past 5 years - that should give you time to consider whether there's any information that would be to your advantage.

If this is an own-admission authority school, I suspect they may be doing things 'on the cheap' instead of buying in a proper service. A Local Authority would probably have a small panel, including an EP, to consider individual requests for special consideration.

If it really is the case that they are applying 10% to a wide range of dyslexia, it seems a very blunt instrument, and arguable that they are not fulfilling their duty under the Equality Act to consider individual cases properly.

It is not, of course, a requirement under the Equality Act that a child must have a statement - although a statement, if it was in place, would form part of the evidence to be taken into account.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:55 pm 
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Thanks Etienne and for the info you PMed. The school became an academy this year (post test) and the appeal date is quite soon, so I'm not sure how to go about a FOI request or whether I would have any information in time. I will certainly make the point that 10% for everyone without a statement is indeed a blunt instrument - thanks for that.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:07 pm 
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We're in Kent and I have a list of the 'bands of adjustments ' that may or may not be given ...this is a guide for Kent only for the LA when the school applies and you have to apply by a specified date for consideration. Funnily enough I was only discussing this earlier today ! It is not a straightforward 10% for dyslexia in Kent but any adjustments will only be considered for vr and the written english task. Once again this may only be in Kent but the school has to specify adjustments already granted in tests and what help is already routinely given in class.

I do have figures from Kent regarding additional time requests granted or denied from 2005-2008 for the 11plus but if you are not in this LA it probably won't help you.

Tigger


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:11 pm 
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If you want to request information under FOI, you can simply send a letter or email saying "I am writing to request the following information under the Freedom of Information Act ...."

http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_the_public/of ... ccess.aspx

They have 20 working days in which to respond. I realise this could be too late, but they might respond promptly.

However, I wouldn't normally advise overplaying 'disability' at an appeal. It could be important, but a brief mention would suffice. I suggest the main emphasis should be on 'extenuating circumstances' and 'recent rapid progress'.

Good luck!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 10:30 am 
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Just to say, thanks again Etienne and Tigger2 (we're not in Kent). Find it odd that extra time is only given for VR and English in Kent though. In our DD's case the EP advised that her dyslexia affects how efficient the cognitive processing is and that her particular visual spatial and verbal working memory issues, plus visual peceptual speed (all severe weaknesses for her) would adversely affect her performance in any time limited test. He also made the point that students applying to study medicine are now often required by universities to take aptitude tests - UK CAT and B MAT tests - (as well as considering A level results), and that 25% extra time is given for dyslexic students and those with other specific learning difficulties.
Also meant to ask whether it was usual for those with extra time to sit the test with other students in room. In DD's case there were about 5 of them getting 10% extra time (5 mins) all seated together but in a room full of other applicants either finishing 5 mins before and then sitting there for the 5 mins, or - for those that had been to the toilet - finishing 2.5 mins later, and then sitting there for a further 2.5 mins. That meant there was 2 previous instructions to stop before the third one which applied to DD and much rustling and fidgeting, which was distracting. We had asked beforehand - when requesting extra time - that DD sit the test in a small group as she is easily distracted, but this was not thought possible.
Appeal is this week. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
Thanks again


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:38 pm 
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Just one little thing to add. It may be worth asking your primary school to write a letter/report detailing the adjustments which were put in place for sitting the SATS and any other adjustments which are normally applied in tests or in the normal classroom situation.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:09 pm 
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Quote:
He also made the point that students applying to study medicine are now often required by universities to take aptitude tests - UK CAT and B MAT tests - (as well as considering A level results), and that 25% extra time is given for dyslexic students and those with other specific learning difficulties.


Up to a point, but not necessarily later on. You might like read this from Birmingham medical school.

Quote:
It is the policy of this Medical School that with respect to dyslexia no special examination arrangements are made in the final three years of the course, since in emergency medical practice no allowance can be made for dyslexia whilst effecting rapid and safe medical management.


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