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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:39 am
Posts: 109
Can anybody give me some guidance on the possible implications for a candidate of taking advantage of access arrangements for GCSE? It has been recommended that my DD use a word processor in class and in exams, and further EP/optometrist reports may entitle her to extra time.

My questions are:
Does anybody have any experience of how the use of a word processor is handled in an exam? Does the candidate simply use a paper question paper, and type answers, or is the question paper itself transferred to the word processor?
Is the extra time/use of a word processor recorded on the certificate?

I've had a look at the jcq web site, but can't see an answer to these questions.

I'm not sure if I should post this in the SEN section, but that is specifically SEN and 11+, and this relates to later exams.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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Hi. Afraid we only have experience of the 'extra time' element - that is certainly NOT shown anywhere in the results/certificate.

Does your school have a teacher responsible for exams (or if at an Independent they probably have a specific member of staff dedicated to exams etc.)? They should have a book(let) which details everything you were asking about.
I would also advise developing a good relationship with them early on as they can make life very difficult 'on the ground' if they are not on-side, whatever the rules say.

Make sure your DD is clear about what she is entitled to because we have had instances where the staff in the exams didnt know what was going on.

My children all use WP as much as possible but we decided not to go for using them in class/exams because they can just about manage without & were concerned that using one in class would further mark them out as different, plus their writing would get worse without practice. As I say, they can get by without so I'm not suggesting you are in the same situation - but if you decide against for exams then it might be better not to use in class either.
I know of one public school which had significant numbers of pupils using WP for exams so presumably they felt it was beneficial in those cases.

One last thing - the EP report has to be 'current' - I think it is every 2 years so its worth being strategic in timing so one report covers as many exams as possible!
Hope some of this helps


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:39 am
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Thanks for the info. Did you have to pay for all your EP reports? Assuming my daughter gets an EP report that gets her extra time, then she's going to need at least one more (possibly 2) to see her through to the end of A levels, given the way her external exams are going to be spread out. The school was happy to provide the 'Specialist Teacher' assessment, but after that, I'm on my own. Seems a bit unfair on those who can't find the £500 odd needed to get a EP report, and I'm not sure that I really want to have to pay for 3!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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We had an EP report to start with but that was for broader use than just the exams. The 'update' reports can be from specialist teachers. I dont know if the original report actually had to be from an EP rather than a specialist teacher as we already had them for each child.

It certainly seems that you need to know how the system works to make use of the provision so either the school needs to take the lead or supportive parents are required!
I'm guesssing there maybe charities which would help out if parents really couldn't afford it - & there must be lots who can't manage the cost of an EP report, especially if you have motre than one child!


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