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You need to remember that external examinations are not representative of a students normal day-to-day experience of school. Although we need to gather evidence of normal way of working, children do not go from lesson to lesson in silence with no communication, answering exam question after exam question.
For me there are often students who when I do AA testing with them meet the criteria for ET, however this doesn’t mean they are on my SEND register, more that staff are aware of the acute difficulties children face when taking examinations.
My SEND register is the first place I start when considering AA for a year group (I already have a draft list in Year 7) but this list is added to as none SEND students are added. Often only small classroom adjustments are needed for these students to thrive within lessons.
In an ideal world (not always the case) the SEND register should be larger the younger the children are and decrease as they get older, develop and use strategies for support, and become more independent within school as ultimately they could be entering work/an apprenticeship post-16 where they need their independence.
Hope this helps.