Reply To: Access Arrangements

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    Use of a word processor can vary according to the needs of the candidate. If it is used simply as a replacement for handwriting (because it is considered illegible or there are significant problems with writing rapidly) then, as others have indicated, its use needs to be established as a “normal way of working” and you can simply provide a school computer in external exams. Spelling and grammar guidance must be disabled.

    There is an alternative. A candidate can be permitted to use a word processor because it is the only way they will produce text that successfully communicates their answers. This replaces a scribe, who normally does all the spelling and punctuation for the candidate (though in theory a candidate can dictate these to a scribe.) This will mean the word processor does help with spelling and grammar and the candidate sacrifices the SPAG marks allocated in that paper.

    The relevant section in the JCQ regulations requires:
    A fully completed Form 8, Parts 1, 2 and 3, with an assessment by the centre’s appointed assessor from Year 9 onwards using current editions of nationally standardised tests (assessor selects tests).
    The candidate cannot produce written work through any other means due to:
    • spelling in the below average range (a spelling accuracy standardised score of 84 or less) with unrecognisable spellings; or
    • below average writing speed (a standardised score of 84 or less).
    Only Form 8 is acceptable. Spreadsheets, email messages, centre devised equivalents of Form 8, educational psychologists’ reports, a diagnosis of Dyslexia, diagnostic assessment reports are not acceptable for processing and inspection purposes.