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Exam Dispensation

(Also referred to as Access Arrangements)

Some students may be identified, during their academic career, as needing support in their work.  In sharing the belief that all students should have the opportunity to show their knowledge in examinations, we follow the JCQ Guidelines with regard to applying for and implementing exam dispensations.

They usually take the form of:  

  • Extra time       
  • Reader support
  • Scribe support

Where possible, students granted dispensation may have separate rooms/locations, but will still sit external examinations at the same time as other students.

Other, less common, dispensations can include the use of a word processor, transcribing illegible handwriting and prompters to help with maintaining attention.  

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 extends the application of the DDA to general qualifications.

All exam centre staff must ensure that the access arrangements and special consideration regulations and guidance are consistent with the law.

Who is entitled to a dispensation?

Any student who is known to have a disability or learning deficiency or temporary injury.

How does a child get a dispensation?

For a long term dispensation, a student must be tested by a qualified specialist.

The test has to be carried out by either, a local authority specialist or a staff member who has been training and qualified in this area.

A child with a long term medical problem can also be entitled to a dispensation upon providing proof from his/her medical professional. Similarly, for a temporary injury (broken arm etc), we can apply for a dispensation with medical evidence.

How long does a dispensation last?

A long term dispensation will expire 26 months from the date of testing, being valid through GCSE and GCE (if time permits).

More, comprehensive, information can be seen here:


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