As extra time is the Access Arrangement requested most often we will look at some of the associated regulations. JCQ lay down similar guidance for each of the other possible arrangements.
In order to maintain the credibility of GCSE and GCE qualifications, the JCQ [Joint Council for Qualifications] defines the parameters as to what constitutes a ‘substantial disadvantage’. To this end they have defined eligibility for up to 25% extra time as follows.
The specialist assessor’s report must confirm that the student has:
• At least one ‘below average’ standardised score of 84 or less relating to speed of processing which has a substantial adverse effect on speed of working.
• In exceptional cases, up to 25% extra time may be awarded to students where the assessment confirms that the candidate has at least two ‘low average’ standardised scores between 85 and 89 relating to processing speed.
• In very rare and exceptional cases, students with a cluster of scores within the ‘average’ range of 90 to 94 may be considered if the awarding body deems there is sufficient compelling evidence for eligibility.
• In all cases, supplementary compelling evidence will be required for inspection by the awarding bodies.
A recommendation from an Educational Psychologist alone does not guarantee eligibility for extra time. In the past, a large disparity between Verbal and Performance IQ could be used as an indicator for eligibility for extra time. This is no longer the case. Students must meet the above criteria before applications can be made to the awarding bodies.
Furthermore, the JCQ has also advised that where a student has been awarded extra time for his or her GCSEs, there is not an automatic right for eligibility to continue to GCE. New applications for GCE examinations must be made to the awarding bodies and standardised scores must meet the above criteria in order to be approved. This will mean that some students who were awarded extra time in Year 11 may not now qualify for extra time in Year 12 & 13.
It is not normally appropriate to grant more than 25% extra time in examinations. In exceptional cases, the awarding bodies may allow additional time where speed of processing is substantially below average i.e. a score of 69 or less may be considered, or where a candidate has multi-sensory impairment that substantially hinders speed of processing. In such circumstances, an up to date assessment will be required immediately before GCSE examinations and GCE examinations.