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Our Children, Our Area


Exam Access Arrangements


Exam Access Arrangements for Key Stage 4 & 5 external examinations

There are strict guidelines for evidence required before access arrangements are put in place.  It is essential for the SENCo to familiarise themselves with the most recent guidance from JCQ (Joint Council of Qualifications) each year.

School will need to retain documentation (electronic or paper are allowed) regarding: 

  • Clear evidence of need: this should include feedback from school staff that work with the young person.  It could also include evidence from specialist teachers, psychologists, other medical professionals.
  • Normal way of working: the arrangement should be in place well before the exam season starts and should be established as their normal way of working in lessons, tests/exams and ideally when doing home learning.
  • Assessment results: for some arrangements it will also be necessary to complete a range of assessments to establish speed of working and any other areas of difficulty.  The Assessor must have a relevant Level 7 qualification and have a working relationship with the school. 


You will need an account with AA Online (AAO) and Pearson AAO, if you have students taking BTEC/CTEC exams.  Liaise with your exams officer regarding the setting up of an account.  Please check when applying for access arrangements that your application covers all the examinations that the young person will take.  Check the deadlines for applications at the start of the academic year.  The JCQ guidance document below provides explanations of the entire process, required evidence and rationale for access arrangements.


DSPL7 has a range of assessment resources that can be borrowed to support with assessment for access arrangements.  


Exam Access Arrangements for Key Stage 1 & 2 SATs

There is strict guidance on the criteria for awarding access arrangements for Key Stage 1 & 2 SATs.  


It is essential to keep records regarding:

  • Clear evidence of need: this may include an EHCP, other SEN support plan or feedback from staff working with the young person.
  • Normal way of working: the young person should have used the required arrangements before the exam season begins.  


You will need to have an account for the Primary Assessment Gateway (PAG) to complete applications for access arrangements.  Check the deadlines for application at the start of the academic year.


Links to relevant information and PAG can be found in the documents below.