The JCQ and its member awarding bodies offering GCE and GCSE qualifications fully understand the challenges centres face, in particular colleges, when dealing with the administration of access arrangements where a candidate has moved centres post 16. This is especially so for those candidates re-sitting GCSE English Language and/or Mathematics qualifications. The college will have limited knowledge of the candidate’s needs and a short period of time before he/she re-sits their GCSE examinations.

Reducing bureaucracy and burden

A key aim of the JCQ is to reduce the administrative burden on schools and colleges. Over the past ten years we have taken significant steps to reduce bureaucracy and burden.

Principally:

  • by delegating seventeen arrangements to centres. Such arrangements do not require an on-line application or, in the vast majority of cases, any evidence of need. The SENCo, or an equivalent member of staff within a college, is empowered at a local level to determine the appropriateness and reasonableness of the arrangement;

  • by introducing Access Arrangements Online the process of applying for access arrangements has been streamlined. Around 90% of applications are automatically approved by the on-line system where the candidate meets the published criteria for the arrangement(s);

  • where a candidate has a confirmed learning difficulty, with a fully completed Form 8 in place, and will continue to require 25% extra time, a computer reader/reader and/or a scribe, the Form 8 may be rolled forward from a school to a college where there is an established working relationship. This ensures the integrity of the access arrangement(s) with the school.

What is an ‘established working relationship’?

An ‘established working relationship’ is:

  • a school acting as ‘a feeder’ to a college, year in, year out;

  • the school and the college are part of the same local Academy Trust;

  • the school and the college are part of a local consortium arrangement;

  • the two schools are part of the same local Academy Trust;

  • the two schools are part of a local consortium arrangement; or

  • the two schools are part of a local School Improvement Partnership programme.

Should a list of ‘feeder’ schools, Academy Trust or consortium arrangement links be produced for the JCQ Centre Inspector?

It would be desirable for the school or college to produce a list of ‘feeder’ schools or those schools part of the same local Academy Trust, same local consortium arrangement or same local School Improvement Partnership programme. This will assist the JCQ Centre Inspector when undertaking an inspection of the documentation to support approved access arrangements.

What checks need to be made when a Form 8 is received from another centre with whom there is an established working relationship?

Where, for example, a college receives a fully completed Form 8 from a school with whom there is an established working relationship, the following checks must be made by the Additional Needs/Learning Support Team:

  • Has Section A of Form 8 been completed? Is there sufficient information within Section A showing the candidate’s picture of need and normal way of working?

  • Has Section A of Form 8 been signed and dated?

  • Has Section B been completed?

  • Has Section C been completed?

  • Are the tests recorded within Section C of Form 8 current, age appropriate and nationally standardised?
  • Was the candidate assessed no earlier than the start of Year 9?

  • Has Section C been signed and dated?

  • Has evidence been provided that the assessor does hold, as a minimum, a post-graduate qualification in individual specialist assessment at or equivalent to Level 7? 

The above checks would similarly apply where a candidate transfers to a different school at the start of Year 12.