Number of pupils requesting extra time in exams rises, Ofqual data shows

And the number of modified question papers produced increased by 26 per cent this year

Eleanor Busby

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The numbers of candidates requesting extra time in exams rose by 8 per cent this year, according to new statistics out today. 

Exams regulator Ofqual has this morning released data on access arrangements for the summer 2017 exam series. 

Access arrangements are provisions made for candidates with disabilities, temporary illnesses or special educational needs to ensure they are not unfairly disadvantaged in an exam.

The most common type of access arrangement is a request for 25 per cent extra time during the exam – this year there has been a rise of 8 per cent in requests – up from 206,405 last year to 223,405. 

These extra time arrangements made up 57 per cent of all approved arrangements this year compared to 55 per cent in 2015-16. 

Overall, the new statistical release shows that the number of access arrangements approved for GCSE, AS and A-level candidates in England rose by 5 per cent this year. 

Modified exams

Today's statistics also show that there was a 26 per cent rise in the number of modified question papers produced. 

Modified papers are prepared for students with a range of visual impairments and significant language comprehension disorders. 

This year, there were 48,080 modified question papers produced in the summer 2017 exam series, compared with 38,115 in 2016. 

The report states that the rise may be because of the introduction of new types of modified papers in recent years – such as the non-interactive electronic question papers – as well as better information being on offer to schools, parents, and students. 

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Eleanor Busby

Eleanor Busby is a reporter at TES 

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