As a special educational needs co-ordinator in a Cornish comprehensive school I am faced with the yearly task of ensuring the Year 10 and 11 pupils have the exam concessions they need as a result of their special needs.
As we do not have a staff member with the appropriate qualification to assess pupils for exam dispensations we rely on our educational psychologist. Every year a large amount of time is taken up with the ed psych assessing pupils, and me (and the exams officer) filling in forms - particularly for the concession of a reader.
The provision of extra time is now at the school's discretion, as long as evidence since Year 7 is available, thank goodness. But I have never really understood why the concession of a reader needs the bureaucracy that it has.
Any Senco worth his or her salt will know exactly which pupils will benefit from one-to-one or a separate room with others who have similar difficulties. Readers, I believe, should be available to these pupils without any referral to a psychologist or other assessor.
We are not testing an individual's ability to read in GCSEs, after all.
Surely we are testing their ability to understand questions and answer appropriately? Am I on my own?
4 Riverside Court