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Is there a need for extra time in exams?

21 August 2013

New guidance from the exam regulator is being introduced from September to restrict the granting of additional time in exams for pupils unless a school confirms the child has special educational needs or is subject to a standardised independent assessment to show that the child’s speed is restricted by a disability. The guidance flows from concerns at higher levels of requests being made by school for additional time (which resulted in 96% of requests being granted) and that there may be cases of schools playing the system to ensure higher marks are awarded – which would reflect well on the school.

Whilst additional time is one of a range of reasonable adjustments that a school may make to comply with the Equality Act 2010, it is an adjustment to reduce disadvantage due to a disability not a route to improve grades generally. The guidance should be seen as a step in the right direction to ensure the protections are given to those children that require them.

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