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Exam access arrangements

Are you worried your deaf child might find it difficult to access their exams and assessments?

Exam access arrangements

Schools, colleges, universities and awarding bodies are legally required to make access arrangements and reasonable adjustments to help deaf students access tests, assessments and exams fairly.

Access arrangements could involve making reasonable adjustments such as:

  • giving students extra time
  • readers
  • scribes
  • British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Getting access arrangements

Access arrangements are not automatically permitted by exam boards – a school or college will need to show that they were part of a ‘normal way of working’ for a student. If you think your child will need access arrangements to be put in place you should discuss this with their special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) or Teacher of the Deaf (ToD) well in advance of any exams or assessments.

If your child has a statement of special educational needs (SEN) access arrangements should be discussed at their annual review before the start of courses in which your child will be examined.

Official guidance

The Joint Council for Qualifications has detailed information and official guidance on exam access arrangements and reasonable adjustments.

You can also find deaf-specific information in Access Arrangements for Your Child's Examinations.