This Page is to Inform Parents of the things in Place to help their Children

 

 

GUIDELINES FOR SCHOOLS IN RELATION TO COMPLETION OF APPLICATION

FORMS FOR REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR CANDIDATES SITTING THE

JUNIOR CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION IN 2002

 

All requests for reasonable accommodations should be considered in line with the principles set out hereunder.These are the principles under which the Department approves applications and ultimately any case referred by way of appeal to the Appeal Group will be determined by the Appeal Group under the same set of principles.

 

Principles on which the provision of arrangements for candidates with special needs are based

(Expert Advisory Group on Examinations January 2000)

 

1 Reasonable Accommodations should he made for candidates who, because of atemporary, permanent

or long?term disability, have special assessment needs in examinations.

 

2. Provision should be made for both physical and learning disabilities.

 

3. Reasonable Accommodations should not put the integrity, status, or reputation of the examination at risk.

 

4. Reasonable Accommodations should be designed to remove as far as possible the impact of a disability on a candidate's performance, so that lie or she can demonstrate in the examination his or her level of achievement.

 

Reasonable Accommodations are designed to assist a candidate in demonstrating his or her achievements in an examination setting. They are not designed to compensate for a possible lack of achievement arising from a disability.

 

6. Since a core principle of the Certificate examinations is to ensure equitable treatment for all candidates, arrangements should not give the candidate for whom they are made, an advantage over other candidates.

 

7. Independent evidence of a disability and support needs should be required before allowing special arrangements.

 

8. The precise arrangements to be made should be determined on the basis of the disability or impairment established in each individual case and of the particular needs of the candidate in each individual subject area. Different subjects and different methods of assessment may make different demands on candidates.

 

9. A candidate's disability may be such that it is not possible for him or her to participate in a particular mode of assessment (an aural examination for a candidate with severe hearing impairment), in which case it should be open to the candidate to apply for exemption from part of the assessment procedure.

 

10. Where it is not possible for a candidate to participate in a particular mode of assessment, an alternative assessment procedure may be specified.

 

11. An alternative procedure is not acceptable where the purpose of an examination would be compromised by its use (e.g., providing a scribe to draw for a candidate in an Art examination).

 

12. When an element or elements of an examination have been waived, so that the purpose of the examination regarding that element or elements has not been met, or the method of examining has been significantly altered, this should be indicated by the presence of an explanatory note on the candidate's certificate of results.

 

13. Circumstances that may affect a candidate's performance (e.g., illness, trauma, bereavement) should, in so far as is possible, be addressed during the examination period.

 

APPLICATION ON GROUNDS OF A SPECIFIC LEARNING DIFFICULTY

 

Identification

 

A specific learning difficulty may be indicated where there is

 

Marked failure to achieve expected levels of attainment in basic skills such as reading and writing

 

A history of such failure not related directly to factors such as poor attendance, poor motivation or problems in social interaction which may affect attainments.

 

Reading assistance

 

The assistance of a reader is appropriate where it can be established that the candidate's inability to read a question paper is attributable to a specific learning difficulty as distinct from his/her general intellectual ability. A reader should only be granted where a candidate is unable to read the question paper. This means that the candidate must have a severe reading difficulty and that in absence of the assistance of a reader, the candidate would be unable to take the examination at all.

 

The assistance of a reader will alter the assessment methods in language subjects and consequently the grades obtained by a candidate in any language subjects taken by him/her will be accompanied by an explanatory note, which will read as follows; "all parts of the examination in this subject were examined except the reading element

 

Tape recorder or Computer

 

The use of a mechanical aid such as a tape recorder or computer is appropriate for a candidate with a specific learning difficulty where it can be established that the candidate has;

Good oral ability

Good knowledge of course content

a score well below average on a spelling test

(More than 20% of the target words unrecognisable under test and on written samples and the candidate's difficulties are attributable to a specific learning difficulty as distinct from his/her general intellectual functioning.

 

The assistance of a tape recorder or word processor will preclude the assessment of spelling, written punctuation and grammatical elements in any language subjects and subsequently the grades obtained by a candidate in any language subject taken by him/her will be accompanied by an explanatory note, which will read as follows;

 

all parts of the examination in this subject were assessed except spelling and written punctuation elements

" ( This will apply in the case of English)

 

"all parts of the examination in this subject were assessed except spelling and some grammatical elements"

 

(This will apply in the case of all other language subjects).

 

Exemption from spelling and grammaticala components in language subjects

 

Such an exemption for a candidate with a specific learning difficulty is appropriate where it can be established that the candidate has;

 

> good oral ability

 

> good knowledge of course content

 

> a score well below average on a spelling test

 

> target word easily recognisable as the target words although mis-spelt

and the candidate's difficulties are attributable to a specific learning difficulty as distinct from his/her general intellectual functioning.

 

Where such an exemption is granted. the grades obtained by a candidate in any language subject taken by him/her will be accompanied by an explanatory note, which will read as follows;

 

"all parts of the examination in this subject were assessed except spelling and written punctuation elements"

( This will apply in the case of English)

 

"all parts of the examination in this subject were assessed except spelling and some grammatical elements"

 

(This will apply in the case of all other language subjects).

 

Students whose general intellectual ability is below the average range

 

Approval for any of the accommodations listed above is appropriate where it can be established that a candidate whose general intellectual ability is below the average range also has a more specific learning difficulty.

 

APPLICATION ON GROUNDS OF A VISUAL DIFFICULTY

 

Schools are advised views of the visiting teacher service before making application for accommodations under this heading.

 

In relation to Option No 3 on the Application Form on grounds of a Visual Difficulty, certain question papers containing visual or graphics material are adjusted by the Department to facilitate production in braille format. The adjusted version in non?braille format will be made available on request to candidates with a severe visual impairment who do not make use of braille This improvement should help such candidates to overcome the difficulties presented by visual or graphics material.

 

APPLICATION ON GROUNDS OF A HEARING DIFFICULTY

 

Schools should seek the views of the visiting teacher service before making application for an exemption from aural tests or when applying for an alternative aural test in the form of a face to face interview.

 

APPLICATION ON GROUNDS OF A PHYSICAL DIFFICULTY

 

Schools should select the option(s) that remove as far as possible the impact of a disability on a candidate's performance, so as he/she can demonstrate in the examination his or her level of achievement.

 

 

Assistance of a scribe

 

A candidate who is unable to write or effectively unable to write may be granted the assistance of a scribe here a physical difficulty and a speech impairment makes the use of a tape recorder or computer

unsuitable, the assistance of a scribe may also be appropriate where a tape recorder or computer does not meet the requirements of the examination (e.g. Mathematics.)

 

The assistance of a scribe will preclude the assessment of spelling, written punctuation and grammatical elements in any language subjects and subsequently the grades obtained by a candidate in any language subject taken by him/her will be accompanied by an explanatory note, which will read as follows; a

 

all parts of the examination in this subject were assessed except spelling and ?written punctuation elements This will apply in the case of English)

 

all parts of the examination in this subject were assessed except spelling and some grammatical elements"

 

(This will apply in the case of all other language subjects)

 

.Helper in Home Economics

 

Please note that where a candidate is granted the assistance of a helper in the practical section of the of the 'Home Economics, this person may carry out general 'housekeeper' type duties e.g. lifting and carrying

utensils and equipment. The helper must not give factual help to the candidate or offer any suggestion regarding what has to be undertaken and must carry out instructions exactly as they are given unless to do so will cause a hazard.

 

Exemption from Practical Test in Home Economics

 

Where this exemption is granted the grade obtained by a candidate in this subject will be accompanied by an explanatory note, which will read as follows;

 

All parts of the examination this subject were assessed Except the practical element

 

The EXAMININGG PROCESS AND DIFFICULTY ACCESSING METERAL

 

As recommended by the Advisory Group assistant examiners will continue to he advised to refer to their advising examiner material from candidates which they have difficulty in accessing. This means that it is not necessary for schools to apply in individual cases where the concern relates to difficulties that may arise in accessing the work of a candidate.

 

APPOINTMENT OF SUPERINTENDENTISCRIBE/READER

 

The Department recognises that a candidate may have worked with a particular person during his/her course of study, therefore in the interests of the candidate schools may nominate as superintendent /scribe/ reader such a person or some other person from the school locality . In cases where a candidate is availing of the services of a reader or a scribe, the person appointed to act as reader or scribe may act as superintendent also.

 

CLOSING DATE FOR RECEIPT OF COMPLETED APPLICATION FORMS

 

Completed application forms should be returned to Examination Special Needs Section, Department of Education & Science, Examinations Branch, Athlone not later than 18 DECEMBER 2001.

 

mariancurtin@eircom.net

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