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The Regulator responds to concerns about “up to 25% extra time"

Ofqual has released a public statement concerning the use of extra time in timed exams.

7 November 2012

The Ofqual statement may be accessed here along with Ofqual’s letters to responsible officers and teacher associations.

In the statement, Ofqual explains that in order to qualify for extra time, candidates must both be disabled and at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to the general population when taking an exam under timed conditions because of the time restrictions.

On our reading of the Ofqual statement, a score of under 85 in a relevant standardised test relating to speed of working (writing, reading, processing) may be taken to diagnose and evidence both a disability and that a pupil suffers a substantial disadvantage compared with others in the context of a timed examination. Other evidence may also be taken into account and the Pink Book explains the additional leeway which may be allowed this year in exceptional cases.

From the side letters it is apparent that Ofqual continues to monitor the use of the adjustment “up to 25% extra time” and will be requiring the examination bodies to collect further data and to challenge schools which either do not make adjustments for pupils with disabilities or who make adjustments for pupils who are not disabled.

The letter to teacher associations clarifies that arrangements already in place can remain but centres are required to make fresh applications for students progressing from GCSEs to GCEs (or equivalents).

Questions concerning the use of extra time should be directed to JCQ.

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