Exam Support & Special Consideration

East Durham College can provide support to learners with disabilities, special educational needs, or temporary injuries in their exams. To apply for these access arrangements you must be assessed by Learning Support.

Access Arrangements and Special Considerations

Learning Support will assess you to ensure that you are entitled to access arrangements. Access arrangements can only be applied for if the arrangements are your ‘normal way of working’, or if you have had an unexpected injury that will impact how you take an exam. For example, if you are applying for the use of a reader, word processor or extra time in exams, Learning Support must have evidence that you use this support to complete work in class, and that not using these arrangements for an exam will substantially disadvantage you.

Access Arrangements Deadline

You must make your progression coach or tutor aware of any arrangements you may require as soon as you start college. There are strict deadlines, set by the awarding organisations as to when access arrangements can be applied for therefore it is essential you highlight any requirements as soon as possible. You will not receive any access arrangements if you apply to Learning Support after the deadline.

If you suffer from an unexpected injury after this deadline, which may impact your performance in exams, please contact the Exams team immediately.

Access Arrangements from Secondary School

If you were entitled to any access arrangements in secondary school it is important to know that these will not automatically carry forward to East Durham College, and in most instances you will have to be reassessed by Learning Support. This is because we will not have evidence that establishes your normal way of working.

Separate Invigilation

A decision as to whether a learner may be given approval for separate invigilation for exams will be based on available evidence.  The learner must have a substantial and long term impairment which has an adverse effect and this must be their normal way of working within the centre.

The following are examples where learners would be eligible for separate invigilation: 

  • A learner with depression/anxiety who has been under Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • A learner with an established long term medical condition or formally recognised social, emotional and behavioural difficultie

The run up to exams is a stressful time for most learners and it is only natural there will be some degree of anxiety. Separate invigilation will not be permitted on the basis that a learner simply wishes to be in a different room to that of the main exam venue.

Where a learner panics on the day of an examination or becomes anxious, then he/she may be seated more appropriately within the main examination hall but will not be seated in a separate room.

Access Arrangements for November Resits 

Learners who join East Durham College in September from secondary school and are taking November resits may not receive access arrangements. It is unlikely that we can provide access arrangements as there will not be enough time to establish your normal way of working and we would not have the required evidence to apply to the awarding organisation. If the relevant assessments have been completed and evidence provided by the end of September then approved access arrangements may be available.

Special Consideration

If you feel you have been disadvantaged during your exam due to unavoidable exceptional circumstances beyond your control, please contact the Exams Office as soon as possible after your exam. Evidence is required and you must contact us within seven days of the exam. Requests made after this may not be accepted.

Joint Council for Qualifications

Adjustments for candidates with disabilities and learning difficulties: Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments Booklet PDF