Access Requirements missed from A Level studies & AS examWatch
When my son started A Levels he contacted college regarding access requirements, as he received them throughout his GCSE’s, they said they’d take care of it.
However over a year on, when registering to sit the Autumn AS Further Maths exams he found out that his Access Requirements were missing. Student Support confirmed that his access requirements had never been implemented for his entire time at College. They took immediate action, conducted assessments and awarded 25% extra time to be applied across all internal and external exams, including the Autumn exams.
In August he was awarded a Centre Assessed Grade D for his AS Further Maths with his disability not being taken into consideration, in the Autumn exams he achieved a strong Grade A with his 25% extra time.
He’s had to wait until December, for the release of the Autumn exam results, before his College would look at changing any of his Predicted Grades for university applications. This has meant he has had to drop out of the College’s Oxbridge programme (all his GCSE’s were 7, 8 and 9’s) as applications for Oxbridge closed in October.
His College has now changed his Further Maths A Level Predicted Grade from a D to an A. However his Maths and Physics A Level Predicted Grades are not being changed, they are still A and B respectively, the same as when they were first uploaded when his access requirements were missing (even though he’s gone from a CAG D to an exam grade A in his AS further maths results). This has been confirmed by both his Maths and Physics subjects teachers.
However, his tutor who does his UCAS reference and submission is concerned, as we are too, that he has been underpredicted in both his Maths and Physics. She is only able to enter predicted grades of AAB for his UCAS so has changed his reference to reflect her concerns that his grades may be an underestimation given the situations he has faced. His UCAS submission has finally gone to UCAS with AAB predicted grades and her reference.
Wondering if anyone has had similar and how it was handled? If there’s anything else we should be doing?
However over a year on, when registering to sit the Autumn AS Further Maths exams he found out that his Access Requirements were missing. Student Support confirmed that his access requirements had never been implemented for his entire time at College.
Good question Compost. With his GCSEs he said he only got extra time during formal assessments, mocks, etc. so wasn't aware of any extra time issues during the one and a half terms he was at college before lockdown. As their big assessments in March and then AS mocks were all cancelled, then all exams cancelled and replaced with centre assessed grades, he didn't find out until the college published his Autumn exam timetable in September.
There are lots of things that should have happened and them not happening would have alerted him - but only if he knew they should happen: e.g. The school should have obtained his signed permission before making an application to the exam board(s) for access arrangements, his exam entry sheet for the Summer exams (which I assume he was given to check in January or early February) should also clearly have said 'Special arrangements'. Easy to be wise after the event.
All you can do now is to try to have a discussion about this, pointing out that the school had failed to deal with his AA and that this may have affected teachers' perceptions of him. The tutor seems to be on side try through her, or perhaps approach the SENCo?
Since discovering his AA was missing from his Autumn exam timetable, the only information we've been able to find has been from the Joint Council for Qualifications website and their 2020/21 Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments publication, which covers everything you've mentioned, it was very eye opening and as you said it's easy to be wise after the event.
Thanks for your suggestions on what to do next, very much appreciated.
We've done everything so far through the tutor, liaising with Physics and Maths and Student Support (who are responsible for AA). He doesn't have SENCo (he's a high achiever with a physical disability) unless that's something else we're not aware of.
Luckily we've everything in writing, were we can, including from Student Support. Start of college emails show they were aware of his disability, previous AA, and they would contact his school for his Form 8. This changed in September to they've no evidence of AA. It then changed again at our last online meeting to they were planning to do assessments for the March exams, his AA was then lost due to exam cancellations and lockdown. We don't have this last part in writing though.
In fact we've had nothing in writing from the college at all in explanation as to what happened. Perhaps that's the way forward? Though, completely in the dark as to who to send this request to!