The SEND (special educational needs and disability) Service which has been created to help support the exams office community, especially in mainstream exams centres who may not have the range of expertise to deal with various individual needs when applying for Access Arrangements (AA) with Assistive Technology (AT).

Exam officers play such an important part in a learners exam experience and therefore its vital they get more involved with the whole Access Arrangements process so they can deliver a more cost effective system on behalf of their centres and serve the needs of all learners.

This suggestion to exams officers to engage even more with the Access Arrangements process may seem to contradict the message being given over recent years by the JCQ and its representatives which promotes a hands off approach and leave everything to SENCos.

In theory this sounds like the message some exams officers want to hear when having to deal with workload. In reality, what many exams officers have found is the more they have adopted a 'hands off' approach in their centre they then have even more work to do trying to respond to various delivery issues with SEND students on the day of exams which of course in every exams officers job description.    

How can an exams officer reduce malpractice in this area if they do not have the appropriate controls and practice in place to make the system work effectively? In most centres exam officers continue to work with all their teachers and SENCos, each providing their expertise, to make sure their students are supported on exams day.