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Key stage 2 tests: how to apply for special consideration
Information for teachers about applying for special consideration to be applied to a pupil's test result if the pupil has been affected by extremely distressing circumstances.
This guidance will be updated for the 2017 test cycle in March.
What is special consideration?
Special consideration applies when a pupil’s performance in the key stage 2 tests has been affected by extremely distressing circumstances at the time of the tests (test week and the weeks immediately prior to test week). It also applies where an incident which may have occurred in the months before the tests is still having an impact on the pupil demonstrating their potential.
Under these circumstances, teachers can apply for this to be taken into consideration via the ‘Access arrangements’ section of NCA tools, from Friday 13 May.
Special consideration will not be awarded for pupils who were not fit to sit the tests as a result of illness or other circumstances that have occurred at the time of the tests.
Eligible circumstances for special consideration
Special consideration may be granted under the following circumstances if they occurred at the time of the tests:
- on-going proceedings, such as the pupil having to appear in court
- the pupil experiences a serious and disruptive domestic crisis
- the pupil is affected by a severe disease, asthmatic attack or flare-up of severe congenital conditions, such as epilepsy or diabetes
- the pupil experiences a severe physical assault or trauma
Or in the 6 months before the tests:
- the diagnosis of a terminal illness of the pupil or close family member
- a significant incapacitating illness of the pupil or close family member
- the pupil undergoes major surgery
- the pupil is involved in a severe car accident
- the pupil suffers a severe or permanent bodily injury
If the pupil suffers the death of a close family member or friend in the 12 months before the tests, special consideration may also be considered.
Any other major unpredicted disruption must be specified in your application. You will need to provide the dates of when the incident took place, or circumstances began, as part of your application.
Where a whole cohort of pupils has been affected by an incident, only those pupils most closely involved will usually be eligible. Applications for special consideration should be submitted separately for each pupil.
Circumstances not eligible for special consideration
Special consideration is not applicable when the pupil:
- is ill on the day and not fit state to sit the test. In these circumstances schools should consider using a timetable variation to administer the test at a more appropriate time
- has a sudden, temporary illness such as vomiting – in these circumstances the school should consider allowing the pupil a rest break or make a timetable application or notification to administer the test either later the same day or on a different day (as long as the test was not started)
- has had a minor injury, the effects of which could be dealt with by the school making an alternative arrangement, such as allowing rests breaks and/or providing a scribe
- has a long-term illness, which has prevented the pupil covering the whole of the curriculum or affected the pupil’s preparation for the tests
- has been educated at home or excluded from school and needs time to adjust to the national curriculum
- has recently arrived from a different education system and needs time to adjust to the national curriculum
- has a sensory or physical disability or condition which prevents them from accessing the tests, even with access arrangements or modified test materials
- is working below the standard of the tests
- where long-term circumstances may have affected the pupil from reaching the standard of the tests
- has experienced the death of a close family member, or close friend, more than 12 months before the tests, unless there are ongoing proceedings such as an inquest or court case at the time of the tests
- is affected by the consequences of committing a crime
Special consideration will not be granted due to circumstances which have affected the preparation and administration of a test, for example:
- a disturbance during the test such as a fire alarm or disruptive behaviour
- the incorrect administration of the test, such as incorrect allocation of time, or errors made by the school when modifying or photocopying test scripts
- a failure to implement previously agreed access arrangements
- a failure to apply for access arrangements on time
- late receipt of test materials or incorrectly collated test papers
- difficulties during the school year that might have affected preparations for the tests, such as disturbances through building work or shortages of staff
Applications for special consideration can be submitted via the ‘Access arrangements’ section of NCA tools, from Friday 13 May but must be completed by Friday 20 May.
We can’t accept applications by email, or applications sent directly to markers. Applications received after the deadline of Friday 20 May will not be accepted.
Applications can only be submitted for a pupil who has taken all the components of a test.
You must confirm on the application form that the pupil has taken the test. You should only include details that are associated with the criteria under which you are applying.
You must provide details of when any incident took place or circumstances began. Where the pupil is affected by circumstances relating to a close family member you must provide details of the relationship the pupil has to the family member.
NCA tools is a secure website. Special consideration applications are only considered by STA. Local authorities do not consider or have access to these applications.
Please ensure that your application is submitted by Friday 20 May. If an application is saved but not submitted it will be listed as ‘incomplete’ and we will not consider it.
After submitting your application
You will receive an automated email once your application has been reviewed. You can check the outcome of an application or see whether further information is required by logging in to the ‘Access arrangements’ section of NCA tools.
If special consideration is given, it may not be approved for all of the tests you applied for. You can see the outcome of your application under ‘Decisions’ in the ‘Access arrangements’ section of NCA tools. You should check the outcome of the application to confirm which tests have been approved.
We will confirm the outcome of correctly completed applications by Friday 24 June.