Does your child experience problems at school; underperforms or cannot keep up with peers in spite of a good cognition? Concession assessments are performed to determine whether a student requires additional support or accommodations to perform according to their cognitive potential. It can be performed at primary school, high school or tertiary level.
Concession reports are used by parents and schools to apply for special concessions and accommodation during tests/exams.
Government schools apply at the provincial Education departments, while private schools apply at the Independent Educational Board (IEB). Reports contain recommendations to assist and support learners with-in mainstream schooling/classroom.
According to the Inclusive Education System (White Paper, 2002), all learners must be accommodated with-in educational institutions. This includes the accommodation of tests and examination periods. Concessions:
- Provide equal opportunities for learners with learning barriers to give a true reflection of his/her academic abilities;
- Can be done in primary- high school; or tertiary level; and;
- Support Grade 12 learners during their final exams – applications are submitted in Grade 11.
Schools/ parents apply at the Education department or the IEB for concessions and it could include:
- Additional Time;
- A Scribe writes verbatim what the learner dictates;
- A Reader reads all text in an examination paper to a learner;
- An amanuensis is a person who reads to and scribes for the learner;
- A Prompter: A verbal or physical cue performed to refocus a learner’s attention;
- Spelling accommodations;
- Handwriting accommodations;
- Braille or Enlarged print;
- Computer assistance;
- Medication/Food Intake;
- Class Assistants ensure that he/she is able to complete an examination;
- Rest Breaks are period of time when the learner is not required to be at his/her desk, but must remain in the examination venue;
- Separate Venues are quiet environments away from the main examination centre;
- Special Equipment.
In order to qualify for concessions, the following steps are required:
- A full psycho-educational assessment showing at least an average intellectual ability, with a significant long-term learning disability, which will compromise examination performance. A comprehensive clinical history is required. The report must have been completed within 6 months of the application;
- Relevant Medical Reports which should include the diagnosis and intervention strategies (current and previous) and the professional recommendation;
- Supporting reports from experts like Occupational-, Speech therapists or remedial programs should be included to support the accommodation application;
- At least 3 pertinent subject teacher comments (written independently) should be included with the application. Comments should provide an understanding of how the learner’s difficulties impact on work in class and in assessments.;
- School Reports (most recent) should be submitted;
- Examples of school work (which support the consideration of the accommodation being applied for) should be submitted.
Concessions and accommodations will NOT be granted in the following cases:
- Where the learner has low cognitive functioning (low IQ);
- Difficulty with language medium due to the fact that the language of assessment is not the home language of the learner.