Access Arrangements

Dyslexia is a recognised disability under the Equality Act 2010. This requires organisations to ensure that people with disabilities are not treated unfavourably and are offered reasonable adjustments. In addition to good practice to support dyslexic candidates, specific recommendations for Access Arrangements can be made by appropriately qualified experts. This page will give an overview of Access Arrangements for all levels of education.

  1. Access Arrangements.
  2. National Curriculum Tests.
  3. Common Entrance Examinations.
  4. GCSEs and A-Levels
  5. Apprenticeships and Functional Skills.

1. Access Arrangements

  • Dyslexic candidates in tests and exams will normally require Access Arrangements in order to level the playing field with non-dyslexic candidates.
  • There may be specific recommendations for particular formats of exam, such as multiple choice and case study exams.
  • Every dyslexic person will have different requirements.

See JCQ Access Arrangements for clarification:

Access Arrangements can include:

  • extra time
  • a reader
  • oral language modifier
  • a scribe
  • using a computer instead of handwriting
  • using assistive software (screen reader/voice recognition)
  • exam papers to be on a coloured paper in dyslexia friendly font
  • hard copy instead of on-screen
  • supervised rest breaks
  • separate room

2. National Curriculum Tests

Phonics Test (Year 1)

Few children with dyslexia will have been diagnosed at this stage. This test may help to identify those at risk. For children who are working well below the level of the screening check (for example, if they have shown no understanding of letter-sound correspondences), there will be a disapplication process so they do not have to take part. Parents should be informed if a child is disapplied.

Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6)

Assessment tests (known informally as SATs) are administered at the end of Key Stage 2 at 11 years. Notification is required for extra time and other arrangements to the Local Authority or Standards Testing Agency (STA).

Details of the current Access Arrangements for special needs candidates in SATs test is available at:

3. Common Entrance Examinations

Parents should discuss special arrangements with the new and existing schools.

For full detailed information see the section on SpLD candidates at

4. GCSEs and A-Levels

Full information of Access Arrangements is available on the Access arrangements JCQ website.

5. Apprenticeships and Functional Skills

Functional Skills Tests come under the Access arrangements JCQ regulations.