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Special Provisions

What are Special Provisions?

Special Provisions are practical arrangements to vary the conditions under which assessment occurs in order to enable students with special needs to have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a subject.

Exemptions

 

Fairness to all students and the integrity of results require that no student be exempted from meeting any of the substantive requirements of a course, for any reason. Students or their care-givers should notify the Guidance Officer - Senior Secondary of any special circumstances that may affect the student’s results.

Substantive requirements of a Senior Work Program are mandatory requirements, and include the definitions of criteria and standards for the award of a particular Level of Achievement. Non-substantive requirements of the syllabus are subject requirements which may be varied without affecting substantive requirements.

What principles underpin Special Provisions?

 

Students with special needs, temporary or long-term, should have equal opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

Special Provisions should not constitute an unfair advantage or produce results which are inaccurate, that is, results which indicate a student has knowledge or skills which the student does not have. Fairness to all students requires accurate results. Special Provisions can in no way affect standards. The QCAA syllabus standards must be applied in the same way to all students.
 

The grading of all students’ work should be done on the same basis. That is, the criteria and standards for student achievement in the subject syllabus should be applied in the same way to work done by all students, including students with special needs. Yet, before accepting a given level of work from a student with special needs, all efforts should be made to remove barriers to equal opportunity. This may involve being proactive in finding out about the best way to meet the special needs, in terms of learning and assessment, of particular students. Where it is apparent that there are barriers which prevent students from demonstrating their knowledge and skills, every reasonable effort will be made to make appropriate special arrangements. However, if an impairment means that a student is less successful in what assessment items in a subject are designed to assess (an example might be not having the language skills to do well in a test of reading and writing), it is both reasonable and proper that student results should show the actual knowledge and skills displayed.

Special provisions for students with special needs should be made as soon as possible to ensure that, as far as practicable, the student is able to have early access to the support required to complete subject requirements. Appropriate and effective consultation with the students and their care- givers should be central to this decision-making process. It is important that BSDE is notified at the earliest possible date.

How are Special Provisions provided?

 

Special provisions for students with special needs often involve variation of the methods of presentation of assessment and/or student work; that is, adapting the method of transmission of information about assessment and the way a student presents work back to the teacher. These special arrangements are overseen by the Guidance Officer, HOSES and HOD Senior Pathways.

Special provisions applied are aligned with what the QCAA would apply for external examinations and QCS testing. There are therefore parameters around what provisions will be allowed. Specific examples of these special arrangements include, but are not limited to:
 
  • Making alternative arrangements for the testing and assessment of students aking alternative arrangements for the testing and assessment of students
  • Use of specialised equipment particular to a student’s impairment e.g. A computer se of specialised equipment particular to a student’s impairment e.g. A computer
  • Provision of a reader to communicate a text rovision of a reader to communicate a text
  • Provision of assistance with the interpretation and comprehension of assessment items for students withrovision of assistance with the interpretation and comprehension of assessment items for students with  language difficulties, providing this assistance occurs for assessment items which are not designed to assess these language skills
  • Additional time for students to complete assessable tasks (e.g. some students may require more time to complete written tests or submit assignments) in order to give them equal opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills dditional time for students to complete assessable tasks (e.g. some students may require more time to complete written tests or submit assignments) in order to give them equal opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills
  • Adjusting tasks to allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students the opportunity to represent theirdjusting tasks to allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students the opportunity to represent their  cultural experiences in their responses to assessment items, (e.g. modification of an essay question)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander  students in order to allow them to attend an event which has cultural significance
 

Special Provisions can be made in cases of family bereavement, illness, trauma or significant absence approved by the School. Under the principle that ‘fair and reasonable decisions about the assessment of students’ should apply to all, BSDE seeks to minimize the disadvantage to students caused by the situations above.

What can students expect from a successful application for Special Provisions for reasons outlined above?
 

In cases of family bereavement, trauma, illness, or significant absence approved by the school, Special Provisions may involve modification of an assessment task or assessment program. Alternatively, it may allow a student’s result on a task that is significantly poorer than their typical performance in the assessable criteria to be discounted. Such decision should be made at Monitoring or Verification for Year 11 or 12 students.

Special Provisions will never result in a grade being elevated beyond what is justified in comparison to the criterion standards or beyond what have been demonstrated in the student folio. The broad criteria and standards must be applied in the same way to all students.

Request for Special Provisions

 
Where Special Provisions are required to be made for all assessment in all subjects, parents or caregivers are required to submit the Special provision application to seniorpathways@brisbanesde.eq.edu.au   
 

Special provision application forms – Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary.

If the Special Provision you are requesting is due to a medical condition, it is recommended that a letter is provided from the student’s medical practitioner or specialist to support the request.

For students with special provisions required on a long term basis it is suggested that these form are submitted at the start of the schooling year.
 
For more information about QCAA Special Provisions policy, please review this link.