Secondary school students with special needs may have special arrangements made for them while sitting State examinations such as the Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate. Candidates with disabilities (for example, visual impairments, motor and mobility impairments, etc.) can apply through their school for reasonable accommodations during examinations.
Reasonable accommodations are designed to remove, as far as possible, the impact of a disability on a candidate's performance and enable the candidate to demonstrate his or her level of attainment in an examination setting. It does not give the candidate an unfair advantage over other candidates in the same examination.
Examples of reasonable accommodations include the following:
Your school has the authority to make special provisions for students with special needs during State exams on the basis of what is best for you. Some of the special provisions your school can make include:
If you are not satisfied with the arrangements made, you may appeal to an independent appeals forum. The members of the forum are from outside the Commission and all appeals are considered in light of the Framework of Principles set out by the Expert Advisory Group on State Examinations.
The State Examinations Commission has responsibility for ensuring the proper conduct of State examinations in Ireland. The Commission has a stated policy regarding the issue of reasonable accommodations of students with special needs during examination time.
However, schools also have the authority to make a number of specified arrangements to facilitate examination candidates with special needs without requesting advance permission from the Commission.
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If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000. The Phone Service will operate Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm during January 2017. You can also visit your local Citizens Information Centre.