Researching the management of educational assessment for students with disabilities: A working model for teachers and school psychologists

Year: 2008

Author: Parkinson, Gillian, Woods, Kevin, Lewis, Sarah

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This project examined the management of educational assessment for 86 disabled students in Key Stages 2-41 (ages 11, 14 and 16 years), focusing upon students experiencing attention deficit, specific learning difficulties (SpLD), specific language impairment(SLI) and epilepsy. Parents’ and teachers’ perspectives were also gathered. The researchers’ use of a purpose-made ‘Assessment Needs Toolkit’ highlighted both disability-specific and common difficulties. Students identified potentially useful Access Arrangements (AAs) such as extra time or a ‘communicator’ during written examinations. A significant proportion of AAs are inaccessible under current guidelines, which teachers viewed as a barrier to attainment demonstration. Participants also identified variability in the adequacy of the management of AAs. In order to promote educational access and social inclusion, a universal and flexible model for assessment needs identification and provision across disability and age groups is proposed, emphasising communication and trialling of AAs, enabling improvements in the efficient use of human resources and in the quality and consistency of assessment provisions.

Key words: assessment, evaluation, disabled student.