Just Sociology

Unpacking the Controversial Rise of Exam Time Extra Arrangements

Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the number of pupils receiving extra time in exams. At the same time, there has been a decrease in the number of pupils identified with special education needs (SEN).

These two phenomena have sparked a debate around the fairness and equity of the education system. This article will explore the reasons behind both the increase in extra time recipients and the decrease in pupils with SEN.

It will examine statistical data and theories such as cultural capital theory and labelling theory, which attempt to explain the trends. The article will also discuss the implications of these trends for our education system.

Increase in Number of Pupils Receiving Extra Time in Exams:

Statistics of Increase in Extra Time Recipients

According to the Department for Education data, the number of pupils receiving extra time in exams has increased by 35.8% since 2013/14 in England and Wales. Over a four-year period, the increase was 51.2%.

The pool of eligible pupils has also expanded, with more children being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia.

Disproportionate Increase in Independent Schools

The increase in extra time recipients is not distributed evenly across schools. Independent schools have seen a disproportionate rise in the number of pupils receiving extra time.

Middle class parents have reportedly been gaming the system to secure extra time for their children. The cultural capital theory suggests that these parents have access to more resources, such as private tutors, which help their children perform well on exams.

Labelling theory suggests that these parents are able to negotiate better outcomes for their children because they have more power and status in society. Independent schools are twice as likely to have pupils receiving extra time as state schools.

Decrease in Pupils Identified with Special Education Needs:

Statistics of Decrease in SEN

The number of pupils identified with special education needs has decreased by 20.4% since 2013/14. This decrease is not distributed evenly, with some areas experiencing a polarisation of SEN.

In other words, some schools and areas have seen a significant decrease in SEN pupils, while others have seen an increase. However, there has been an objective decrease in serious SEN, such as severe learning disabilities.

Increase in Statemented Kids in State Funded Schools

While the overall number of pupils identified with SEN is decreasing, the number of statemented children in state funded schools is increasing. This suggests that schools are becoming more successful in identifying and providing support for the most severe cases of SEN.

The Ofsted has criticised schools for not doing more to identify and support pupils with SEN. The Pupil Premium, which grants extra funding to schools based on the number of pupils eligible for free school meals, aims to address this issue by giving schools extra resources to support disadvantaged pupils.

Implications:

The rise in extra time recipients and the fall in pupils identified with SEN have important implications for the education system. On the one hand, the increase in extra time recipients reflects a more inclusive approach to education, which recognises and accommodates different learning styles.

On the other hand, the disproportionate increase in independent schools raises concerns about fairness and equity in the education system. It undermines the idea that education should be a meritocracy, where children are given opportunities based on their abilities and not their social class.

The decrease in pupils identified with SEN may reflect a more accurate assessment of pupils’ needs, but it also raises concerns about schools’ ability to identify and support pupils with SEN. The increase in statemented kids in state funded schools suggests that schools are becoming better at meeting the needs of the most severe cases of SEN.

The Pupil Premium provides schools with extra resources to support disadvantaged pupils, but more needs to be done to ensure that all pupils with SEN receive the support they need to succeed. Conclusion:

The increase in extra time recipients and the decrease in pupils identified with SEN reflect important trends in the education system.

This article has examined statistical data and theories such as cultural capital theory and labelling theory, which attempt to explain the phenomena. The article has also discussed the implications of these trends for the education system.

While the rise in extra time recipients reflects a more inclusive approach to education, the disproportionate increase in independent schools raises concerns about fairness and equity. The decrease in pupils identified with SEN may reflect more accurate assessments of pupils’ needs, but it also raises concerns about schools’ abilities to identify and support pupils with SEN.

The education system needs to provide all pupils with the support they need to succeed. Access Arrangements Data:

Lack of Data on Independent Schools

While the Department for Education (DFE) publishes data on the number of pupils receiving access arrangements, this data is not available for independent schools. This means that we do not have a complete picture of the prevalence of access arrangements across all schools in the UK.

However, it is clear that there is a disproportionate increase in the number of pupils receiving extra time in independent schools. Middle class parents are reportedly taking advantage of in-house assessments to secure access arrangements for their children.

On the other hand, state schools are under-resourced and may not have the capacity to identify and support pupils with additional needs. As a consequence, it may be that only the most serious cases receive access arrangements.

This disparity in access to access arrangements between state and independent schools undermines the idea of a fair education system.

Explanation of Differences between State and Independent Schools

The disparity in access arrangements between state and independent schools can be explained by a number of factors. Firstly, independent schools may have more resources to support pupils with additional needs.

They may have access to specialist staff, such as educational psychologists, who can carry out assessments and provide support. This means that independent schools may be more proactive in identifying and supporting pupils with additional needs, such as ADHD or dyslexia.

Secondly, the criteria for receiving access arrangements can differ in independent schools. In-house assessments may be used to evaluate pupils for access arrangements, whereas state schools may rely on assessments carried out by external bodies.

This means that independent schools have more control over who receives access arrangements and are therefore more likely to secure them for their pupils. Finally, independent schools may have more incentive to secure access arrangements for their pupils.

This is because access arrangements can give pupils an advantage in exams, leading to improved results and higher rankings for the school. In contrast, state schools do not have the same incentives, as they are not ranked according to their exam results.

This may explain why independent schools have a disproportionate number of pupils receiving access arrangements, particularly extra time. In response to this disparity, the government has introduced the Pupil Premium, which aims to provide extra money to state schools for each disadvantaged pupil they have.

This should help to level the playing field and ensure that all pupils have access to resources and support. However, more needs to be done to ensure that access arrangements are distributed fairly, particularly in the independent sector.

Conclusion:

The lack of data on access arrangements in independent schools, as well as the disparity in access between independent and state schools, has important implications for the education system. It means that we do not have a complete picture of the prevalence of access arrangements across all schools in the UK, and that some pupils may be unfairly advantaged in exams.

While independent schools may have more resources to support pupils with additional needs, state schools should still ensure that all pupils receive the support they need to succeed. The introduction of the Pupil Premium is a positive step towards achieving this goal, but more needs to be done to ensure that the education system is fair and equitable for all pupils.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, this article has explored the increase in the number of pupils receiving extra time in exams and the decrease in the number of pupils identified with special education needs. It has also discussed the lack of data on access arrangements in independent schools and the disparities between state and independent schools.

These trends have significant implications for the education system and call for a more equitable and inclusive approach to education. While there are some positive developments, such as the Pupil Premium, more needs to be done to ensure that all pupils receive the support they need to succeed.

FAQs:

1. What is causing the increase in the number of pupils receiving extra time in exams?

Answer: There is an increase in the pool of eligible pupils, with more children being diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia. Middle class parents are reportedly gaming the system to secure extra time for their children.

2. Why are independent schools seeing a disproportionate rise in the number of pupils receiving extra time?

Answer: Independent schools may have more resources to support pupils with additional needs, and the criteria for receiving access arrangements may differ. In-house assessments may be used to evaluate pupils for access arrangements, whereas state schools may rely on assessments carried out by external bodies.

3. Why has there been a decrease in the number of pupils identified with special education needs?

Answer: The decrease may reflect a more accurate assessment of pupils’ needs, but it also raises concerns about schools’ ability to identify and support pupils with SEN. 4.

What is the Pupil Premium?

Answer: The Pupil Premium is extra funding provided to state schools based on the number of pupils eligible for free school meals.

It aims to provide resources to support disadvantaged pupils and level the playing field between state and independent schools. 5.

How can we ensure that all pupils receive the support they need to succeed?

Answer: The education system needs to provide equal opportunities and resources to all pupils, regardless of their social class or background.

This can be achieved through initiatives such as the Pupil Premium and more accurate assessments of pupils’ needs.

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