Best practice in access arrangements made for England’s General Certificates of Secondary Education (GCSEs): Where are we 10 years on?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Ten years after an original survey, the present paper reports findings from a 2017 survey of secondary school staff involved in school-based management of GCSE examination access arrangements. 263 respondents, including specialist assessors and special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCos), explained their views on the manageability and fairness of processes for GCSE examination access arrangements. Whilst perceived fairness of GCSE access arrangements has increased, a majority of respondents does not consider current processes to be manageable at school level or equally fair to students. However, almost two thirds of respondents would support some extension of access arrangements on the basis of student need or use of technological assistance. The researchers recommend: promotion of partnership between the qualifications regulator, awarding bodies and schools; enhanced shared understanding of the purpose, place and limitations of access arrangements; and use of a school-based protocol to manage roles and resource requirements for management access arrangements.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-255
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Special Education
Issue number3
Early online date27 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2018

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