Special Assessment Conditions for NCEA
What are Special Assessment Conditions?
They are conditions such as extra time, reader/writer or computer use given to approved students who may have sensory, physical, medical and/or learning difficulties. They apply to NCEA assessments in Year 11, 12 and 13. Applications are made by the schools on behalf of the candidates to NZQA.
Why are SAC’s important?
These SAC’s provide an opportunity for these children to express their knowledge, skills and understanding without being unfairly disadvantaged. The SAC’s apply to both internal and external assessments in NCEA years.
As soon as your child starts Year 9/10 talk with the school about their process for identifying and applying for SAC’s.
Keep the school informed of any information you receive about your child’s learning needs
Who is NZQA?
New Zealand Qualifications Authority is in charge of NCEA examinations.
What is the process of applying for SAC’s?
- Your child’s school makes all the applications to NZQA.
- First time applicants have a different pathway with different deadlines compared students who have previously had SAC’s approved.
- Students with learning difficulties have their own deadlines compared to someone who say has a medical condition.
- Each year the school must either apply for a first time application for a student or confirm last year’s application or change last year’s application.
- The same assessment report can be reused between one and four years for these applications. This means an assessment report in Year 10 will last until Year 13. It is important to watch the dates of your reports for this reason.
- Alternatively, for Specific Leanring Difficulties, the diagnosis could have been made in an old report (C Grade report), but to be current, any independent assessment report should contain data that is less than four years old.
As a parent what do I need to do?
Let the school know when your child enrols at their secondary school or as soon as you identify or suspect a possible learning difficulty.
The NZQA website says the school will keep parents informed as they move through the application process.
What are the differences between a report from a Level C Assessor and alternative evidence?
- Both methods should help your child to obtain SAC, should they be eligible.
- A key difference is that alternative evidence can be free for families, while a specialist report can be costly if the school doesn’t cover the cost or partial cost.
- You do not need to have both; an application for SAC can be made solely with alternative evidence.
- If you also have a Level C assessor report, the school should include this with your child’s application and both reports will be considered by NZQA.
- Alternative evidence is a process that the school manages.
A successful SAC application under alternative evidence is not confirmation of a dyslexia diagnosis; only a registered professional can make a diagnostic assessment.