How would a QToD make a case for the student being able to reply to some questions in BSL (not just single words), and his language modifier to act as a scribe?
Question: I am supporting at first year GCSE student. The student is profoundly deaf. The student uses BSL to access the curriculum and to communicate. The student’s level of English is clearly affected by BSL structures and possible other language processing and producing difficulties. How would a QToD make a case for the student being able to reply to some questions in BSL (not just single words), and his language modifier to act as a scribe?
For similar student profiles, how can a QToD ensure from the earliest stage that, drawing on the normal way of working with the candidate, appropriate representations are made for access arrangements when the time comes?
Please note this response is not applicable in Scotland as students can respond in BSL whereas the rest of the UK requires students to respond in English.
The issue of the use of British Sign Language in examinations has arisen from time to time.
The fundamental aspect of any assessment is to ensure that the candidate can show what he or she knows and can do whilst preserving the integrity of the assessment.
JCQ regs indicates such a profile is entitled to a Language Modifier and Scribe and this should be embedded as the normal way of working from the earliest stage.
To date BATOD is aware of only one case, in a school for the deaf, where a late arrival to the country had little or no English in which an awarding body granted permission for a scribe to be used in similar circumstances.
Effectively an exemption is the only possible solution if the learner cannot use SSE because BSL is not English and therefore a mark cannot be given in an English exam for a BSL contribution. In the same way that BSL interpretation in an English exam is not allowed other than for the rubric.
Other colleagues have accepted this as the absence of a spoken language mark would not penalise a person who does not use spoken language at all as they would not be expected to have achieved a mark for spoken language.
The document is still valid and may provide further useful reading https://www.batod.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/EngLangABv2.pdf