Date
23 May 2024

Promote equity of access to supports including Special Assessment Conditions

Find out what supports and conditions ākonga need so they can fully demonstrate their knowledge, skills and creativity.

Introduce SACs and supports to everyone

Introduce SACs and supports to everyone

Throughout the NCEA journey, ensure ākonga know what support is available.

Ensure all ākonga are aware of and understand the following information:

  • It is every student’s right to have access to fair and valid assessment.
  • As students all learn differently, NCEA is designed with flexibility built in so students can participate and show their understanding in ways that works for them.
  • The internal and external assessments have been designed as flexibly as possible, but some supports may need to be added in on an “as needed basis”, for example, access to a large print document if you have low vision.
  • As a learner in NCEA, you need to have a good understanding of how you learn, what support works for you and what is unhelpful
  • Throughout the year, we will trial different supports such as text-to-speech, enlarging text, working on paper and in digital spaces to work out what works best for you.
  • We will also introduce you to the Special Assessment Conditions (SAC)s - the extra support that students can apply for if the design of the assessment does not allow you to participate equitably alongside your peers, (e.g. the text is too small to read, the time frame is too short for me to get my ideas down).
  • The SAC application process is organised in our school or kura by (name/s).
  • We will make sure your voice and needs are at the centre of the decision making process when applying for SACs.

Check the latest information on SACs

Check the latest information on SACs

Ensure you are up-to-date on any changes to SACs.

Visit NZQA's Special Assessment Condition's page to find the latest information.

Trial different supports as part of your regular classroom programme

Trial different supports as part of your regular classroom programme

Provide multiple opportunities for ākonga to practice using supports.

Let ākonga work out what works best for them in different contexts.

  • Offer opportunities to trial working with a reading or writing assistant (could be a peer or supporting adult).
  • Build ākonga familiarity with tools and skills needed in digital assessments, such enlarging the font, using the notepad tool, or using text-to-speech.
  • Encourage ākonga to trial different work spaces to evaluate what environments support them most effectively. 
  • Promote useful organisational supports and scaffolds such as graphic organisers.
  • Model and make available options to support reading and processing information such as text-to-speech, larger font, video (with captions) or audio (with transcripts).

Support checklist

Support checklist

Consider the following: 

  • I talk about SAC in my classroom as part of regularly reviewing with students options and supports for learning?
  • I am familiar with the processes we have in our school/kura to ensure that timely SAC applications are made in partnership with students?
  • I incorporate the technical features of online assessments into classroom activities to build student familiarity with tools and platforms?
  • I support students to practice identifying potential barriers to their learning in the environment and how to minimise them.
  • I support students to practice identifying and selecting the options and supports that are most useful.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Providing effective assessment assistance

Providing effective assessment assistance

Read time: 17 min

The guide is for heads of learning support, those in similar roles and other school leaders. Its purpose is to help leaders design school practices which support effective assessment of all students. Key elements of effective assessment assistance practice are summarised with a focus on effective assistance when reading and/or writing are a barrier.

Download PDF

Website

Special Assessment Conditions (SAC)

Key information about Special Assessment Conditions (SAC), which provide extra help for approved students when they are being assessed. Links to relevant NZQA information for schools, students, parents and caregivers, registered professionals are included.

Visit website

Website

Exploring the intersection between Universal Design for Learning and the human rights model of disability

Read time: 8 min

Jo Mosen explores UDL and discusses the need for accommodations for some disabled learners in this blog post published March 2022. She acknowledges the principles of UDL play a significant role in generating inclusive learning environments, but the limitations of UDL cannot be ignored. The best of universal design approaches will never eliminate the need for reasonable adjustments for some students.

Publisher: Cognition Education

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Design considerations in NCEA assessments”:

Return to the guide “Universal Design for Learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Universal Design for Learning

Strategies for action:

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