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Girls’ School



At Newlands Girls’ School, we are committed to providing our students opportunities to achieve their potential, by taking into consideration their varied learning needs. We strive to be an inclusive school and actively seek to remove the barriers to learning through quality first teaching and extra interventions where necessary. Our SEND vision is “A change for one, for the good of all”. Our school ethos is based on the 3Cs - the values which underpin everything we do. Courage, Commitment and Compassion are at the heart of our approach to school life and drive our students to ‘set no limits’ on their success.

Our SENDCo is Mrs H McMahon.   She can be contacted on: 01628 625068.

The umbrella project

We are immensely proud to be taking part in the Umbrella Project. Thousands of colourful umbrellas are strung together over public spaces, in schools, and in company buildings around the nation. The umbrellas installed above the school entrance represent the one in five of us who have a neurodevelopmental condition, such as ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia or Tourette’s syndrome. These conditions fall under the umbrella term of neurodiversity.

Students have had assemblies where we recognise and celebrate these differences, and by being involved in this project we are taking steps to challenge the perception of neurodiverse people.



The Cocoon

We are proud to be able to offer this dedicated space within the SEND Department. The Cocoon is somewhere that SEND students can access when needed, we know how important a quiet, calm space with sensory elements is for many of our students at Newlands. We look forward to welcoming many students into The Cocoon over the coming years.



The pit stop

This dedicated space is used for both 1:1 sessions or small group intervention. It is also used daily at break and lunch for our SEND students to come and play games, socialise and eat their lunch in a quiet environment supervised by our fantastic Year 12 and 13 students.


Support for students with dyslexia

Dyslexia is catered for within Quality First Teaching at Newlands Girls’ School. All students with dyslexia are identified on ClassCharts and this is highlighted on seating plans so that all teachers are aware of a diagnosis, we regularly circulate additional information/strategies relating to specific students with their subject teachers. There is regular training for staff with strategies to use within lessons, which we encourage to be dyslexia friendly.

We promote the use of coloured overlays where they have been identified as a useful tool for students with dyslexia. We have a drop in Dyslexia Club after school on a Thursday where students can come for strategies and advice, tips and support with school/homework (this is very much student led, depending on the needs of the students attending).


access arrangements

Exams Access Arrangements

Access Arrangements - Information for Parents

What is an Access Arrangement?

If a student has an identified learning need or disability that means that he or she is disadvantaged in comparison to other students of similar ability, he or she may qualify for access arrangements for public examinations. There are a number of different types of access arrangement and these are determined by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). The main ones are listed at the bottom of this document. The criteria that must be met for an access arrangement changes frequently and JCQ issue guidance booklets every year. You can access these online – for information.

Reasonable Adjustments

The Equality Act 2010 requires an Awarding Body (Exam Board) to make reasonable adjustments where a disabled person would be at a substantial disadvantage in undertaking an assessment.

How reasonable the adjustment is will depend on a number of factors including the needs of the disabled candidate/learner.  An adjustment may not be considered reasonable if it involves unreasonable costs, timeframes or affects the security or integrity of the assessment.

When we will assess a student?

We will assess all students at the end of year 9 or start of Year 10 in order to ascertain whether students meet the criteria and subsequently apply for access arrangements to be granted. Any application is only valid for 26 months and it is for this reason that we do not apply earlier.

In order for us to apply we need to provide evidence of an ongoing need and show that the access arrangement we apply for is the student’s normal way of working. Therefore, throughout Years 7, 8 and 9 we will collate information from teachers and conduct different tests and assessments in order to make sure that we are not only meeting the criteria but that we can work out what might be the best provision for your child.

No access arrangement is formalised until the end of Year 9/start of Year 10 and any arrangement made before that time is essentially part of the assessment process. This can be quite confusing for parents as we are aware that students have sometimes been granted an access arrangement for tests at primary school. Please be aware that these do not carry forward and that the assessment process for GCSE examinations, does not occur until year 9/10. Please also be aware that having an Education Health and Care Plan or diagnosis of a Specific Learning Difficulty, does not necessarily mean that a student will qualify for access arrangements, even if your child has regular in class support.

At the end of Year 9/Start of Year 10, the SENDCo will write to parents/carers if the school decides to assess their child.  The SENDCo will then write to confirm any Access Arrangements that the candidate is eligible for.

Access arrangements information

“The SENCo must be satisfied that the candidate has an impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect, giving rise to persistent and significant difficulties; and the candidate is disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010”.
Access Arrangements and Reasonable adjustments - JCQ

Identifying the need for access arrangements within Newlands Girls’ School

Students who may qualify for formal access arrangements during KS4 are identified early in KS3 (Y7). At this stage needs are identified, rather than formally assessed. Adjustments to Quality First Teaching within lessons are then made according to need to enable a student to access their learning and make progress. 

All staff are involved in monitoring the adjustments.

Formal assessments for Access Arrangements take place by the end of the first half term of Year 10

Year 7 students who have had EAA at KS2 may also screened for EEA at this stage. Although they may have received EAA at KS2, it does not necessarily mean that they automatically receive it at KS4 exams because their needs may have changed. For example, a student who had a reader at KS2 may not qualify for a reader at KS4 because their reading has improved to the extent it does not meet the exam board criteria.  


  • Specialist assessments for access arrangements will be carried out at Newlands Girls’ School by an appropriately qualified assessor.  Private reports may be taken into consideration however these will not form the basis of any decisions about Access Arrangements without evidence of need in the school and from this evidence of Normal Ways of Working in lessons.  Where evidence of need and normal ways of working demonstrate that the student may be entitled to Access Arrangements, they will still be tested by the assessor.
  • At Newlands Girls’ School the examination officer, specialist assessor, SENDCo and teaching staff all work together to ensure that appropriate access arrangements are put in place for all tests and examinations.  
  • If a student chooses continually not to use the agreed access arrangements either because their needs change or they do not feel it aids their learning or achievement, then access arrangements will be removed, and parents/carers informed.
  • If the SEND team in school and/or specialist assessor considers that access arrangements cease to be the student’s ‘normal way of working’, they reserve the right to withdraw the permission, providing written confirmation to parents/carers.  


Below is a summary of the JCQ directives regarding some of the key access arrangements.

Supervised rest breaks:

  • These must always be considered before applying for extra time.
  • These will be allowed where it is the candidate’s normal way of working.
  • Medical conditions – rest breaks can be agreed if you have a serious medical condition, examples of this are type 1 diabetes or a sensory need. Medical evidence is required. AD(H)D - if you have a diagnosis we will look at the recommendations and consider whether rest
    breaks will be helpful in exams. Evidence of your diagnosis is required.
  • Evidence from CAMHs of current treatment for a condition that requires rest breaks. However, we do not accept evidence from this service if you have been discharged from treatment.

Please Note: We are not able or allowed to provide rest breaks in advance for anxiety/worry/ stress caused by taking exams. It is normal to feel stressed and worried about exams. Please feel reassured that our exam invigilators are experienced and trained to deal with students who are upset and worried on the day.


  • A prompter may be permitted where a candidate has a substantial and long-term adverse impairment resulting in persistent distractibility or significant difficulty in concentrating.


25% extra time:

  • These must be applied for and registered on Access Arrangements Online.
  • Applications will be considered based on either an Education Health Care Plan or an assessment carried out no earlier than Year 9 by a specialist assessor to confirm a learning difficulty.
  • Candidates with 25% extra time normally sit their examinations in the hall (unless an additional arrangement such as a reader/scribe is in place).
  • Candidates must have at least two below average standardised scores of 84 or less; or one below average standardised score of 84 or less and one low average standardised score (85-89). In either scenario, the two standardised scores must relate to two different areas of speed of working as below:

• speed of reading and speed of writing; or

• speed of reading and cognitive processing; or

 • speed of writing and cognitive processing; or

• two different areas of cognitive processing which have a substantial and long-term adverse effect on speed of working.

Procedures for processing an application 

In all cases, the following steps will be followed to ensure that the required evidence is collated, and the correct application procedure followed: 

  1. Teachers will share students ‘Normal way of working’ throughout KS3 and following the schools student concern form.
  2. The SEND team will collate the information and decide whether or not to assess and which areas of assessment are required.
  3. Parents/carers will be sent a letter to inform them of the process of assessment for access arrangements were applicable.
  4. The SEND team will complete Part 1 of the JCQ Form 8.
  5. Assessments will take place.
  6. The assessor will assess the student and complete, hand sign and date Part 2 of Form 8.
  7. Part 3 of Form 8, making recommendations for access arrangements, must be completed by the SENCO following the assessment.
  8. The student must sign the Data Protection Notice.
  9. The SEND team will make an application for access arrangements to the JCQ through Access Arrangements Online. Applications must be processed and approved no later than the JCQ published deadline. Late applications are only permitted in very specific circumstances and may be subject to scrutiny. 
  10. The student, parents/carers, teachers and the Examinations Officer will be notified of the outcome and implications for schoolwork and internal tests.
  11. Evidence will be kept on file for inspection by the JCQ inspector, including the original copy of Form 8, the signed Data Protection Notice, confirmation of approval of the access arrangement and the portfolio of evidence of need/normal way of working. Evidence must be available on request. 


Evidence needed to apply for EAA 

  • There are a number of pieces of evidence that can be used to apply for Exam Access Arrangements to the JCQ: 
  • Form 8 reports from the specialist assessor carrying out EEA assessments/tests. 
  • Previous EAA from another school (Form 8 and evidence of the Assessor’s qualifications).
  • Subject teachers- examples of work as appropriate and support given in class or evidence from tests or mock exams. 
  • Results from baseline tests such as reading age, writing tests. 
  • Medical reports outlining significant medical needs and disability (hospital consultant). 


How do staff and parents know whether a student has access arrangements? 

When a need for Access Arrangements has been identified, the relevant parties are informed:  

  • Parents/carers in writing – the letter outlines the type of arrangements that have been awarded. 
  • Students are informed verbally. 
  • Access Arrangement list is made available to the exam officer. 
  • A list of those who receive Access Arrangements is made available to all staff. This information will be placed on the school’s relevant shared drives and Arbor.


Use of externally commissioned reports

A parent/carer may choose to have their child assessed by a private educational psychologist or private dyslexia assessor. Where parents/carers do commission diagnostic assessments for their child the organisation or individual performing the assessment must have prior contact with the school to gather background information on the student before going ahead with the assessment. A privately commissioned assessment carried out without prior consultation with the centre cannot be used to support the access arrangements process.  

Private reports cost a significant amount of money. This means that parents/carers who are unable to obtain a private report due to their financial circumstances are put at a disadvantage. As an exam centre Newlands Girls’ School must be consistent in its decisions and ensure that no student is either given an unfair advantage or disadvantaged by any arrangements put in place. Therefore, when parents/carers submit such reports to Newlands Girls’ School, we will look for evidence of a history of need and the student’s normal way of working. Such privately commissioned reports can sometimes be in conflict with what Newlands Girls’ School Specialist Assessor recommends. If the school’s diagnostic tests contradict privately commissioned reports, then the school’s tests and assessments will take precedence and will inform Exam Access Arrangement decisions and no further negotiation regarding this matter will take place with the parent/carer.

If you have any queries, please contact Mrs Hannah McMahon, SENDCo via the school office 



If your child has been issued with Lexia as part of an intervention to accelerate their literacy, please use the links below to access the website.

PowerUp (majority of students with access)

Core 5 (EAL students)

Click here for Disability Equality Statement

Click here for SIR Policy - September 2023

Local Authority, Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, SEND Ofsted Report -

Please see below for links to Local Offers:

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead:

Buckinghamshire County Council:

Slough County Council: