Curriculum Support

All children at King Edward’s have as a matter of principle equal access to the school’s curriculum, notwithstanding any disability or identified learning difficulties. For details of our policy, see the School's Policy on Curriculum Support. For full details of what we do, see the Guide to Curriculum Support. A summary account is provided below.

Learning Difficulties

We take into account formally recognised learning difficulties in how we teach and assess. 

We aim to recognise pupils who need support so that they can derive maximum benefit from the curriculum.

One way of doing this is through literacy tests carried out in the First to Third Years, or by referral by subject teachers of individual pupils to the Curriculum Support Team.

All members of the teaching staff receive regular updates on those pupils who require support and ways to help them in the classroom.

Some extra literacy lessons are provided for those pupils in the Lower School whose performance in diagnostic testing suggests that they would benefit from them. The lessons are usually on a one-to-one basis and by extract from other subject periods on a rota system.

Students in the Upper School and Sixth Form, who have been assessed with a Specific Learning Difficulty and are on the Curriculum Support Register, are invited to attend a Study Skills course after school. This is run five times over the year. Each course comprises four sessions and caters for up to eight students.

Extra mathematics support on a short-term basis is provided for pupils in the Lower School and Upper School whose difficulties are with numeracy skills. Pupils can attend a regular drop-in clinic run over four lunchtimes a week by members of the mathematics department with experience in this field. Some students may require more targeted support, depending on the results of tests and other data.


The school recognises its duties under the Special Education Needs and Disability Act 200, the SEN and Disability Code of Practice 2014, the Children and Families Act 2014 (Part 3) and the Equality Act of 2010 towards pupils who have a disability.

Special Arrangements in Examinations

For details of special arrangements see the School's Policy on Curriculum Support.

Enquiries should be addressed to Mr SJ Smart, Head of Curriculum Support

Important Notice

Special Arrangements for GCSE and GCE Examinations 2020: Deadline for Applications

If you are a parent of a child about to sit public examinations during 2019-2020, please read the following advice carefully:

This is to let you know that the deadline by which the School can approve special arrangements in public examinations for students with specific learning difficulties or disabilities, such as extra time, the use of a word processor or other arrangements, is coming up soon.

If your child has already been diagnosed since the beginning of the Third year (Year 9) as needing Examination Access Arrangements and these have been agreed and you have been informed, you do not need to do anything further. A letter confirming these arrangements will be sent to you in due course by the School’s Examinations Officer, Mrs Owen. If further information is required in order for the School to build a picture of need for the use of such arrangements, you will be contacted personally by a member of the Curriculum Support team.

If your child has so far been undiagnosed and yet you suspect he or she may have special educational needs, then it is essential that you contact Mr S.J. Smart, the Head of Curriculum Support, as soon as possible and no later than Thursday 17th October 2019, before the beginning of the half term holiday in the Autumn Term. This is to enable enough time for the School to initiate the assessment process, to collect appropriate evidence of need and to trial any examination arrangements that have been recommended before the strict deadline imposed by the Joint Council of Qualifications.Requests after that date may be considered, subject to individual circumstances, but parents must be aware that there will be an additional administrative charge for the service.

The latest date by which completed specialist assessments can be received by the School is Friday 29th November.

Please do not make arrangements for your child to be assessed by an educational psychologist or another professional without informing us of the circumstances in advance. According to the latest Joint Council of Qualifications regulations, a privately commissioned assessment carried out without prior consultation with the Curriculum Support Department cannot be used to award examination access arrangements. This is because the School must provide evidence of a ‘history of need’ before any such assessment is undertaken.

If it is felt by the School that an assessment is necessary you will be asked to make arrangements for this to take place. Again, it is important that any such assessment is carried out as soon as possible and with a professional with whom the School has a working relationship as this will enable the School to comply with the regulations of the Joint Council of Qualifications which require any examination arrangements that are recommended to represent the candidate's 'normal method of working’ within the School.

Some candidates may require to be in a smaller room or invigilated separately, as space allows, for example students who are obliged to read aloud in order to fully comprehend text or who have a medical condition or social, mental and emotional difficulties.

An arrangement to ‘read aloud’ should be supported by a verifiable history of need within the centre, confirming that this is the candidate’s normal method of working, as well as by an educational psychologist’s report or a Specialist Teacher Assessment, giving clear and compelling reasons and evidence for this arrangement.

Separate invigilation for students with a medical condition or social, mental and emotional difficulties must be supported by a detailed report from a specialist medical practitioner, psychiatrist or clinical psychologist giving clear and compelling reasons and evidence for need. Candidates’ difficulties should reflect a substantial and long term medical condition or social, mental or emotional need. They should also be established within the centre and known to the Form Tutor or Head of Year or Head of Curriculum Support.

As before, for summer examinations the last date by which the School may receive specialist assessments which recommend examination access arrangements is Friday 29th November. In order to allow proper and sufficient evidence to be gathered for this application, initial enquiries regarding the possibility of the need for examination access arrangements should be made to the Curriculum Support Department as soon as possible and no later than Thursday 17th October 2019, before the beginning of the half term holiday in the Autumn Term.

Further information can be found in the School’s Curriculum Support

If you have specific questions about matters pertaining to special arrangements for public examinations, please contact Mr S.J. Smart, the Head of Curriculum Support (