Candy Clarkson MA(Ed)
SpLD Specialist Assessor
Costings for Schools and Efficiency Record
Access Arrangements for the Academic Year 2020 - 2021
Summer Term Week 12
This brings our academic year to an end and what a brilliant year it has been. I would like to warmly thank my SENCOs and Exams Officers, their support staff and all the members of the teaching staff and administrative teams who have done so much to advise me, welcome me, make me feel comfortable and run around the students to make my time with them as efficient and as cost effective as possible. It just remains for me to wish you all a lovely, restful and well deserved summer break and I look forward to working with you all again next academic year.
Diary update: Next term is now fully booked, all bar one week.
Summer Term Week 11
Summer Term Week 10
Return visit to a Berkshire FE college to individually assess 22 pre-screened students, complete Form 8s and spreadsheet of JCQ and centre granted access arrangements discussed with the SEN Administrator.
Cost to the college for individual assessment: £300 (£13.64 per student) + travel.
Diary Update: The 1st half of next term is now fully booked and there is limited availability remaining in the 2nd half of next term.
Summer Term Week 9
Then return visit to a South Oxfordshire school whilst the sports hall was still set up for examinations, to screen their Year 9 group of 180 students in one sitting, for eligibility for individual assessment for access arrangements. Standardised scores of screening results were calculated and traffic lighted, which along with notes and observations were entered on the spreadsheet supplied by the Exams Officer and SEN Administrator and returned to the SENCO for scrutiny, by the end of the following day. Looking forward to returning to the school next term, to do individual assessments for access arrangements, as directed by the SENCO.
Cost to the school for screening: £600 (£3.33 per student) + travel.
Summer Term Week 8
Cost to the school for screening: £900 (£2.87 per student) + travel.
Cost to the school for individual assessment £2,100 (£17.64 per student) + travel.
'I have shopped around and no one does it as cheaply and efficiently as you. Thank you so much for all your wonderful support these last few days and I do hope you have a well deserved rest. See you again in September.' SENDCO.
Summer Term Week 7
Cost to the school for individual assessment: £900 (£25.71 per student) + travel.
Summer Term Week 6
Cost to the school for screening: £300 (£2.08 per student) + travel.
Cost to the school for individual assessment: £600 (£9.23 per student) + travel.
'Thanks again for such a swift and pain free process. Look forward to seeing you again in the new school year.' SENCO.
Summer Term Week 5
Cost to the school for screening: £300 (£2.88 per student) + travel.
Cost to the school for individual assessment: £600 (£11.71 per student) + travel.
Looking forward to going back to this lovely school next week, to see their Year 9 group.
Summer Term Week 4
On Tuesday, visited a new South Oxfordshire secondary. As usual with a new client, time wise, I erred on the side of caution and provisionally booked out 3 consecutive days for them, in which to individually assess 21 pre-screened students. The SENCO ran such a wonderful team, however, who were able to make the most efficient use of my time, by seamlessly marshalling and keeping up a steady throughput of students. This meant that group, then individual student assessment, all Form 8s and the spreadsheet of JCQ and centre granted access arrangements discussed with the SENCO, were all easily completed in one working day.
Cost to the school for individual assessment: £300 (£14.29 per student) + travel.
Summer Term Week 3
Cost to the school for screening and indidividual assessment: £600 (£13.64 per student) + travel.
Diary Update: May and June are now completely booked and we are now busy taking bookings for next academic year.
Summer Term Week 2
Summer Term Week 1
Autumn Term Week 14
A question has arisen from one on my SENCOs. Would I recommend SPaRCS as a screening or diagnostic tool? Here are my first thoughts:
1. Application for a Reader: SENCO file notes for readers are completed on the basis of evidence from staff of ‘Normal Way Of Working’. A formal assessment is currently unnecessary. It is, therefore, difficult to see what the usefulness of SPaRCs can be for application for a reader, as it is unlikely to be able to tell teaching staff anything that they don’t already know, with which to evidence NWOW.
2. Application for a Scribe: The application of SPaRCS to return a below average single word spelling score with indecipherable errors, is only of very limited usefulness, when the overwhelming majority of applications for a scribe are based on performance on a Free Writing task; which SPaRCS does not offer. A cheaper alternative to the student response booklet being the WRAT5 Single Word Spelling at the cost of one piece of feint ruled, A4 paper per student.
3. Application for Extra Time: PATOSS Helpline confirms that for the purposes of Form 8 Part 2, the Reading Comprehension Speed test does not provide a test of reading speed or reading fluency. Neither does it provide a test of writing speed or comprehensive tests of cognitive processing. It does provide a limited assessment of cognitive processing for screening, a cheaper alternative to which, being the DASH Alphabet Writing.
4. SPaRCS seems to have little, if any, application for completing Form 8 Part 1, as this is normally fully accounted for by pupil tracking data and staff reports of NWOW.
As the SPaRCS student response booklet retails at £3.00 per student, to which you have to factor in the time and cost of the man hours (and possibly qualified assessor if the tests are to be repeated to be used to complete for Form 8 Part 2) needed to deliver, score and report the results, in terms of time, cost and usefulness, my question is, therefore, how ‘suitable’ is SPaRCS as either a screening or diagnostic tool for access arrangements?
I am looking forward to the PATOSS webinar on 12th January to find out.
Update. Sadly, despite my questions and concerns being put in writing, directly to Education Elephant and through PATOSS before, during and after the webinar, they have yet to respond....
Autumn Term Week 13
Return to a large academy in London's East End, to screen a group of 34 students, who missed testing last week due to being out of school. Then to individually assess the 60 students selected by our screening and agreed by the SENCO. Although 2 days were originally allocated for this task, with the support of the SEN team who kept the students coming and made sure that all those who needed a Form 8 completed and signed their data protection forms, we managed to see them all in one day. 'Was this a record?', asked the delighted SENCO. I thought for a bit and agreed that yes, I think that it probably was. Then home to spend a day completing the Form 8s, updating the spreadsheet with the JCQ and centre granted access arrangements discussed with the SENCO. Also to compile and send a folder of templates of SENCO file notes, for those students with a clinical diagnosis of anything other than a SpLD and/or who need a reader or supervised rest breaks. Looking forward to returning in January for a 'mop up day'.
Cost to the school for screening: £300 (£8.82 per student) + travel.
Cost to the school for individual assessment: £600 (£10.00 per student) + travel.
Autumn Term Week 12
Visit to a semi-rural Berkshire independent, to spend time with the SENCO, see 2 students for assessment for access arrangments and complete their Form 8s; one free of charge, for a student for whom I am completing a Full Diagnostic Assessment for DSA.
Then in complete contrast, on to a large academy in London's East End, to spend 2 days serially screening their bubble groups of 92 KS4 and 127 KS5 students. It will be so good when COVID is over and we can go back to screening students en masse, in the sports/exam hall, as it will save us all so much time. Looking forward to returning next week, to screen the remaining bubbles of KS4 and individually assess the students selected from our screening process, as approved and put forward by the SENCO.
Cost to the school for screening: £600 (£2.74 per student) + travel.
Autumn Term Week 11
Trip up to a Yorkshire secondary school to group test and then individually assess 68 pre-screened KS4 and KS5 students. Supported by an incredibly friendly, helpful and efficient team of LSAs and Exams Officer, we assessed them all in 2 days, with one further day spent to do up the Form 8s and spreadsheet of access arrangements discussed with the SENCO, complete with advice notes.
Cost to the school for individual assessment: £900 (£13.09 per student) + travel.
Autumn Term Week 10
Return to a Berkshire comprehensive, to see the 73 students screened and agreed by the SENCO as needing individual assessments. In 2 days, we completed 53 individual assessments, leaving the rest to join a 'mop up day' in the Spring term, plus one further day to complete the Form 8s, respond to a parental concern and complete the spreadsheet of JCQ and centre granted arrangements discussed wiht the SENCO.
Cost to the school for individual assessment: £900 (£16.98 per student) + travel.
This left the rest of the week for me to attend a 2-day PATOSS webinar on assessing ADHD and complete 2 full diagnostic assessments for private clients.
Autumn Term Week 9
Visit to a small, independent, London college to screen Year 9 and Key Stages 4 and 5 in their individual year groups and then see those students identified as needing individual assessment.
'Candy came to our college and worked with tremendous efficiency. She managed to screen 80 students and do 31 individual assessments within 2 days. She worked with absolute professionalism and it was clear that she has a very thorough knowledge of the processes. She had a lovely, kind but firm manner with the students. I would definitely recommend her.' Vice Principal and SENCO
Cost to the school for screening: £300 (£3.75 per student) + travel.
Cost to the school for individual assessment: £300 (£9.68 per student) + travel.
Then on to a London Academy to screen their Year 11 group of 105 students, with results deliverd to the SENCO the same day, from which the SENCO put forward 27 students for individual assessment. Individual assesment was completed the the following day, with one further day spent completing all the Form 8s, advice notes and access arrangements discussed with the SENCO.
Cost to the school for screening: £300 (£2.80 per student) + travel.
Cost to the school for individual assessment: £600 (£22.32 per student) + travel.
We were very impressed with Candy's efficiency, professionalism and manner when working with our students. She screened 105 students, of which she individully assessed 28, returning the completed Forms 8s with the appropriate paperwork and advice, all within 3 days. We look forward to working with Candy in the future.Thanks again, SENCO London Academy
Autumn Term Week 8
Return to a Berkshire comprehensive, a much admired and long-standing client, to screen the Year 10 group of 210 students. We did this in 2 sittings in the exam/sports hall, wiping down the desks and back of chairs with disinfectant between each sitting. We then individually assessed 18 pre-screened KS5 students, for whom the paperwork had not been made available from previous schools to enable rollover applications. Looking forward to going back in 2 week's time, to see the 73 Year 10s indicated by screening and agreed by the SENCO as needing further, individual assessment.
Cost to the school for screening: £600 (£2.85 per student) + travel.
Cost to the school for individual assessment: £300 (£16.66 per student) + travel.
Return to a lovely Berkshire independent, also a long-standing client, to assess a complex case for access arrangements, complete Form 8 and report back to the SENCO and the parents.
Then last night down at the pub before lockdown!
Autumn Term Week 7
A day trip to a Kent secondary school. 11 prescreened students group tested and then seen individually. The spreadsheet of group screening test results, with JCQ and centre-granted access arrangements discussed with the SENCO, along with completed Form 8s given to the SENCO. There followed a close sharing of experiences about the role of the SENCO, discussing training opportunities to gain the Level 7 and selecting a bank of useful resources to make the complete process of assessment for access arrangements efficient and effective.
Cost to the school for individual assessment: £300 (£27.27 per student) + travel.
'As a new SENCo I was very worried about organising the Access Arrangements for our current year 11. Candy was so helpful throughout the process, from the initial assessment of our students to guiding me through the Form 8 and Concise Note process. Thank you so much, Candy'. SENCO
Autumn Term Week 6
Cost to the college for individual assessment: £600 (£12.50 per student) + travel.
Thought for the day: What exactly is it, that https://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/products/exact/ (Formerly known as 'LUCID Exact') can possibly do, that a Specialist Assessor couldn't easily do more cheaply, efficiently and effectively?
Autumn Term Week 5
A two day visit to a London academy. 34 prescreened students group tested and then seen individually. The spreadsheet of group screening test results, with JCQ and centre-granted access arrangements discussed with the SENCO, all completed Form 8s and lastly, a report for a student requiring 50% extra time to support the SENCO`s application to the Awarding Bodies, were all then emailed to the very appreciative Exams Officer and SENCO. Looking forward to going back to the school, for one day in the Spring Term, to see the students who missed testing due to being out of school.
Cost to the school for individual assessment: £600 (£17.64 per student) + travel.
'Hi, thanks so much for your work this week. We were so impressed. It’s so good to have a real expert. We will certainly book you in at some point to mop up the other year 10s. Those year 10s are one of are toughest classes. Our headteacher was impressed too when you shhhed her!' SENCO
Autumn Term Week 4
Having spent the summer in lockdown and fully preparing for the academic year ahead, we took a much needed holiday in the wet and windy wilds of Dartmoor.
October is now fully booked and our diary is filling up fast. There are still some spaces left in the second half of Autumn term and in the Spring term, up to the JCQ extended deadline of 31st March.
Autumn Term Week 3
With COVID-19 restrictions in place, how did we do it?
Students could only be group tested in their bubbles and seated 2 metres apart, so we sanitised the desks between each classroom sitting and gave out box fresh pens and paper.
For individual assessments, all students wore masks and hand sanitized on arrival. Reading materials were presented in a vinyl folder, each page in its own plastic sleeve and wiped down after each use. After exchange of written papers, sanitizer was used again.
23 prescreened students were seen, of which 13 required a completed Form 8 and the rest a SENCO file note or centre granted arrangements only.
Cost to the school for individual assessment: £600 (£26.09 per student) + travel
'Candy, Thank you so much for your expertise over the past two days.' SENCO