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

Week beginning 12th July, 2021

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. We still have availability in the Spring term.

Summer Term Week 11

Week beginning 5th July, 2021
Booked to visit a Yorkshire school this week to screen and individually assess their Year 10 group.   Covid, however, has flared in the region and half the Year 10 group and many members of staff and their children are at home either with, or self-isolating from, the virus.  So, quite rightly, the school has rearranged for next term.  With lockdown restrictions about to be lifted, this is a sharp reminder that the virus cares only about its own survival and nothing about anyone's interpretation of the law; and so it is down to each of us individually, to make careful decisions about how we protect ourselves and those around us from its continued presence.

Summer Term Week 10

Week beginning 28th June, 2021
At the request of the SENCO and parent, return to a Berkshire independent, to offer a Full Diagnostic Assessment and complete a Form 8 for a KS4 student. 


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

Week beginning 21st June, 2021
At the request of the SENCO and guardian, return to a Berkshire independent, to offer a Post-16 Full Diagnostic Assessment and complete a Form 8 for a KS5 student. 


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

Week beginning 14th June, 2021
This week, we broke all records for efficiency and cost effectiveness.  We returned to a large, oversubscribed, London college to screen 313 students in 3 sittings: 1. Year 9: 169;  2. Year 10: 131;  and 3. Year 12: 13.  The results for Years 10 and 12 were calculated and returned to the SENDCO for scrutiny the same day and the results for Year 9 the following day.  There followed 2 days of individual assessment and then 2 further days of clerical work to complete the Form 8s and the spreadsheet of JCQ and centre granted access arrangements discussed with the SENDCO.   We are looking forward to returning in September, to 'mop up' the students who were out of school this week and any new entrants to KS4 and KS5.


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

Week beginning 7th June, 2021
Return visit to a London academy to see 35 pre-screened students.  On the first day, due to exam timetable constraints, group testing could only be done in groups of 6, followed by individual testing, group by group; thus, considerably reducing efficiency.  The following day, however, we managed to get the remaining 18 students group tested first lesson, easily leaving time for their individual assessments, over the course of the day.  The completed 16 Form 8s and Data Protection notices; student handwriting samples; the spreadsheet completed with JCQ and centre granted access arrangements discussed with the SENCO and SEN administrator; a pack of useful documents to help with the organisation, planning and management of the annual access arrangements cycle; and an anonymised and protected sample of a full diagnostic assessment report were all compiled for the SEN administrator and sent on the following day.


Cost to the school for individual assessment: £900 (£25.71 per student) + travel.

Summer Term Week 6

Week beginning 24th May, 2021
Back to the same London academy, to screen in 2 sittings (first sitting 130 students, second sitting 14 students), their Year 9 group of 138 students and 'mop up' a further 6 Year 10s who were out of school the previous week.  Then, as last week, individual assessments of students on the SEN Register began and continued until the end of the school day.  Screening results were then calculated, recorded and emailed to the SENCO and Assistant SENCO, to await their instructions.  Group and individual assessments were completed over the following 2 days.  The day after that, the completed Form 8s and the spreadsheet of access arrangments discussed and agreed with the SENCO were completed and returned, along with the Data Protection Notices and student scripts, where appropriate.


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

Week beginning 17th May, 2021
Return visit to a London academy, to screen their Year 10 group of 104 students, for assessment for access arrangements.  The 25 students on the SEN Register were then individually assessed.  Screening results were calculated and recorded and along with recommendations, were returned to the SENCO for approval; ready for the remaining individual assessments the following day.   The next day and as put forward by the SENCO, 31 students were individually assessed.  Then 26 Form 8s and Data Protection Notices, along with the spreadsheet of JCQ and centre granted arrangements discussed with the SENCO,  were all completed and returned.  The whole service, from start to finish, was completed in 3 days, all due to the incredible efficiency of the SENCO and her team. 


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

Week beginning 10th May, 2021
All Mondays this term and half of next term are now booked, to catch up on the waiting list for clients wanting Full Diagnostic Assessments. 


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

Week beginning 3rd May, 2021
Delightful return visit to another long standing client of many years, a Berkshire comprehensive, to individually assess the remaining students who I screened last November, before lockdown.  Also group screened the 'bubbles' of new KS4 and KS5 entrants to the school.  Saw 44 students in total, completed Form 8s and spreadsheet of centre granted and JCQ access arrangements discussed with the SENCO.  At the SENCO's request, also prepared a brief report on a student, for onward referral to a LA educational psychologist.  All completed in 2 days.


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

Week beginning 26th April, 2021
Back to work and return visits to a very long standing client of 10 years, a Berkshire independent, to start to catch up with the backlog of people wanting Full Diagnostic Assessments and completed Form 8s.  

Summer Term Week 1

Week beginning 19th April, 2021
We will be back to work this term!  April and May are now fully booked but we do still have some availability in June and July and are now taking bookings for next academic year 2021-2022.  We most look forward to hearing from you.

Spring Term

4th January to 31st March 2021
Covid 19. We are in lockdown and so all assessment work has stopped.   Bookings made for this term have been prioritised for next term.

Autumn Term Week 14

Week beginning 14th December 2020

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

Week beginning 7th December 2020

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

Week beginning 30th November 2020

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

Week beginning 23rd November 2020

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

Week beginning 16th November 2020

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

Week beginning 9th November 2020

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

Week beginning 2nd November 2020

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

Week beginning 19th October, 2020

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

Week beginning 12th October, 2020
Delightful return visit to a Berkshire college, ably assisted by a wonderful SEN Administrator.  We group tested 48 prescreened students in the exam/sports hall and then individually assessed them for application for access arrangements.  Completed Form 8s and the spreadsheet detailing JCQ and centre granted access arrangements recommended were then submitted.  All completed in 2 days.


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

Week beginning 5th October, 2020

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

(Ooooops!)

Autumn Term Week 4

Week beginning 28th September, 2020

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

Week beginning 21st September 2020
Our first assignment this academic year, was a 2-day return visit to a London Academy.


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

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