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Education professionals

Find practical strategies you can use to support children with dyspraxia.


SENsible SENCO is a membership organisation for SENCOs - take a look at all of the useful resources you can access at their website


You may notice a child has difficulty learning skills which come naturally to other children. Or you may notice they have some of the problems listed below. Take a look at the following helpful strategies to support children you work with:

Dyspraxia and examinations

Formal tests and examinations can present challenges for children with dyspraxia.

The Equality Act (HMSO, 2010) states that specific learning differences such as dyslexia, dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder) and dyscalculia are all classified as a disability under the terms of this Act. It is unlawful to discriminate against anyone on the basis of their disability. Individuals are entitled to receive reasonable adjustments to help them overcome their difficulties. Therefore reasonable adjustments which enable equality of opportunity during examinations/tests during a child’s school career must be considered.

They may have difficulties with:

  • Speed of processing information
  • Organising their thoughts on paper
  • Short term working memory
  • Sequencing
  • Reading fluency and accuracy
  • Handwriting difficulties (legibility and fluency)
  • Poor muscle tone resulting in physical pain and exhaustion
  • Visual learning difficulties (tracking words or letter confusion)
  • Stress/anxiety which may exacerbate their difficulties
  • Concentration issues

Every individual with dyspraxia will present with different requirements. Students with dyspraxia will usually need some additional arrangements in place to put them on equal footing with their neuro-typical peers. These may include:

  • Extra time (usually 25%)
  • A reader and or scribe
  • An oral language modifier
  • Access to technological adaptions such as a word processor
  • Assistive software (voice recognition programme for example)
  • The use of coloured paper to avoid visual strain
  • Supervised rest breaks
  • A separate room/area to avoid disturbance
  • Accessible exam papers (font and colour considerations)

Please note that for general examinations it is possible for the school to request to open a paper early in order to photo copy it onto coloured paper.

Details of the current access arrangements for SATS can be found on gov.uk: Key Stage 2 Tests.

Access arrangements must be made to Awarding Bodies in good time, with evidence to support the request. In order for a student to be able to use a computer in examinations it must be seen to be their normal way of working so parents and teachers need to ensure this is thought about well in advance of exams. There is a computerised test for access arrangements available.

If schools fail to implement access arrangements parents can apply for special considerations. See the JCQ website for further information.

PATOSS (The Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties) has a list of assessors who have the specialised qualification and are approved to carry out assessments.<br>


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