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VCAA Special Provision Review

In 2014, the VCAA commenced a review of its current policy and administrative procedures associated with administering Special Provision within School-based Assessment and VCE external assessments with a particular focus on the Special Examination Arrangements (SEAs) and the Derived Examination Score (DES) processes.

The purpose of the review is to:

  • ensure special provision policies are in line with relevant Federal and State legislation
  • address and/or respond to the concerns of key stakeholder groups
  • develop a better process for ensuring consistency across provisions provided for school-based assessments and VCE external assessments
  • explore the possibility of approving provisions prior to the commencement of a student’s VCE or VCAL program.

An initial online survey led to targeted focus-group discussions, which helped form the basis of the following recommendations endorsed by the VCAA Board in October 2014.

 

Special Provision Review recommendations

Expansion and earlier engagement

  • Recommendation 1
    Expand the VCAA Special Provision framework to cover Years 7-12 inclusive, on both a formal and advisory level.
  • Recommendation 2
    Introduce a flexible and more accessible Special Provision platform which encourages and caters for early engagement with the VCAA allowing for discussion and potentially formalisation of appropriate ongoing provisions for students with special needs/circumstances.

Evidence requirements and provisions

  • Recommendation 3
    Through regular and ongoing consultation with relevant stakeholders, ensure there is consensus on:
    • the most appropriate evidence requirements for each condition/circumstance with greater emphasis placed on an existing diagnosis and any history of accommodations currently employed by the school
    • the most appropriate provisions available for each condition/circumstance.

Use of technology

  • Recommendation 4
    Consult with assistive technology experts to explore the use of assistive technologies in both classroom learning and assessment, in particular VCE external assessments.
  • Recommendation 5
    Move towards developing online solutions to deliver the VCAA’s application based Special Provision processes.

Training

  • Recommendation 6
    Develop and deliver an enhanced range of training and professional development options to educate, inform and engage with stakeholders about the VCAA Special Provision Policy and procedures.

Communication

  • Recommendation 7
    Develop a range of flexible and interactive communication strategies which are accessible and address the needs of stakeholders.

Ongoing consultation

  • Recommendation 8
    Establish regular and ongoing consultation processes with relevant stakeholders to address issues, both short and long term, within the Special Provision environment.

 

Policy review, development and implementation

At its December 2014 meeting, the VCAA Board endorsed the following key areas of activity as priorities:

  • The formation of a Special Provision Review Steering Committee comprised of relevant VCAA staff and key stakeholders drawn from the focus group areas that were part of the review consultation process. Other appropriate expert/s may be included as required. The Special Provision Review Steering Committee will oversee the ongoing direction of the Special Provision Review and will report back to the VCAA Board and stakeholders periodically.
  • The development of an online Special Provision management system, which will promote early engagement with the VCAA. A range of schools will be invited to participate in a trial from early 2016.
  • The development of specifications for an online Special Examination Arrangement application system that forms part of the Special Provision management system and interacts directly with the VCAA database.
  • The scheduling of further workshops to determine and finalise (for immediate implementation where practical):
    • the most appropriate evidence requirements for each condition/circumstance with greater emphasis placed on an existing diagnosis and any history of accommodations currently employed by the school
    • the most appropriate provisions available for each condition/circumstance.

Experts and specialists in each key area will be invited to participate and contribute to these workshops to ensure there is a common understanding of issues and consensus about the outcomes.

  • The development of communication strategies and training options to ensure the VCAA is better equipped to engage with and inform its stakeholders.

 

Contact

For any queries regarding the review please contact VCAA Special Provision on (03) 9225 2219 or vcaa.special.provision@edumail.vic.gov.au.​​​​