Using a Scribe in Exams

For some GCSE candidates it is appropriate to use a scribe. A scribe is an adult who is employed by the school to sit with a specific child in exams and write for them if they for whatever reason cannot write for themselves.

Most children who are offered a scribe are children who have previously been known to the school as part of the Special Educational Needs register – those children who have a teaching assistant to support them during their lessons, because of a medical, physical or behavioural need. However anyone may qualify for a scribe, as extenuating circumstances are also allowable. For example, a student who is unfortunate enough to break the arm they use for writing just before the exams commence may use a scribe.

A scribe must write exactly what you tell them to write, and will not correct grammar or use of the English language. If spelling is being assessed you will have to spell out the words needed and the scribe will write them without any indication as to whether you are correct or not. You will sit your exam with extra time to allow for the scribe’s help in normal exam conditions, with normal rules, but in a room other than the main exam hall, normally with other children and their scribes. You must speak quietly to your scribe, who may not provide you with any other help; for example, they cannot clarify what is being asked of you in a certain question.

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