IEB concessions / accommodation application process

Teenager studying

The IEB has a well set out concession / accommodation policy

A recent psycho-educational assessment is often required when making an application for an IEB Accommodation / Concession. However the decision as to whether an accommodation will be granted lies with the IEB and its accommodations panel NOT with the practitioner who conducted the assessment or with the school.

The following guidelines outline the general application process for many of the IEB accommodations:

Educational Psychologist: The psychologist administers a Psycho-educational assessment that complies with the battery of tests required by the IEB.

Parents: Sign IEB Consent Form D, as assessment information will be distributed beyond the assessing psychologist.

School: Relevant teacher / head completed Application Forms A and B.  At least three subject teacher comments and relevant samples of school work should be included with the application.

Supporting Historical Evidence: eg Occupational therapy reports, Speech therapy reports, Remedial therapy reports and Medical Report from relevant practitioner (IEB Form C) need to be submitted in support of the application.

Submission Process: Applications are submitted to the IEB by the school.

Comments ( 17 )

  • author-hexa-bg

    Hi

    What are the legalities regarding accommodations for primary school learners? How severe must their learning difficulty be to get a scribe and a reader and should they have sent documents first to the IEB to authorize it before exams? This is for a Grade 6 child. Thanks

    • author-hexa-bg

      Hi Christina,

      The IEB has a rather comprehensive document with clear cut requirements for concessions. I think you could probably download it from their website. There are certain criteria put out in the document outlining what deficits we can base our recommendations for concessions on. Yes, there is a whole bunch of documents that needs to be sent in to the IEB as part of the application process. One of these is a recent psychological assessment report, the other documents include past reports, medical reports (if applicable) and documents completed by teachers. The IEB panel then convenes and reviews each individual application before deciding whether to grant (or reject) the concessions.

  • author-hexa-bg

    My daughter is in Grade 12, see gets spelling concessions, extra time and the use of a human reader. I would like to know can any person read for her during exams? Must the person be trained or qualified. Who is responsible for organizing the reader, the school or the parents?

    • author-hexa-bg

      Hi Michael,

      To my knowledge the reader has to undergo specific training before being able to assist students. The exam session should also be voice video recorded. Organising the reader is often a joint effort. Some schools simply do not have the capacity to make the arrangements and pay a reader and this often falls on the parents shoulders, however most schools have a list of duly qualified and experienced people who should be able to help and will usually be able to put you in touch with them so that you can go ahead and make more detailed arrangements.

  • author-hexa-bg

    Hello

    I’ve read through your blog and found most of what I was querying. Your thoughts would still be appreciated.

    Kind regards

    MArk

  • author-hexa-bg

    Hello

    I came across this site quite by accident but with predetermined questions regarding concessions and the IEB

    What is the WISC and / or the SSAIS and how does affect the IEB concession panel (and how or who is the panel comprised of)?

    My son is now turning 14 and is in Grade 8.

    He is diagnosed ADD with frontal lobe delay by Dr G. Maxwell (neurologist). His handwriting is extremely poor and needs extra time to complete his assessments / exams / tests and a scribe is made use of for this purpose. However, the IEB have now determined (not sure how, as they havent tested him) that he doesnt need or should receive any concessions. I did have him tested by an Ed Psych and by Dr Maxwell and submitted both their findings with their recommendations for concessions.

    Of course the cost of an IEB concessionary battery of tests should also be taken into account? (tongue in cheek)

    Why (and of course I concede that you havent seen my son or his work) would the IEB be so “sticky” about what tests should be done… is not a neurologists and Ed Psychs reports good enough?

    I must add that Im a deputy at a school for CP and learning disabled children (Frances Vorwerg School) so do have access to professional thought….(neurologists from Baragwanath) which after discussions leaves me a bit baffled. Anyway, without knocking the IEB concessions panel too much, I’d appreciate your thoughts as a matter of interest.

    Kind regards

    MArk

    • author-hexa-bg

      Hi Mark,

      Both the WISC and the SSAIS are IQ Tests. Deciding which to use depends on a case to case basis, but both have advantages and drawbacks. The WISC is an internationally recognised and standardised test and has been around for very many years (in different forms, updated from time to time), but the drawback is that the test is normed on an international population and so should be interpreted with caution. The SSAIS is a local IQ test with more culturally relevant items and normed on the South African population (however, one should again consider the effect that socio-economic disadvantage may have on a child’s score on these tests).

      The IEB concession panel consists of a group of psychologists and education specialists.

      A specific battery of tests must be used for several reasons:
      1. It gives the IEB panel a more holistic view of your child as a learner and his strengths and weaknesses
      2. They might spot areas of weakness that require concessions that the psychologist / referring professional might not have spotted
      3. They need to ensure that there may not be another reason for the “presenting” problem. For instance a child with a very low IQ will most likely also present with a very slow workspeed, but we know that giving him extra time during tests and exams will not necessarily help him achieve better results and might, if anything, just prolong a situation in which the child may already feel rather overwhelmed.

      Not having met your son nor having ever seen samples of his work / assessments (as you say) does put me in a difficult position to comment meaningfully. But … the thinking probably goes something like this: Any child will benefit from being granted a concession. If the child has a relevant difficulty in learning, this benefit will be fair and “levels the playing field” so to speak so that the child is able to “compete” with his non-learning-disabled peers. However, if a child does not have a relevant learning difficulty granting a concession gives him an unfair advantage over his peers. Now, deciding exactly where the cut-off is is tricky and the IEB have had to set very strict guidelines – not only to guide themselves in their decision making but also to guide psychologists / teachers / parents – for exactly what would enable a child to qualify for specific concessions. (For instance on certain tests children may have to score at least one standard deviation below the norm, or write at least 50% slower than their peers, etc. in order to qualify). It may simply be that your son did not score “low enough” on some of the previous assessment tasks to meet the IEB criteria for concessions. I believe that they can make a document available to you with clearly set out guidelines for concessions and accommodations – it might even be available on their website?

  • author-hexa-bg

    Good day, please can you assist me? My child is currently in a special needs school due to his ADHD and Dyslexia, he qualified for a concession/scribe last year – is this approval only valid for one year? Will the school need to assess and apply for this on an annual basis?

    • author-hexa-bg

      Hi Angie,

      The concessions are usually valid for a few years, but the need for the concessions will have to be re-evaluated and re-applied for on a regular basis. If I’m not mistaken it needs to be done at the beginning of each phase, when the child changes schools (for instance going from primary to high school), if the teachers are unsure of whether the child still needs to concessions and then usually always in the Grade 11 year for children who will need concessions in the Grade 12 exams.

  • author-hexa-bg

    At what age does one apply for a concession? My daughter is in Grade 5 and was diagnosed dyslexic in Grade 2 (age 8). Maths and Afrikaans are her areas of difficulty, She is copying in English for now, except of course with informal spelling, unprepared reading and sometimes comprehension. My understanding is that this can only be done in Grad 9 for accommodation in Grade 10, please advise. Thank you

    • author-hexa-bg

      Hi Cherie,

      Accommodations can be applied for as soon as children start writing formal exams (Grade 4)

  • author-hexa-bg

    My daughter is in grade four at a IEB school, she was diagnosed last year with dyslexia, she has not had a full ed assessment done, can i still apply for concessions for her in primary school and will I need to have an ed assessment or will my dyslexic assessment be enough? I was advised to let the school informally give concessions and apply officially in high school, but I would like to have everything in order before then incase something goes wrong. She has had an OT assessment, however, we were only able to do a few sessions of therapy.

    • author-hexa-bg

      Hi Deidre,

      How was the Dyslexia diagnosis made? Did they test only for Dyslexia in isolation? I am not refuting the findings by any means, but in order to make a considered, accurate Dyslexia diagnosis a full Ed Psych type assessment should be done because the therapist / assessor would need to be able to: compare her Verbal IQ scores to her Non-Verbal IQ scores, check that there are no other underlying problems in visual or auditory perception, compare scores in subjects like Maths to a subject like English and also analyse the kinds of mistakes she makes while reading and spelling.

      The IEB insists that an Ed Psych assessment report no older than 12 months accompanies all applications for concessions / accommodations so your daughter will need to undergo a full assessment before applying

  • author-hexa-bg

    I teach at a school – Primary school. I feel that the use of scribes are being abused. Please assist me in this matter. What are the legalities in Primary school.

    • author-hexa-bg

      Hi Janet,

      All concessions / accommodations have to be approved by the provincial Education Department (or IEB in the case of private schools) and have to be sufficiently motivated for. A full assessment needs to be done that clearly shows the need for the accommodation and the school then needs to use the assessment report as part of their motivation to the Department for why the child should have the concession. If you feel it is being abused, the best place to start addressing it is at your school in the staff room. The provincial departments usually aren’t too strict in their requirements for the application, but I know a part of the IEB application requires every teacher to comment on whether they feel a child needs a specific concession / accommodation.

  • author-hexa-bg

    Hi Claire, my daughter is in a small own school in east London. She has received therapy in various forms for speling from grade 1. She had a full psycho Ed, administered by wendy and Bo in grade 1. We now need a new psycho Ed to apply for consession, which I will have done in east london, is it important that the wisc is done or is ssais acceptable? Only 2 psychologists in town seem to use the wisc. Thanks so much!! Kirsty

    • author-hexa-bg

      Hi Kirsty,

      Generally the WISC is preferrable but the SSAIS is also acceptable.

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