A scribe is a writing assistant who writes out answers dictated by the child. Schools should consider using a word processor or transcription before deciding to use a scribe. A scribe should only be used if other options are not appropriate and the child uses a scribe as part of normal classroom practice. Schools must have evidence to show resources are routinely committed to providing this support (except in the case of unforeseen injuries).
A scribe must be able to write legibly, at a reasonable speed and, ideally, have a working knowledge of the subject. The scribe must not be another child at the school or a relative, or guardian of the child taking the test. The scribe may also act as a reader.
The inappropriate use of a scribe may lead to the annulment of a child’s results.
If a scribe is being provided because of an unforeseen injury and the child is unfamiliar with working with a scribe, up to 25 per cent additional time is allowed automatically. Schools do not need to request permission to administer additional time in these circumstances.
A scribe can be used when a child is:
When writing out a child’s answers, a scribe must:
There may be instances where the child does not need a scribe for the whole test. For example, if the child experiences fatigue or if a child with a visual/motor impairment writes over their own handwriting and this needs to be made clear. If this is likely to occur, the school should make arrangements for a scribe in advance. The child may start the test as normal and begin using a scribe when needed.
Schools do not need to seek permission from STA or their local authority before making arrangements for a scribe to be on hand for a child taking a key stage 2 test. However they must complete and return a notification form. This will be available to download from this web page in the summer term.
National curriculum assessments helpline
Telephone: 0300 303 3013