SEN Pupils/ SEN and HI Pupils

Do SEN pupils complete CBA?

As CBAs are not specified by the Minister for Education in 2016 assessments are not mandatory for any pupils. However, if a school has chosen to use Computer-Based Assessments the SEN Entry Point is available and is designed for pupils who are experiencing difficulties within literacy and numeracy.

What qualifies a pupil to use the SEN Entry Point?

The teacher and the Senior Management Team must:

  • reasonably expect that the pupil is performing two or more years below their chronological age; and
  • be in agreement that an SEN Entry Point is appropriate for the pupil.

What does the SEN Entry point mean?

The SEN Entry Point has been available from autumn 2013 and is designed for pupils who are experiencing difficulties with either literacy or numeracy. It allows them quicker access to easier questions and aims to deliver a more positive and potentially shorter assessment experience.

Use of the SEN Entry Point will not be obvious to the pupil as they will just answer the first question that appears onscreen in the same way as their peers. Pupils assigned the SEN entry point still have access to the full range of questions as the assessment will continue to be adaptive becoming more or less difficult in response to the pupil’s answers.

Who sets the SEN Entry point?

Only the CBA Administrator in the school can set up an SEN/HI Entry Point and once the pupil begins their assessment it cannot be changed.

NB The SEN Entry Point for individual pupils needs to be set each year.

What support can schools give pupils with special needs when they are completing the CBAs?

Pupils with special needs completing the CBAs should receive the same support as provided during normal class time.

Should schools use the SEN entry point for newcomer pupils?

It is appropriate for a newcomer pupil to use the SEN Entry Point if the Teacher and the Senior Management Team agree that the pupil is performing two or more years below their chronological age in literacy and numeracy.

Can classroom assistants help pupils when they are doing the CBAs?

Classroom assistants should:

  • focus on the individual needs of the pupil; and
  • take account of their usual methods of working in the classroom.

They should not:

  • give them an unfair advantage over other pupils; or
  • offer help which reduces the reliability or validity of the outcomes.

For further information see page 18 on guidance documents. (NILA/NINA 'Using Computer-Based Assessment in Northern Ireland Information for Schools 2016-2017'):

NILA Guidance Document - Using CBA in Northern Ireland Information for Schools (2016–2017) 5.3 MB - uploaded 06-27-2016

NINA Guidance Document - Using CBA in Northern Ireland Information for Schools (2016–2017)  4.1 MB - uploaded 06-27-2016

Can teachers read CBA questions to the pupils who are having difficulty?

Questions can be read in the numeracy assessment (NINA) but not in literacy (NILA) as reading is part of this assessment.

NB NINA allows pupils to have the question read aloud (if required) by clicking on the headphone icon.

What does the HI Entry point mean?

The HI (Hearing Impaired) Entry Point is available for pupils who are receiving support for a hearing impairment. Use of the HI Entry Point within NILA removes the Listening aspect of the assessment but allows pupils to be assessed in Reading and Writing.

What support is available for a hearing impaired pupil to complete the listening questions?

A Hearing Impaired (HI) Entry Point has been available in NILA from autumn 2013 and is designed for pupils who are receiving support for a hearing impairment.

Use of the HI Entry Point removes the Listening questions from the NILA assessment but allows pupils access to the full range of Reading and Writing questions within the assessment.

What qualifies a pupil to use the HI Entry Point?

The teacher and the Senior Management Team must:

  • have evidence that the pupil is receiving support for a Hearing Impairment; and
  • be in agreement that an HI Entry Point is appropriate for the pupil.