We enter the exam arrangements onto MyCampus on behalf of students registered with the service. Registry Examinations Team compiles the exam lists of students registered with the Disability Service from MyCampus.

Link to Registry deadline dates for exam support

After this deadline there is no guarantee that exam arrangements can be made.



Special arrangements:

Computers in exams

The guidelines for the use of computers by students in examinations are under review. Revised guidelines will be available in due course.

Computer Cluster for Exams:

Room 735 in the Library is set up with 12 standalone machines i.e. no network connection, with software consisting of the operating system and MS Office. A separate machine provided with a local printer and material for printing is transferred via pen drives supplied by the cluster manager John Buchanan.

Specialist software:

If you require the use of Zoomtext or other specialist software for a student exam contact IT Helpdesk.

Find out more:

Separate accommodation

Registry organises separate rooms and sends out a list to departments of students who need exam arrangements before each exam diet. Registry delivers the papers to the separate exam rooms to be received by the invigilator.

Calendar regulations 24.10 state the necessity for a separate invigilator “An arrangement to provide separate accommodation to sit an examination may be required to meet the needs of a range of students with a disability, but is most usually required when the use of a scribe or a reader is recommended. The presence of a separate Invigilator is always required in these circumstances.”

Temporary disabilities

For students with a temporary disability, departments are responsible for putting exam arrangements in place and organising separate accommodation, if necessary.

This must be approved by Clerk of Senate.

Scribes in exams:

How to organise scribes

Disability Service outsource scribing to the agency Clearlinks.

Please contact Abi Griffiths

Please note: 

  • The scribe/reader should not be the person who has been note taking for the student as stipulated by calendar regulations.
  • Invigilation costs are always born by the School.




Scribes guidelines

Scribe in Exams Guidelines (doc)

Skills and abilities:

Ideally, an amanuensis (or scribe as it will be referred to below) should be regarded as an efficient writing machine, responsive to instructions and free of the mechanical complexities of keyboards or tape-recorders.

The scribe should be literate in the subject s/he is scribing. This is particularly important for subjects with terminology and symbols, which would be unfamiliar to most people. While some students are used to working with a scribe, for others this might be the first time, and if the student has not practiced sitting exams this way, it can be really difficult. The fact that the amanuensis must be literate in the subject means that the student may feel awkward about dictating answers to someone s/he knows has a sound grasp of the material.

The scribe should be a calm, quiet, reassuring presence and above all, should be patient!

The reason a student needs a scribe in exams affects the arrangements for the exam. This is because some students – those who have a manual impairment, permanent or temporary – are able to read over the scribed work after it has been recorded, whereas other students – those who have a visual impairment or severe dyslexia – are unable to do this. The students in the latter group will also have to have the exam paper, and individual questions, read to them. An exam in which a scribe is used takes longer, and as a guideline 25% extra time will be recommended by the Disability Adviser – usually 15 mins extra per hour.

Negotiations between the student and the scribe:

Try to meet with the student 15 mins before the exam (add to time sheet) to discuss the following:

  • How are notes to be made?
  • Are they to be made by the scribe on the script, or where a limited amount of writing is possible, by the student on a separate sheet of paper?
  • Punctuation and spelling
  • Does the student want to give only the main punctuation breaks, leaving the rest to the scribe, or would they rather dictate every punctuation mark?
  • What if the scribe cannot grasp a word? Do they ask the student to repeat there and then, or come back to it later?

The following issues are NOT negotiable:

  • The scribe should under no circumstances indicate by any word or action that s/he thinks the student has made a mistake.
  • The scribe should under no circumstance prompt the student with regard to the content of the exam answer.
  • Ideally in an exam the scribe should speak only when spoken to, leaving the student in charge of asking to have text read back, or to have the exam questions read out again. However, this rule of silence will sometimes have to be broken, if for example the scribe cannot keep up with the speed of dictation.

Scribing for students who have a visual impairment:

  • Does the student wish to be reminded about the time throughout or only towards the end of the exam?
  • If you have to draw diagrams, how can you check with the student that what they have drawn is an accurate reflection of what was wanted?

Most students with a severe visual impairment will be well used to working with a scribe and will be well able to say what is required.


Payment of scribe is usually immediately by the student who fills out an invoice (obtainable from DS) which the scribe signs and the student then sends to SAAS to reclaim the amount.

If there is a situation whereby the scribe agrees to defer payment, then a Third Party Authorisation Agreement (available from DS) must be filled out and sent to SAAS along with the invoice so that SAAS can pay the scribe directly.

If the student is not eligible for DSA then the scribe applies for payment directly to the Disability Service.

Scribes Calendar regulations

24.10 An arrangement to provide separate accommodation to sit an examination may be required to meet the needs of a range of students with a disability, but is most usually required when the use of a scribe or a reader is recommended. The presence of a separate Invigilator is always required in these circumstances.

24.11 Use of a scribe

A scribe may be employed when recommended in a needs assessment by the Disability Service. A student who requires a scribe for a temporary disability should seek advice from their School in the first instance.

24.12 Selection of a scribe

School staff (not the student) are responsible for the selection of a scribe who:

  • is familiar with the subject(s) concerned;
  • has no personal interest in the success of the candidate;
  • is not a relative of the candidate;
  • is not a teacher who is involved in the candidate's study of the subject;
  • is not a student taking the same course as the candidate;
  • is of good hearing;
    has clearly legible handwriting;
  • is a person acceptable to the candidate;
  • should be selected in good time prior to any examination.

The Disability Service can be consulted if there are difficulties with the recruitment of a suitable scribe.

24.13 Duties of a scribe

  • The scribe's duty is to transcribe only what is dictated or written by the candidate
  • The scribe may exercise discretion regarding spelling, punctuation etc.
  • Except with the agreement of the Disability Coordinator or when specifically employed as both scribe and reader, the scribe may not read the question paper rubrics or the questions to the candidate
  • The scribe may read back the candidate's responses to the candidate, as requested
  • The scribe should converse with the candidate only insofar as this is necessary to clarify his or her instruction
  • If it is deemed necessary, the scribe may be instructed by the candidate to draw maps, diagrams, graphs, etc., but in such instances, the scribe should do no more than follow the student's explicit instructions
  • Generally speaking, the aim of the scribe is to ensure that the candidate is not disadvantaged by his or her disability or condition, while getting no unfair assistance.

24.16 Change in intention to use a scribe

If permission to use a scribe has been granted, but the student does not use the scribe, the student should be referred back to the Disability Service for a review of exam arrangements before the next diet of exams.

24.17 Use of a reader

In some circumstances, a reader may be employed in place of a scribe or as well as a scribe, and in such circumstances similar arrangements to those above will apply.

24.18 Use of a computer in an examination

Where the Clerk of Senate has given permission for a student to use a computer in an examination, the Disability Coordinator shall ensure that invigilation is arranged. A computer cluster is available for use in examination diets in room 735 in the Library. Printing facilities are also provided via pen drives supplied by the cluster manager. At present Schools may also make local arrangements to facilitate a student’s use of a computer.

24.19 Anonymous Marking of Scripts

The overriding principle is fairness to all candidates. This requires that, as far as possible, a uniform and consistent approach be adopted in the marking of anonymous scripts in credit-bearing examinations.

24.20 The script books used by disabled students for whom examination arrangements have been approved should not be identifiable in any way. (Sometimes, though, as when the use of a word-processor has been approved, breaking of anonymity may be unavoidable.) Coloured paper will not be approved for use in script books; coloured overlays should be used instead, if required. Question papers may, however, be printed on coloured paper.

24.21 Appropriate information about a candidate's disability will be made known to and taken proper account of at, and only at, the meeting of the relevant Board of Examiners.

24.22 If, for any reason, a candidate is not provided with the approved arrangements (e.g. extra time) the Invigilator should report the circumstances to the Head of School concerned who will inform the relevant Board of Examiners. The Board of Examiners will determine the appropriate compensation.