Everything You Need To Know About Exam Concessions

Concessions Facilitators seem to be the latest buzz trend in schools. Concessions facilitators can be very helpful to students requiring support in a variety of ways. This may bring you to some questions such as:

  • What is a concessions facilitator?
  • How do you go about applying to have a concessions facilitator?
  • Once granted a concessions facilitator, where do I find one?

Concessions facilitators are trained individuals who assist learners with assessments such as tests and exams, either in the form of being a reader, a scribe, an invigilator, a prompter or a personal assistant. Learners qualify for a separate venue in which to write tests and exams. With this they often need an invigilator to supervise them while they write their assessment. This is to ensure that all learners write assessments under fair exam conditions and that no foul play takes place. Learners can also qualify for a reader, a scribe, or sometimes both. The facilitator is often able to perform both functions, as well as act as an invigilator. The academic body governing the institution will determine these regulations. (Find out more about what concessions facilitators do here).

Granting concessions is a part of a learning and teaching strategy in South Africa called differentiated learning. This means that teaching and assessments are presented in ways which are flexible and tailored to students in a way which gives them the best chance of reaching their ultimate academic potential.

The education system is slowly starting to realise the honesty of the age old quote:

“If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

The system is slowly starting to change its ways of teaching and assessing learners, and the Department of Education has realised that some learners may be more capable of achieving if they are given tools such as the ability to type their exam instead of write it, to hear the questions asked to them rather than read the questions themselves, and to be able to dictate their answers instead of writing them down.

If you think your child could benefit from any of the abovementioned support, this is how you would go about getting a concessions facilitator:

For schools following the CAPS System (Public Schools):

  • Contact your child’s home room teacher, or head of their phase
  • The teacher will probably start the application process by filling out the required forms (can be found by following this link – it is form DBE 124, which can be found on page 72 and 73)
  • A medical professional (doctor, neurologist or educational psychologist) may need to assess your child. The medical professional will also need to fill out a form (form DBE 126) which can also be found by following this link (see pages 75-84)
  • The department of education will review your child’s case and grant a concession accordingly

Your child’s teacher, the school psychologist or principal will usually guide you through this process.  

For schools following the IEB Curriculum (Private Schools):

  • Contact your child’s home room teacher, or head of their phase for assistance on the current procedures
  • Depending on which concession you would like to apply for, you will need different documentation. This may include:
    • Psycho-educational assessment (done by an educational psychologist)
    • Medical report
    • Supporting historical evidence (kept by the school, in your child’s school record):
      • Teacher comments
      • School report
      • School samples
  • See the table below to know which concessions require which documents:You will need to ensure that all documentation and forms are included with the application. The forms can be found by following this link – see page 10 – 18. You should receive feedback on your application within 12 weeks.

How can BrightSparkz Tutors help?

BrightSparkz Tutors has nearly a decade of experience providing concessions facilitators for learners with different academic support requirements. We assist various institutions including private schools, public schools and tertiary institutions, and are also the preferred concessions facilitation supplier at a number of these institutions and are proud of our impeccable track record. We have a wide variety of rigorously screened, specially trained, experienced concessions facilitators. They will ensure that your child’s next assessment goes smoothly and is stress free! In order to book your concessions facilitator, visit our website.  

Written by Erin Miller, BrightSparkz Staff

Tutor of the Month: August 2018

Tarsha I is our August 2018 Tutor of the Month!

Tarsha has been a BrightSparkz tutor since May 2018, assisting learners with Accounting, Maths, Geography and Afrikaans. 
Tarsha matriculated in 2017 from Bryanston High School with excellent results all round, including 5 distinctions; she excelled in various aspects of her school career having received colours for hockey and cheerleading and completing an umpiring course. Tarsha is currently in her first year of a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science at the University of Johannesburg and would like to become an Actuary when she graduates. She has shown her love of working with children as through high school, she has had holiday jobs looking after children of different ages, including running a day care. Tarsha joined BrightSparkz this year and already had over 100 tutoring hours with 7 different clients, which is a testament to what a dedicated and hardworking tutor she is. She always goes out of her way for her clients, even assisting a learner every day before his exams so that he would pass with flying colours, and our clients only have excellent feedback for her. Thank you Tarsha for always being so reliable, punctual, friendly and professional to both the BrightSparkz team and to our clients, keep up the great work!

This is what Tarsha’s clients have to say about her:

“We were very happy and are really looking forward to the next lesson!”

The Solution to Big Classrooms

Trying to gain an education in a big classroom can be a challenge. Many learners in South Africa are faced with the reality of attending a school where a class of 30 learners is the norm. Some learners regularly attend a school with 40 – 50 learners in the classroom!

The reality of a classroom with so many learners is difficult to comprehend for those who have never faced this situation. Home-schooled learners, or those in private schools with small classes, have a different reality. Even the former Model C schools, where parents pay school fees to have more teachers and facilities, often face the same problems, with big classes being common.

big classroom

The classrooms are often physically overcrowded, with desks literally on top of each other. Sometimes there are not enough desks for all the learners in the class. Overcrowded classrooms are not conducive to a good education. It becomes difficult to see and hear the teacher if you sit at the back of a large classroom, and particularly if the learners are unruly. It is difficult to see the board or screen in front of the classroom. Learners who are piled on top of one another get restless and irritable. It becomes difficult, even for the most gallant and experienced of teachers, to maintain good classroom discipline, let alone teach their learners.

Many learners fall behind in their schoolwork when faced with this situation. It is not always possible to keep up in class, and it may also be embarrassing to ask questions (and hear the replies) in a large classroom.

What is the solution?

There are several options to try to alleviate this problem. Some may be more feasible with your set of circumstances than others.
Some schools offer extra lessons for the learners who are interested. These schools are often overburdened already with large classrooms and few resources. The teachers are challenged with these issues already in their normal class hours. They may not be too keen to take on more responsibility. Likewise, the learners may feel that they can’t learn more from the teachers that they have at school.

  • Help from friends or family members. This is a great option if you have people in your life who have the necessary time, patience and experience to help you. You should make sure you meet consistently, apply what you are taught, and appreciate the help!
  • Change to a school with smaller class sizes. This may not be feasible depending on where you live and what schools are zoned for your area. Transport to these schools is likely to cost you more. Some learners will still need more personalized attention even if they are in a smaller class.
  • Change to private schooling or home schooling. This may not be feasible to many South Africans due to financial constraints. There may also not be such schools in your area.  Even in one of these schools, some learners may still require one-on-one attention to reach their full potential.
  • One-on-one tutoring where the tutor comes to your home, alleviating transport challenges. This offers the benefit of having private help from someone who has excelled in the subject/s you need. The tutor would be able to identify and go back to where the problems began. The tutor will then revise up to where the learner is in the syllabus at school, thus helping the learner catch up completely.

How can BrightSparkz help?

The benefits of using a tutoring company like BrightSparkz Tutors is that the tutors have all been screened and interviewed and will most likely live close to your area. You won’t be taking a chance on someone unknown. You also will not have to do the screening and background checking yourself beforehand.

There are various options available to suit different tutoring needs. BrightSparkz Tutors also has an initiative called Project 10 000 where 10 000 tutoring hours will be dedicated to assist those who would otherwise not have the means to benefit from tutoring. Individuals and companies who are keen to give back to the community and who see furthering the education of young South Africans as a worthy initiative to invest in, are most welcome to become a sponsor to one or more learners in this initiative!

If big classrooms are a concern or barrier to your child reaching their dreams, you should investigate these options. A positive change, no matter how small, will be one step further to achieving a better future. Get in touch with us to find out how BrightSparkz Tutors can help you create brighter opportunities!


Written by Natalie Wilke, BrightSparkz Staff & Blog Writer