Exam accommodations

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

10 replies
    • Tessa Cooper
      Tessa Cooper says:

      Hi Itumeleng. Yes, extra time in examinations is one of the most common concessions, but is only given to students with barriers to learning who need it.

  1. Stefanie Van Rooijen
    Stefanie Van Rooijen says:

    Could you please tell me if concessions such as extra time, spelling flag and a reader are only applicable during exams or are they applicable during tests and other school based assessments too? I was told at my school that the assistance apply during exams only. This does not make sense as the learners have the problem all the time and not only during exams.

    • Tessa Cooper
      Tessa Cooper says:

      Hi Stefanie. The school and district support team will determine what concessions are appropriate – these could be only for exams, for all tests, exams and assessments, or even for in-class support. It depends on the nature of the learning barrier. You can always contact your district education office if you have questions about this process.

  2. Johan Fourie
    Johan Fourie says:

    Is it true that if a child has an average above 60% the consession falls away. This will affect the child negatively as the won’t reach their full potential.

    • Tessa Cooper
      Tessa Cooper says:

      Hi Johan, this is not true – a concession is not dependent on marks, but may be reevaluated if the school feels your child has moved beyond needing a concession.

  3. Hein
    Hein says:

    My kids have been granted amanuenses by the DBE.
    Are these only only applicable to certain exams, or will children be accommodated during tests at the end of Q1 and Q3? Our school only allows amanuenses during the July & Nov exam – but my question is why the DBE does not allow amanuenses for tests or exams (where the school decided to write an exam an not a test series)?

    • Tessa Cooper
      Tessa Cooper says:

      Hi Hein, the specifics will be in the letter from the DBE stating the concession – it might be for all tests and all exams, or only for certain ones. It will also depend on what your school is able to accommodate.


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