Special Provisions

At Maclean High School, Special Provisions are available to students who have medical or learning difficulties. They can be utilised from Year 7 up to and including the HSC. Please contact the Learning Support staff to get more information.

Much of the following information relates to Special Provisions for completion of the HSC, but it will give you a reasonable indication of what is involved.


What are disability provisions?

Disability provisions are granted to provide students who have disability needs with practical support in the Higher School Certificate examinations. Students' disability needs may include learning, medical, vision or hearing difficulties.

Examples of provisions may include: Braille or large print papers, use of a writer and/or reader, use of an interpreter, extension of test time, rest breaks, use of a personal computer, separate exam supervision, individual supervision, and permission to take medication


Can disability provisions be implemented for students in school-based assessments?

Yes, principals have the authority to decide on and to implement disability provisions for school-based assessment tasks including examinations.

Disability provisions for the Higher School Certificate examinations

Disability provisions in the HSC are practical arrangements designed to help students who couldn't otherwise make a fair attempt to show what they know in an exam room.

The provisions granted are solely determined by how the student's exam performance is affected


Applying for disability provisions

Students who wish to apply for disability provisions should see the Year Adviser, Learning & Support Teacher or School Counsellor. The Learning & Support Teacher should complete the application form. In doing so, they should:

  1. Indicate the provisions for which the student is applying.
  2. Indicate how the disability affects the student's work in the classroom and in examination situations.
  3. Supply evidence of the student's disability.
  4. If the student is unable to obtain an appropriate diagnosis, then other detailed information will need to be submitted to establish the existence of a disability. In this case it is necessary to provide: details as to why the student cannot obtain relevant documentation and diagnosis, a reasonable history of the student's difficulty and needs (including previous and current in-school support), and detailed teacher comments which indicate the impact of the student's condition on their classwork and in examinations.

It is important that the school submit the completed application to the Board of Studies by the due date. The due date is always the last day of Term 1, except for some medical applications.


How does the process work?

The application is processed at the Board of Studies.

The Board of Studies has a Panel of Specialists that includes medical practitioners, educational psychologists, and consultants for the visually or hearing impaired. The category of the disability and the evidence presented will determine who reviews the file.


A note to parents

If you are concerned about whether disability provisions apply for your child, you should contact the school Year Adviser, Learning & Support Teacher or Counsellor.

The application form must be submitted by your child's school as it requires specific information about the difficulties your child may experience in a classroom or examination situation.


Who can apply for disability provisions?

Any HSC student with a disability recognised in the Commonwealth Disability Standards for Education 2005.

The definition of ‘disability' in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) includes:

  • physical
  • intellectual
  • psychiatric
  • sensory
  • neurological, and
  • learning disabilities, as well as
  • physical disfigurement, and
  • the presence in the body of disease-causing organisms.


(Australian Human Rights Commission).


Note that the disability provisions apply only where the disability is such that a practical arrangement is required to reduce disadvantage in an exam situation.

Disability provisions also apply to temporary and emergency-related disabilities. A typical example of an ‘emergency' is where a student breaks their writing arm a week before an examination.

It is not embarrassing to apply for or use provisions. More than 5000 HSC students apply for provisions each year. Provisions help students to show the markers what they know and can do.

To apply for provisions, the school submits an online application to the Board of Studies. This application tells us which provisions the student is requesting and includes recent evidence. Evidence may include medical reports, reading results, spelling results, writing samples and teacher comments.

Much of the evidence can be collected by the school, but the parents' role is welcome and needed. Parents help by talking with the school, describing the student's needs, and providing the school with medical or other reports.

Applications for provisions should be submitted by the school to the Board of Studies by the end of Term 1. Late applications are accepted for an emergency, such as a broken arm, until the time of the examinations.

Once the Board of Studies has made a decision about which provisions are approved or declined, a decision letter is provided to the school. The school will provide the student with a copy of the letter.

If you or the school are not satisfied with the Board's decision, it is possible for the school to lodge an appeal. Appeals must state why the Board's decision is unsuitable and must include new evidence to support the appeal.

If you think that you or your child may require support in completing the Higher School Certificate examinations, please discuss the matter with the Year Adviser, School Counsellor or Learning Support teacher.