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Special provisions during COVID-19
The global pandemic, COVID-19, is an unforeseen incident affecting all of us, so is it a special provision?
On this page
Our key messages
- The COVID-19 pandemic by itself is not the basis for a special provision.
- Continue the learning using the existing flexibilities and any changes (announced in April) to the subject outlines.
- Special provisions cannot be used in place of learning that has not occurred.
- Special provisions only apply when a student’s ability to participate in the SACE on the same basis as other students has been profoundly impacted. This might be as a result of a COVID-19-related restriction or impact, but not just because COVID-19 exists in the world.
- Evidence needs to accompany a special provisions application.
- Where a COVID-19 related restriction or impact has profoundly impacted a student’s ability to participate in the SACE on the same basis as other students, and all efforts to continue the learning and problem solve situations remain unresolved, reasonable adjustments in school assessment and external assessment may be considered by the school and enacted in line with existing processes.
SACE Coordinators and teachers - refer to Information Sheet 58 - Special Provisions in Curriculum and Assessment for forms and operational information.
Students and parents - for an overview and FAQs on special provisions in the SACE, go to our special provisions section of the website.
How are we continuing the learning?
Throughout the year, we have all been impacted by COVID-19 – all students, all schools.
Our collective response has been to maintain consistency across the whole system while supporting our students to access the teaching, learning and assessment to the fullest extent.
Individual schools cannot reduce the weightings of assessment components or assessment types in subjects, or reduce the number of assessment tasks as a way to combat the impact on students.
Instead, teachers are asked to use the flexibility in the existing subject outlines to manage school-based learning and assessment in different ways.
Early on, we recognised that some subjects required further flexibility to ensure students can continue the learning, resulting in some subject outline changes that were announced in April.
So when can special provisions be used for COVID-19?
The SACE Board’s policy enables the student to apply for special provisions if they have:
- a diagnosed illness or impairment that affects their ability to participate in, or comply with, the conditions or requirements of an assessment task; for example, a physical disability, a vision or hearing impairment, a medical condition, a psychological illness, or a learning disability
- experienced an unforeseen incident beyond their control that prevents them from completing an assessment task or examination. This may include an accident, a family death, or an interruption during the examination.
What about if a student chooses to, or has to, self-isolate?
This, by itself, is not the basis for a special provision. Despite their choice or imposed situation, they are required to continue their learning. Throughout the year, schools in all sectors have continued to work hard to support students to continue the learning through various means, including online tasks.
The current special provisions policy cannot be used in place of learning that has not occurred.
What about if a COVID-19 impact remains unresolved?
If a solution has not been found to resolve the situation for the impacted student, special provisions should be considered. Refer to Information Sheet 58 - Special provisions in curriculum and assessment.