It is not the case that examiners were ever in a position to offer favourable treatment to students suffering from specific learning difficulties including dyslexia. For any one subject a common marking scheme is applied to the work of all candidates taking the subject. This is to ensure that all candidates at an examination are treated in a fair and consistent manner and are measured according to a common standard.
It is the case, however, that my Department fully recognises that where a candidate has a specific learning difficulty this may give rise to difficulties with the presentation and ultimate readability of material presented for examination.
Traditionally where a concern has been expressed regarding the readability of material, this has been brought to the attention of the individual examiner. However, in the event of an examiner encountering difficulty in reading the script, the examiner is instructed to send the answerbook to his or her supervising examiner. This is to ensure that notwithstanding any presentation or readability difficulties every effort is made by the examiner or supervising examiner to ensure that the candidate is given full credit for all work done.
This year my Department has moved to strengthen this arrangement by instructing all examiners who have a difficulty in accessing the information given by a candidate to refer the script to their supervising examiner. The intention is to ensure that problems with readability whether or not brought to the attention of the Department are dealt with by the examiner and that no candidate is disadvantaged.