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AIBU to be fucking fuming at DS's school

(59 Posts)
Steggers123 Wed 15-Mar-17 16:02:14

Fuck, fuck fuck! I probably should put this on the SEN board but posting here for traffic. I have posted before regarding issues with my son and school but they've really excelled themselves this time. He is in year 11 and has dyspraxia and Hypermobility in all his joints. His handwriting is illegible and he has permission from the exam board to use a laptop for all his exams, he also has extra time. When he sat his first set of mocks learning support failed to print off his chemistry paper, and only printed off half his physics paper. So he failed chemistry and got a D in physics. He's a very bright boy and is sitting triple science. Learning support also told him they couldn't find his second physics ISA paper, it was on the system somewhere but they didn't know where and they very helpfully deleted his high level geography controlled assessment (eventually recovered from the recycle bin). I had numerous meetings in school with the head of SEN and the exams office and was assured this would not happen again. Today he got his GCSE timetable and on comparing it to his friends it looks like they haven't entered him for triple science, there are no unit 3 science exams on his timetable at all. So effectively he's being penalised for learning support's incompetence. I've phoned school and Head of Science is off site.

Mrsmorton Wed 15-Mar-17 16:03:56

No advice OP, someone clever will be along soon. Just a wee bump and some moral support for you. flowers

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 15-Mar-17 16:09:40

I am an exam invigilator. At the schools I work in the students themselves print the work out (even to other rooms sometimes) and are told to save the work.

Once the work is printed out they sign each sheet of paper to say it is their work (they are not allowed to put their names in headers). The work is then handed to the invigilator to hand in to staff (if mocks) or to be sent to the exam board via the exam officer if external exams.
The school should have this system in place to comply with JCQ Regulations. They should really be following the same procedure for mocks but it definitely should not happen in his GCSEs.

As regards timetabling hopefully there is enough time for this error to be corrected.

Dizzy199 Wed 15-Mar-17 16:19:31

YANBU at all! That is completely unacceptable! No advice I'm afraid, just moral support flowers

rightsofwomen Wed 15-Mar-17 16:21:29

IIRC if this is the first time the timetables have been issued to students then it will be asking them to check them carefully within a certain timeframe so that any mistakes/clashes can be fixed.

This is what happened with my son's GCSEs.

MrsTwix Wed 15-Mar-17 16:22:13

Not at all. Thankful it's mocks.

MrsTwix Wed 15-Mar-17 16:23:10

It's not too late to get him entered for the missing exams, don't be fobbed off about that.

TeenAndTween Wed 15-Mar-17 16:25:42

Don't panic, there is still time for him to be entered for the paper 3s.

Check the rest of the timetable too and make sure any Foundation / Higher papers are correct.

They do sound spectacularly incompetent though.

Steggers123 Wed 15-Mar-17 17:06:55

Allthebest when he finishes an exam he has to take the laptop back to learning support and tell them that he has finished his exam and can they print the paper off and give it to his teacher. If there is no one available and he has to get to a lesson he has to leave a post it note on the laptop...it's a nightmare!!

TeenandTween just checked his timetable and he's been entered for the higher papers as expected, so at least that's one less thing to worry about.

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 15-Mar-17 17:12:34

Hopefully for the real exams they will follow correct procedures so it can't happen! Gutted for him though after presumably hard work.

Steggers123 Wed 15-Mar-17 17:14:45

Surely, if they have decided he's not up to taking the triple science option there should of been some discussion with us, maybe they could of mentioned it to him rather than let him find out via his exam timetable and if he is being entered for double science why is he still in set 1 working on unit 3 in each of the sciences. I am baffled!

Steggers123 Wed 15-Mar-17 17:21:47

Allthebest I have been assured that the correct procedures will be followed for the actual exams, but I want those procedures put in writing to me, I don't trust them. He worked really hard, he always works hard and everything is much harder for him because of his learning disability but he never gets any credit because his work isn't neat or pretty. It's been a struggle because there are a couple of teachers who still equate handwriting to intelligence, my DS has had to struggle every day of his school life being judged on his messy hand writing and his inability to kick a ball. His confidence is low anyway and this is going to knock it even further.

CoraPirbright Wed 15-Mar-17 17:34:51

I wouldnt mess about with the head of science or the SEN people - take it straight to the Head! What monumental ineptitude!

TeenAndTween Wed 15-Mar-17 18:24:17

I think my DD was able to print out mid exam if she wanted to review on paper rather than on screen.

Steggers123 Wed 15-Mar-17 18:38:00

TeenandTween, there are no printers in the room where he sits his exams so he would have to walk through school with his laptop to get to learning support to print off, it's ridiculous.

TeenAndTween Wed 15-Mar-17 18:43:17

I agree ridiculous. They will need to get this sorted for the actual exams. I think I would be seeking written reassurance from the exams officer that a printer will be available in room, plus confirmation of any other access arrangements such as extra time.

I got my DD to make sure the invigilator was clear she got extra time before the start of each exam. They need to know to stand up for what they need rather than be pressured into losing their concessions through others' incompetence.

DermotOLogical Wed 15-Mar-17 18:47:45

Find out first whether it's an administrative oversight. These things happen. That's why you get the timetable to check. Don't go in all guns blazing, ring the science teacher and ask. Until you have facts you shouldn't be fuming.

Remember with mocks your son has the pressure of getting to normal lessons afterwards. This isn't the same with the real exams. His work will be much more tightly controlled. Exam responses are bagged up and locked up ASAP after the exam.

Steggers123 Wed 15-Mar-17 18:58:24

Dermot, I've already emailed head of science to check whether it's an error or not, I won't say anything until I know. It just seems to be one thing after another and it's getting frustrating.

bedelia Wed 15-Mar-17 19:11:25

Steggers I am agog on your son's behalf, particularly at the issues surrounding his mock exam papers. If the same had happened to a bright child who didn't have SEN, surely the relevant departments would have moved heaven and earth to fix it.

Does your DS have an EHCP/Statement? If so, I would also send an email/make a call to your LA about this, particularly if there are any relevant sections of DS's plan/statement relating to exams. Even if he has neither, school should be making "reasonable adjustments" to ensure your son is not disadvantaged because of his SEN. I'm quite sure that having a printer in the same room as the laptop he is working on is a "reasonable adjustment"!

Glad you have sent an email (paper trail) about this. I'd also make the head aware, particularly in light of the previous issues with your son's mock exams.

Seryph Wed 15-Mar-17 20:04:28

Oh I would kick off in the biggest way OP.
I'm dyspraxic and have JHS too, flowers cake for you and your DS. I didn't get proper support until I took my self back to uni at 20. Again as pp said, they should be getting him to save regularly, print, check and sign/initial his work after each exam.
Tell them this is completely unacceptable and no he did not fail his mock, the school fucked up.

Can he use a USB as a back up, so save his exams on the laptop, and a USB, and print them, then submit everything?

Also it is not appropriate for him to be left to his own devices for the exams, he should have an invigilator who should take care of the papers and everything.

Steggers123 Wed 15-Mar-17 20:43:22

Bedelia, he is on the SEN register and has an IEP.

Seryph, there is an invigilator present during the exams, but they can't be printed off until he takes the laptop back to learning support, during the mocks the invigilator walked back to learning support with him, but then he was at the mercy of them actually printing the papers off and giving them to his subject teachers. I'm so frustrated for him, he's constantly been punished for having dyspraxia, from the kids in the playground laughing because he couldn't kick a ball and had tendency to fall over...a lot, to teachers threatening him with detention because his work is untidy and his handwriting is bad.

bedelia Wed 15-Mar-17 23:02:49

during the mocks the invigilator walked back to learning support with him, but then he was at the mercy of them actually printing the papers off and giving them to his subject teachers

This ^ is really not acceptable for exam conditions though. A mock exam should be exactly that - practice for the real thing. Does the school seriously expect that it would be okay for DS to use some of his extra time to walk the laptop back to learning support, for the invigilator to allow intervention by teachers to print off DS's work (or not...) as was the case in his mocks?

I would be asking for written assurances that either DS would have a printer available in the same room as he does his exams, so he can print it off and sign it right away, or to be allowed to take his exam in the learning support room, thus enabling the same.

Perhaps you could request a review of his IEP in the very near future to have this written into it, which would be reassuring.

My eldest son has dyspraxia (co-morbid with AS), and also suffers from difficulties with planning and organisation. His GCSEs were a shambles: all that school had promised got thrown out of the window. Except nobody told me, until after his results came out. Had I known then what I know now, I would make absolutely certain that school were bound to any reasonable adjustments, extra time, etc. DS needed were put into place, and urge you to do the same.

Steggers123 Thu 16-Mar-17 14:08:55

So school haven't got back to my emails or phone calls, DS has just sent me a text, he has spoken to one of his science teachers and he has indeed been withdrawn from triple science and put into double on the strength of his mock results which were distorted because learning support lost his papers.

TheDayIBroke Thu 16-Mar-17 14:34:54

Time to go in there and make your views known - as clearly as possible!

Such gross ineptitude. Why must your boy suffer for their spectacular incompetence?

bedelia Thu 16-Mar-17 14:40:17

Oh Steggers, I'm so sorry to hear that sad

Surely there is still time for the "error" to be fixed, so that DS can be put forward for the triple award though..?

Perhaps the next step is to go above learning support: call the main office and ask for an urgent appointment to see the headmaster. And also to ask for details of the complaints procedure wink

Is DS's school an academy or a regular, maintained mainstream school?

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