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School messed up badly - what happens

(130 Posts)

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prh47bridge Tue 16-May-17 19:54:20

I didn't expect to find myself asking for advice like this...

DS1 is currently sitting his GCSEs. Today at around 4pm his school phoned both my wife and myself to tell us he had missed an exam. We both said that he didn't have an exam today and suggested the school might be getting him mixed up with another pupil with the same surname. It turns out the exam board (AQA) issued a revised exam timetable for DS1 in February but the school failed to pass it on to him. It has sat in teacher's folder for the last 3 months. The timetable they did give him was missing three papers, one of which was today.

I rushed DS1 into school and he sat the paper but he was starting over 4.5 hours late on a 1 hour paper. I pointed out to the school that their failure has undermined his ability to prepare for this exam. They brushed this off saying he will have been revising in class. However, my son has pointed out to me that they have been revising for Module 2 of this exam and this was Module 1, which he is retaking because he failed it last year. He also now knows he has another exam on Thursday which he was not expecting and which is also a retake. He now has less than 2 days to revise the entire Module 1 syllabus for this subject.

The school is unclear whether my son will get any marks at all for this module. Even if he does, the maximum uplift under "special consideration" is 5%. My son feels this is grossly inadequate. There were two 4-mark questions on subjects that he knew he had to revise. He was unable to answer these questions at all. There was also a 6-mark question on a subject he intended to revise. He believes the lack of revision cost him at least 2 marks on this question. Overall he believes that this has cost him at least 15%-20% of the marks on this paper. If he is right, even if AQA accept his paper and give him 5% extra (which appears to be the best case scenario) he will end up being penalised for the school's failure, possibly being knocked down a grade or more from the grade he would have got if the school had got it right.

I will clearly be taking this up with the school once exams are over. However, I can't see anything in the regulations that covers this kind of situation. Does anyone have any experience? How will AQA handle this? Is there anything I should do?

prh47bridge Tue 16-May-17 20:00:41

Meant to say, my son didn't even look at his notes on the way in to school as he was concerned this might be regarded as cheating.

pestov Tue 16-May-17 20:05:35

I doubt he will be credited for this exam - you can't start an exam after other people have finished unless you are securely supervised - no Internet or contact allowed for obvious reasons.

It is usually the responsibility of the student to check all their entries and paper times. Surely he should have noticed that some exams were missing, especially if they are resits? School were under no obligation to contact him.

AvoidingCallenetics Tue 16-May-17 20:06:11

I think you need to make a formal complaint via the governers. I would also suggest speaking to the LEA with regard to finding out if you have any legal comeback. The school will want this to just go away and will downplay it, but this is a big mess up.

AvoidingCallenetics Tue 16-May-17 20:08:06

I don't agree that this is the child's responsibility. The teacher had his revised timetable for 3 months. Kids get confused and stressed about exams - the school are responsible imo for ensuring they have all the right info.

noblegiraffe Tue 16-May-17 20:09:07

He won't get special consideration I'm afraid. 5% is reserved for really serious things like the candidate being terminally ill or the recent death of a parent.

On the special consideration document it says special consideration will NOT be given for "misreading the timetable and/or failing to attend at the right time and in the right place;"

What a total balls-up.

InfiniteCurve Tue 16-May-17 20:09:25

Obviously the school has messed up here - but didn't he ( or you ) notice that his resits were missing from the timetable?
My DC's timetables always came with strict instructions to read,check everything was correct,check for clashes...
Your poor DS ,though sad

SwiftAnchor Tue 16-May-17 20:11:19

I'm in Scotland so it might be different but would it not be up to the student to check when all the exams were taking place? Is there not a central website where this can be done?

Did your Ds not realise that there were some exams missing from the timetable that he was given?

I'm not really sure that it is the school that has messed up here. Sorry! At least he now knows about the second exam he wasn't aware of and can cram for that tomorrow.

Perkyduck131 Tue 16-May-17 20:13:13

Agree it may be discredited- my understanding is that students who are late for an exam are only permitted to take it if the exam hasn't actually finished (obviously as it will be hard to proove your son didn't have contact with anyone who had already taken the exam before he sat it).

The teacher has definitely messed up but unfortunately the exam board will probably argue that it was your DS responsibility to chase up if he knew he had a re take.

Sorry- this must be upsetting for all of you.

user1471530109 Tue 16-May-17 20:14:21

Science? B1?
Ok. You need to know that the school won't get any credit for his resit mark. From their point of view, it won't make a difference to their stats even if he got full marks. His first mark counts.

You also need to know that the resit, if lower will also be your son's gcse mark. It's not a case of highest grade wins. If he drops a grade with this resit, that will be on his certificate.

I'd be going hopping mad. This is down to the exams officer. Unless the paperwork was passed on to HOD or form tutor.

As for your son not revising in class. Of course he won't be revising a resit in class. Unless the whole class are doing it. So, I wouldn't push this.

It is outrageous. I'm not sure what I suggest. Can they contact AQA to explain? One module is 25% btw. What did he get on his ISA and what is he expected/hoping to achieve?

Rosieposy4 Tue 16-May-17 20:14:36

Yes school have messed up but i am afraid so have you and your ds. All schools i have ever known, and the exams boards state clearly that it is the candidates responsibility to check the timetable for errors.
He certainly should have noticed he was missing unit 1 bio and chem ( and presumably physics).
Revising unit 2 in class is a red herring if he is resitting core as presumably the vast majority of the class are not doing resits.

TeenAndTween Tue 16-May-17 20:15:13

So, is this like he is retaking core science because they took it in y10? B1, C1, P1, and B1 was today? (guessing by reading the y11 support thread).

Although the school messed up (and why on earth didn't they phone you as soon as they knew he wasn't present? - he could have arrived before the end of the paper), at our school we are told it is our / our DCs responsibility to check that the entry contains all expected papers.

When did your DS think the exam was if he knew he had to revise for it but it wasn't on his timetable?

Does he need this for his future plans? Would it be less stress to just bin it (however frustrating)?

I feel really sorry for you, you could do without this kind of stress at the start of GCSEs.

user1471530109 Tue 16-May-17 20:15:36

First paragraph is to make sure you're informed if they brush it off. It's not in their interest.

prh47bridge Tue 16-May-17 20:18:32

When my son got his original timetable he noticed that three subjects were missing. He was then issued with a revised timetable including these three subjects. He failed to notice that the revised timetable only included module 2 of each subject. One of his teachers did notice and got the revised timetable but failed to tell him that these modules were missing and failed to pass on the revised timetable.

Yes, it could be argued it is his fault for not noticing. But it is much easier to spot a missing subject than a missing paper.

prh47bridge Tue 16-May-17 20:20:28

On the revising in class point, I am not suggesting he should have been revising in class. Neither he nor I expect that. I am simply pointing out that the school's suggestion that he has been revising in class is wrong.

prh47bridge Tue 16-May-17 20:22:11

And yes, he is retaking B1, C1 and P1. B1 was today.

noblegiraffe Tue 16-May-17 20:24:42

If he knew he had these modules to revise for, then hadn't he looked at his timetable to see when he had to fit the revision in?

I don't understand, did he think these exams were on a different date? Did he have any friends resitting?

SandyDenny Tue 16-May-17 20:29:33

What an awful situation.

Strictly speaking I think the responsibility lies with the student although that doesn't help of course.

I'd want to know why the school didn't contact you immediately, was he in school for the French exam this morning? Why did they wait until 4pm, ime if a student doesn't turn up for the start of a paper staff will go all out to find them, going to their home if necessary to get them there in time to at least start withing the permissable time.

I would also want to speak to the teacher who didn't hand out teh revised tiemtable to see if there's any reason that might help you with any kind of appeal

Petalbird Tue 16-May-17 20:29:42

Lesson to always check time tables carefully. Teacher have 100s of pupils and millions of sheets of paper (and often doing 2 things at once) I doubt the teacher even knew there was a revised timetable. Surely he must have been revising and going to revision lessons? (where they have probably mentioned the dates of the exam many times)

TeenAndTween Tue 16-May-17 20:32:12

I'm really upset for you. You are so helpful to so many on these boards. It seems unfair that this should be happening to your DS. wine

prh47bridge Tue 16-May-17 20:34:47

No friends resitting. He was the only one in his year.

This should have been his only exam today. No idea why the school waited until 4pm before contacting us.

I doubt the teacher even knew there was a revised timetable

The teacher who had the revised timetable was the teacher who had spotted the three Module 1 exams were missing. She knew she had it. And this is a relatively small school - less than 60 pupils in Y11.

Surely he must have been revising and going to revision lessons? (where they have probably mentioned the dates of the exam many times)

He has indeed been going to revision lessons for Module 2 but there have been no such lessons for Module 1. As he was the only one in his year taking Module 1 the date of this exam hasn't been mentioned at all.

ShinyGirl Tue 16-May-17 20:39:52

That's awful of the school. I don't know what will happen, but as this is the start of his exams, I think you should email to complain, and then put it to one side and encourage him to try and forget it for now.

It's important that this doesn't throw him for the rest of the exams wine

noblegiraffe Tue 16-May-17 20:42:49

I think, awful though it is, it might just have to be chalked up to experience. The teacher will be kicking themselves for not giving him the timetable (I expect he thought that it had been sorted elsewhere as your DS didn't ask for it again), and for not checking how the revision was going. Your DS and you will be kicking yourselves for not spotting it was missing from the timetable. Given that he has already sat the exam once, then the exam board will just say they will use the mark from the previous sitting.

The most important thing is that your DS now puts it out of his head and cracks on with the rest of his exams. The line will have to be 'no point in worrying about it now'.

KosmoKramer Tue 16-May-17 20:50:32

Agree with Teen. You are such a helpful and supportive poster. I feel really cross on your behalf and very frustrated for you. I really hope you get it sorted cakewine

TheFallenMadonna Tue 16-May-17 21:00:21

Is he retaking Science A? You need to push to see whether AQA will accept the paper otherwise there is little point in taking C1 and P1. They are unlikely to accept it given the very late sitting. Did you give a statement as to his activities during the exam time? I cannot understand why the call came so late. They would have had to have filled in an attendance register with all entries on it at the start of the exam.

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