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GCSEs and Chronic Fatigue

(11 Posts)
EdHelpPls Tue 13-Mar-18 19:13:47

My dd is supposed to be doing the first units of her GCSEs this year but has missed a lot of school due to ill health and grades are understandably lower. She’s currently at around 50% attendance for this term and school will not send work home or offer any support. I have a meeting with Education Welfare Officer in a few days, and awaiting a call from her consultant confirming diagnosis (which will help her case)
However, the confirmation that she’s being entered into the exams needs to be posted tomorrow. She/we need to decide before 7.30am tomorrow if she will do any/some exams this year.

She can’t repeat the year in the same school.
It’s possible but not guaranteed she will be better next year and then would do both modules for each subject.
The stress of catching up and revising might overwhelm her again ( she’s just back today after a month off school)

I only found this out at 4.30 today. My dd has been asleep since 4pm after struggling through a day at school so haven’t chatted to her yet. I don’t feel we can make the decision with the information we have!

Has anyone any experience of a similar situation?

Don’t know if we are keeping her at the school or if she would be better homeschooled, or moving to a different school. Current school won’t let us drop to core GCSEs.... EWO is supposed to be helping us work out here plan but it’s coming too late! These feel like huge decisions but ultimately her health comes first!

Sorry if this is all a bit jumbled - I’m struggling to get my thoughts in order

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TeenTimesTwo Tue 13-Mar-18 19:41:57

I don't quite understand this.
I thought all exams for GCSEs were at the end of the course these days, and can't be done as 'modules'.

Can you confirm
- what year she is in
- what sort of subjects you are talking about?

EdHelpPls Tue 13-Mar-18 19:47:41

We are in NI so I believe the years are different - she’s in y11 and will do some this year and the rest in y12.
They are regular GCSEs in a bricks and mortar grammar school.

She’s currently studying English, eng lit, maths, triple science, HE, electronics and UBelt (no exams for last one)
I think there are exams for English, English lit, sciences, maths. No idea about the other ones. I suppose she’s missed some info/forms while off ill? I’m trying to do my research now before she gets up ( tried to wake her a few times already but she’s exhausted)

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TeenTimesTwo Tue 13-Mar-18 19:54:23

I have no idea then.

It seems to me that maybe the NI GCSEs are different to the English ones. (Just like the Welsh have their own, and the Scottish system is different again).

In England although the first submission for exam entry is nowish I believe they can alter / withdraw / late entry much later (at a cost).

Hopefully someone more informed will be along soon!

EdHelpPls Tue 13-Mar-18 19:56:54

Thanks for your time smile

Have found some info on the examining board site re what she might be put forward for... getting there slowly!

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Rachie1986 Tue 13-Mar-18 20:13:54

Not got much advice but sending hugs. I was your daughter a year on - I was diagnosed with ME at the start of yr12 after struggling from a virus on Feb of yr11.
My GCSEs were largely unaffected but alevels really were.
My parents fought hard and long to get me the support I needed so I could get some qualifications. I honestly believe if I'd stopped then and hadn't pushed to do something I might not have ever gone back. That is, obviously, just me.

Thinking of you. It's a horrible illness x

EdHelpPls Tue 13-Mar-18 20:39:01

Thanks for your reply rachie. V encouraging!

Dd has been suffering for 2.5 years and school support has been non existent. Literally waiting for official diagnosis phone call this minute! ( missed a call 2 hours ago from the consultant)

I’ve muddled through the exam board website and worked out dates and have put post it’s on a calendar so dd can see the spread.

She’s so behind - at least half the years work missing. I’m doing my best but she’s more knowledgable than me at all the subjects so all I can do is be encouraging. If I thought we were guaranteed a tutor I think she could catch up if focusing on core subjects, but I can’t afford more than an hour a week myself and even then it’s a stretch, and no guarantee she’ll be well enough to work during the booked session. Though have just discovered an online option which may be more flexible. But is 8 weeks enough to do 4 months of work on top of other schoolwork? I’d be overwhelmed....

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butterfly990 Tue 13-Mar-18 20:50:26

Hi, it may be an idea to join this facebook group. They have a lot of useful information on not only school refusal but also your rights to support with educating children with illness.

Twotabbycats Wed 14-Mar-18 16:30:42

Not Ireland and a long time ago... but my brother had chronic fatigue and was able to sit some GCSEs at home with an invigilator. I think he and my mum chose the subjects together but he did maths, English, geography and one more... probably a science. He had the school's support though. He chose subjects that he knew he was likely to pass without putting too much extra work in - ones he was good at and/or had done most of the basics. He is younger than me (I did O levels blush) but in those days it was possible to pass maths and English Lang with very little revision if you had done the course! I can't remember exactly but I think he fell ill in the second term of the second gcse year and never went back to school. He got good grades for the exams he took.

I hope you can work something out. Wish the school was being more helpful. It's a shame she can't repeat the year. I would say it's very important not to overload her... but am sure you know that. I am guessing that these days it is not too hard to fill the gaps online so something should be possible even without school support. thanks

UndomesticHousewife Wed 14-Mar-18 16:40:04

What diagnosis will your dd get?
Have you read the disability discrimination order, not all of it just the part about qualifying disabilities and then you should read SENDO because if she’s covered they should put in place reasonable measures to help her.
Without a diagnosis it’s difficult to get help as some schools think they don’t need to but you could lay out all her medical evidence and demand more support.

EdHelpPls Wed 14-Mar-18 19:22:07

We finally got the official diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome today - been a long wait (2.5y!)
Consultant is writing to the school recommending that dd attends no more than 2 hours a day, 5 days a week for the rest of the year, ( she slept 15 hours straight after trying a full day at school yesterday) and she should significantly reduce her GCSEs, perhaps just core ones. Which is really exactly what I was hoping to be the recommendation.
School should have the letter by Monday.

As for the original question I posted I went to school first thing this morning in hope to talk to someone to understand exam process better but ended up just had to stick something down ( English maths and 2 sciences). If she misses due to illness or fails them there’s resits available.... or local college when she’s 16.

Thanks to everyone for your replies. V reassuring to hear some positive stories

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