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Dyspraxic DS being let down by school in year 11

(74 Posts)

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Steggers123 Sun 22-Jan-17 17:48:09

My DS is in year 11 and GCSE's are looming. He is dyspraxic and as a result his handwriting is illegible. He also has organisational issues and problems with his short term memory. Everything is in place for his GCSE's, laptop in exams, extra time and a scribe for maths.

He is really struggling with the pressures of controlled assessments, so many deadlines to meet and so much to it together. I have been in to see the head of SEN on numerous occasions to see if we can get some strategies for coping in place but nothing is forthcoming. Before Christmas he did his first set of mocks, when he does an exam on the laptop, learning support print off his papers and hand them to his teachers. They have not printed off his chemistry paper, part of his physics paper and his maths paper 3 was not given to his teacher. Even worse his physics ISA paper 2 which needs to go to the exam board has also been lost on the system. I'm trying my hardest to help my DS, build up his confidence and achieve his potential but school are messing up. What do I do next, head of SEN is lovely, but nothing is changing, what happens if they lose his actual GCSE papers in the summer? I am at my wits end with it all.

RTKangaMummy Sun 22-Jan-17 17:57:11

I will ask DH is is a retired teacher and now an invigilator for exams

But I am absolutely sure they are not allowed to seemly say they have lost the exam papers, what did his teachers say about it?

There are so many things that are checked and double and triple checked during exam period

You need to find out who is the school examination officer cos it is their responsibility when it comes to safeguarding of exams

It will probably be one of the teachers who is EO, it might say on the school website or on letters about exam etc

Good luck my DS has dyspraxia too and has just graduated from Uni so with the right help they are able to achieve their potential

user1484226561 Sun 22-Jan-17 18:02:38

printing is not always available to staff at schools. We have been without it for days at a time as a whole staff sometimes, as well as individuals go over their monthly or weekly limit and get cut off.

As for the ISA, I am completely confused about that. Isn't it on your DS's laptop?

Steggers123 Sun 22-Jan-17 18:09:13

Because the ISA was done under exam conditions, he used one of the schools exam laptops which once he's finished goes back to learning support where the paper should be printed off and given to the teacher for marking. I really do appreciate how busy they are in learning support, but papers being lost or not printed off is making me nervous!

user1484226561 Sun 22-Jan-17 18:11:52

I don't think it is normal to use a laptop. Hs the exam board given permission for a scribe? It is virtually impossible in a science lab, where you do your ISAs, to have a lap top out. It is virtually impossible for a student with severe dyspraxia to track repeatedly between the question sheet and the laptop. It is not generally considered constructive, or helpful. I find this a bit odd. If he is so badly dyspraxic, he should have exam dispensation. (Using a lap top is not related to that)

Steggers123 Sun 22-Jan-17 18:16:39

RTKangaMummy The physics teacher just handed back his mock paper marked as a 'D' and didn't even mention that half the paper was missing, on that one DS has been told my learning support to check all the laptops and see if he can find it himself. The maths and chemistry teachers told him they didn't have his papers and as for the physics ISA the teacher didn't mention it, it was learning support that told him they couldn't find it. His physics teacher has always had a problem with his handwriting, he doesn't seem to be able to get his head round the fact that handwriting is not a measure of intelligence. My son is very bright he just can't write very well. As well as the dyspraxia he is left and hypermobile.

Steggers123 Sun 22-Jan-17 18:21:20

User, he has used a laptop for all three of his science ISAs, the exam board have given him permission to use a laptop in all his exams, he has extra time and he can use a scribe, he did not want a scribe for his ISAs and managed with a laptop.

user1484226561 Sun 22-Jan-17 18:24:36

the exam board have given him permission to use a laptop in all his exams

thats what I mean, the exam board does not give permission for this. It's nothing to do with them.

If he has an issue, they would give permission for a scribe.

Why has he done three science ISAs?

I don't understand this at all.

Steggers123 Sun 22-Jan-17 18:29:41

User, he is doing triple science, biology, chemistry, physics, three separate exams. The ISAs count as part of his GCSE's, the exam board have given him permission to use a laptop or a scribe, he chose to use a laptop.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 22-Jan-17 18:39:41

The ISA is an exam. It needs to be done under proper exam conditions, and losing work which should be kept secure is something that should not happen at all. If the head of learning support is not giving you answers, I would go to the member of SLT who line manages them. And point out the potential issues surrounding the security of the materials.

Flyingprettycretonnecurtains Sun 22-Jan-17 18:40:29

If it is his normal way of working then he can use word processor for his exams. If he qualifies for a scribe then the spell check can be switched on. The laptops can't be connected to the internet. The work was proably saved to the desk top so hopefully will still be there. It is a worry and if the computer systems are not up to it then he may be better off with a scribe, which he must have already as they've been granted permission from jcq for one (the maths). He can redo an ISA but a complete pain to have to do that with so little time left. I think time to contact the senco and copy in the Deputy Head or whoever is responsible for academic. Contact the exams officer too.

user1484226561 Sun 22-Jan-17 18:40:56

he's ONLY done 3? He chose to work on a laptop? ( this is not dispensation from the exam board) he doesn't sound like he has any issue, if he can cope on laptop, but you are saying he does, I can't really help because I don't understand this at all, it makes no sense to me. Using a laptop is going to make this harder, not easier, have you seen those papers, they are short answer. If he chooses that way of answering then he seems to be asking everything a lot more complicated, particularly if he isn't taking any responsibility for saving , or printing himself, and is just handing the laptop over to the department in general. can they even access his user area? They are all likely to be fighting not to be the one who has to take the hit on their own printing allowance you know.

user1484226561 Sun 22-Jan-17 18:41:37

why didn't he use a scribe?

TheFallenMadonna Sun 22-Jan-17 18:45:32

Far more common for students to use a laptop than a scribe IME, because they are more used to working that way.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 22-Jan-17 18:47:25

And printing exam answers is absolutely not the responsibility of the student, nor should the work be saved in the usual way.

user1484226561 Sun 22-Jan-17 18:58:18

yes, anyone can use a laptop, but candidates with difficulties like dyspraxia wouldn't, if they have real severe problems, and it would normally be the student printing.

sorry, I can't suggest anything, because this doesn't sound anything like what I would expect. this laptop business just sounds like a PITA for everyone

user1484226561 Sun 22-Jan-17 18:59:21

we would never have a laptop out in an ISA. We would have three or four scribes available in a class with children with SEN

TheFallenMadonna Sun 22-Jan-17 19:09:42

It needs to be set up properly is all. Scribes are very difficult if they are not the usual way of working for a student, and they should get whichever they prefer. Our students use an exam login in a computer room, with a TA trained as an invigilator.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 22-Jan-17 19:10:43

The students have responsibility for printing their own GCSE papers?

TheFallenMadonna Sun 22-Jan-17 19:12:22

And just because it'seems a PITA doesn'the mean a student shouldn't be able to use their preferred access arrangements in anew exam.

user1484226561 Sun 22-Jan-17 19:12:43

but ISAs are done in a science lab

user1484226561 Sun 22-Jan-17 19:14:45

And just because it'seems a PITA doesn'the mean a student shouldn't be able to use their preferred access arrangements in anew exam but he's not coping with it, and it must make everything harder for him it is not for students with this sort of issue. the Op keeps saying that it is special permission from the exam board, but it isn't. Its just availble to anyone without any problem, who works like that normally. It is totally inappropriate for ISAs. it makes them much harder

TheFallenMadonna Sun 22-Jan-17 19:20:36

Only the practical needs to be done in a science lab. I often book a different classroom for the papers. The ISA papers are exam papers. The school is not treating them as exams, and not following the systems they presumably use for external exams, and are thus letting him down.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 22-Jan-17 19:23:07

And it is completely appropriate for ISAS. I have had many students complete them this way. How is it inappropriate? It is, I will grant you, harder to mark.

Steggers123 Sun 22-Jan-17 19:34:48

He does not want to use a scribe, he finds using a scribe interrupts his train of thought. He's also quite shy and self conscious so sitting in a lab full of his peers using a scribe just would not work for him. I think speaking to the exams officer in school is the way to go, I need an assurance that come May there are procedures in place to make sure his papers are printed off immediately and not left on the system.

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