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To think its unacceptable to have this exam arrangement?

119 replies

Hairydogmummy · 22/11/2019 19:24

DS16 has his mocks the week after next. We've had a letter today saying that kids who have extra time (which DS does for his Asperger's) will finish too late to get the bus home and have to make alternative arrangements. He will only just miss the bus which is frustrating. I've no way of getting him home until much later. WIBU to email them and say they'll have to arrange it another way? Either that or DS could take some extra time just not his full amount. I'm reluctant to do this as he struggles to finish exams anyway. It will be about 5 days that he'd miss the bus.

OP posts:
AnneLovesGilbert · 22/11/2019 19:27

Taxi? Ask another parent to help? What do you want the school to do?

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross · 22/11/2019 19:27

How do you suggest they resolve this? Make him miss lunch? Have no breaks between his exams over the course of the day?

churchandstate · 22/11/2019 19:28

There may not be another way they can arrange it. He will have more than one exam a day, and if he is entitled to extra time they are just offering it to him.

helpfulperson · 22/11/2019 19:28

What do you think the solution should be? Get everyone to start the exam earlier possibly getting in the way of the morning exam or meaning short lunch breaks. Hold the bus back?

If you are going to tell them they have to arrange it another way I think you have to tell them exactly how.

CaptainMyCaptain · 22/11/2019 19:29

It has to fit into the school day, what else can they do? This is what will happen in the actual exams.

Skyejuly · 22/11/2019 19:29

I had the same email and its frustrating. My son needs extra time but we are rural and I will have to leave work to drive as a taxi would be about 25quid. No public bus service.

doritosdip · 22/11/2019 19:29

This was standard at our school too.
Once you have worked out a solution, don't forget to organise an alternative on the afternoons that he has longer exams as well as any afternoon mocks he may have next term.

Hairydogmummy · 22/11/2019 19:32

I was thinking he could start 10 mins earlier. He'd still get enough time for lunch. I'm a teacher so will check what we do but I know we don't let them miss school transport....could get taxi I guess. Is £11.

OP posts:
MsJaneAusten · 22/11/2019 19:32

Wow. Helpful replies there Hmm

I’d contact the SENCO and see if there’s an alternative. For example, if it’s English Literature (usually the longest one) could he do the first part of the paper that day and the second half the next day?

This won’t help in May/June though. You might need to sort taxis then (and I get why that will be so hard with ASC) but at least you’d have longer to plan.

ItsGoingTibiaK · 22/11/2019 19:37

How important is your son’s education compared to the inconvenience of you arranging alternative transport for him? YABVU

StrongerThanIThought76 · 22/11/2019 19:53

Sorting a taxi is fair enough for real exams next summer.

We have 4 sets of mocks in our school this academic year for Y11, 8 weeks of taxis home for mocks would be way beyond most of our parents' budget.

The extra time is optional - they absolutely can let him go early. An alternative might be (assuming he gets extra time and is in a small group/classroom away from main cohort) to let him start 10 minutes early.

John470322 · 22/11/2019 19:59

Would it not be simple for the school to arrange for the bus to be later on exam days? The OP said He will only just miss the bus which is frustrating. so what harm would it do to change the time by a few minutes?

Gatehouse77 · 22/11/2019 20:00

When it comes to the public exams you will have the same problem as the start time is set by JCQ.
I can understand your frustration but perhaps you could use the mocks as a practice run for the transport issues.

Wolfiefan · 22/11/2019 20:03

They can’t change the bus times for the whole school for the small percentage of kids sitting mocks.
Staff may not be available to invigilate exams other than at the times they are scheduled.
Won’t you have the same problem in the summer? Time to work our a solution. He revises in the library until you can collect him? Car share and each only miss one afternoon off work? Taxi? Waiting in local cafe?

roisinagusniamh · 22/11/2019 20:04

If he was to start earlier an invigilator would have to be arranged and paid. It would mess up the arrangements for the other students ...when would you expect them to start?
You cannot expect for the whole exam and all the students be accommodated for one or two students.
I'm afraid you will have to pay the taxi fare for this one day.

LolaSmiles · 22/11/2019 20:07

John holding the whole school up isn't a solution.
His extra time finishing might be just beyond the bus leaving time, but they have to be dismissed, collect their bags and then make their way out.

Usually the longer exams tend to be scheduled for the morning session in mocks. Afternoon exams tend to be the options ones/smaller subjects or shorter exams.

Doing the paper ahead of other students isn't really an option because he has seen the paper and can share the topics. If he does half after everyone else then he can be told the questions.

The thing with mock exams is that, in good schools at least least, run like a proper exam season. That means all access arrangements are as the real thing. Phone rules etc are delivered as the real thing. Pencil case rules, formal seat numbers, seating charts and separate settings are identical to the real thing. Often it's not about students sitting the exam, but giving them a real exam experience.

MsAwesomeDragon · 22/11/2019 20:09

My school manage this situation by doing the longer exams in the mornings, so the extra time goes over break and possibly slightly into the lesson after break. Then the afternoon exams are the shorter ones so even with extra time everyone is finished in time for the buses.

That's one solution. Your suggestion of pupils with extra time starting early so they finish in time to get the bus is a good one, I think we have accommodated this on occasion.

If the school is in a location where some pupils are reliant on school buses (we are, we have 15 buses taking kids home, most of whom have no other public transport to their village) then taxis are often few and far between as well. Schools need to acknowledge this in their planning for mock exams.

In the real exams you may have issues like this sure to his extra time. But for mocks, the school produce the timetable so they should be able to allow for all pupils to access their travel home. It disproportionately affects the most vulnerable pupils, who by rights need more support with getting home not less!! (I'm not saying all pupils who need extra time are vulnerable, but the most vulnerable children frequently need extra time)

coconuttelegraph · 22/11/2019 20:09

It's a mock exam, surely the obvious solution is that he doesn't take all of the extra time. How much are we talking about - 5 minutes ? It's not going to have any impact on his future to miss a few minutes

make a plan now for the actual exams

brighteyeowl17 · 22/11/2019 20:13

Arrange the bus later those days? Wtf? The bus companies don’t work like that! They have booked time slots.

bridgetreilly · 22/11/2019 20:19

If it really is only a few minutes that he would miss the bus by, he can actually leave his exam that few minutes early and just get the bus. It's true that might mean he gets a couple of marks less on the mocks, but they're mocks. That's okay.

Petrarkanian · 22/11/2019 20:20

How likely is he to use the extra time? 80% of our students don't.
We give them the choice at the end of the normal time, so if he's not using it he can get the bus.

hidinginthenightgarden · 22/11/2019 20:22

I think they should start 10 mins earlier. People saying he will have seen the exam and could share are missing the fact that they will also be in the exam, he won't see them as he will start before and finish after.
Also, those with access arrangemnets are in different rooms depending on those arrangments to won't disturb other students.

Hairydogmummy · 22/11/2019 20:36

He's always in a separate room anyway with the other extra time students. In the past they have started early and they'll have invigilator paid for that time anyway so won't make a difference? I think last year they were still with the old bus company who always showed up late anyway so he didn't miss it. He does always need the extra time on the exams that fall in the afternoon. It would cost £55 to get him home every day of the exams that would over run. As I said upthread, I'm a teacher myself so I know how it all works. I think on balance, an enquiry as to whether they could start earlier might be a good idea. Missing 10 mins could make a real difference to his grade. If I have to arrange a taxi I'll have to. I can't leave work early as my school is miles away and I wouldn't be allowed to go.

OP posts:
heartsonacake · 22/11/2019 20:37

YABU. This is your problem and you need to arrange transport home for him. You cannot expect the entire school to be shifted around for your kid.

Gatehouse77 · 22/11/2019 20:39

In the past they have started early and they'll have invigilator paid for

But they can’t (or certainly shouldn’t) start early in the public exams.

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