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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:
MsJaneAusten · 23/11/2019 11:05

Sending an email to school telling them they'll have to make other arrangements would not be accepted at my school. It is not a reasonable request.
You’re right. Telling a school what to do isn’t reasonable. Neither is ignoring the needs of an autistic pupil.

roisinagusniamh · 23/11/2019 11:35

Well, I wrk in a inner city school. 40% of our pupils are PP. If the OP's son is PP , a taxi would be considered..
Is your son PP , OP?

MsJaneAusten · 23/11/2019 11:47

Argh. Head. Table.
It doesn’t matter if he’s pp or not. He’s autistic. The school has to make reasonable adjustments to meet his needs.

Op, I’m sorry to derail your thread. I’m practising for the future when I have to have these fights for my son (hopefully not as the secondary he will go to has a fab SENCO).

MsJaneAusten · 23/11/2019 11:52

Sorry. Correction. It doesn’t matter if he’s entitled to PP funding or not.

I’d copied Roisin’s syntax, which shows as much ignorance of those entitled to PP finding as it does of SEN needs.

roisinagusniamh · 23/11/2019 12:13

MsJane, we have students who are SEN and ignorance here at all. A taxi would not be paid or arranged for the OP's son at my school unless he was PP too.
Both our SENCos are amazing, btw.
You have a lot to learn.

Fragglesrooke · 23/11/2019 12:18

We usually run alternative mock timetables for students with access arrangements in place. Mostly due to having limited scribes available (large school with lots of arrangements in place). Obviously for the real exams additional people are brought in but this isn't financially viable for mocks too.
When exams run over break times - including real exams - the canteen stays open later and timetabled teachers supervise so students get their down time and a chance to eat / drink.
This works for us and for our students but might not be appropriate for other schools for a variety of reasons. Might be a starting point for discussions though?

MsJaneAusten · 23/11/2019 12:36

No child is SEN or PP. It’s hugely offensive.

roisinagusniamh · 23/11/2019 12:52

Many are both I said in my most recent post.

coconuttelegraph · 23/11/2019 12:52

No child is SEN or PP. It’s hugely offensive

Grammatically you are correct but ime these are common shorthands used in schools and when I was a school governor I can assure you that no one in the school who used them meant any offence at all. I wouldn't choose that as a battle worth fighting personally

Comefromaway · 23/11/2019 13:00

It is very offensive to these children.

roisinagusniamh · 23/11/2019 13:02

It really isn't.

MsJaneAusten · 23/11/2019 13:13

It really really is.

My child has SEN. He used to be entitled to PP funding. He is neither SEN or PP.

Please, please try to understand this. Even if you meant no offence, it really is offensive.

MuddlingMackem · 23/11/2019 13:13

YANBU to expect that the school schedule mocks to accommodate buses if the location of the school and pupils means that there are kids who have no other way of getting home. Surely it is disability discrimination to schedule things so that he misses his bus. Parents of children with disabilities shouldn't be penalised financially by the school for that.

As far as the real exams for the summer go, you may be able to leave work to pick him up, but there may be other kids who will still be relying on the bus, and the school really should bear this in mind with their planning.

LolaSmiles · 23/11/2019 13:18

We to down to skeleton TA support during mock exams so the only students with TA support are the ones with EHCPs.

We also do what PPs mentioned about longer exams in the morning and running over break. Shorter exams run on the afternoon sessions. There's staffing to factor in but as a reasonably large school we manage probably better than a smaller school (e.g. multiple members of SLT lose their offices for mocks, our learning support base, library and study zones become exam rooms, some classrooms are taken out of action too which is totally chaotic and frustrating).

It may well be, however, that they've ran over breaks in the past and had parental complaints about how out of order it is that their child missed break etc, now they've done it this way and they get complaints on transport. There's often no way to please everyone.

I honestly think the OP needs to have a reasonable discussion with the school about the situation and take a more measured approach than some of the posters on here who seem to want everything to be a battle or confrontation.

roisinagusniamh · 23/11/2019 13:28

In fairness it is the expression the OP used in asking 'WIBU to email and TELL the school to make other arrangements ' with little respect or regard for all the work staff will have all ready done to put these mocks in place for the whole school.
A discussion may yield some results but a email in that tone would be considered to be entitled and , quite rightly , discarded in my school.

Comefromaway · 23/11/2019 13:45

Roisin do you have special educational needs? Unless you do you have no right to tell others that referring to them as a diagnosis or an entitlement is offensive.

Even if you do you only have the right to refer to yourself not others. Dd calls herself an aspie but would never call her brother an autistic.

roisinagusniamh · 23/11/2019 13:49

My son does and is not offended by this. I work with disadvantaged children and many refer to themselves as PP.
If someone was offended by these references I would not use them but it is the norm where I work.

itsgettingweird · 23/11/2019 14:01

My ds has his mocks at the moment. He also has extra time and has asd. I've had to collect him some days due to missing his taxi home (sen transport).
Like you I've thought that this doesn't seem very well thought out and I'm sure that they cannot actually disadvantage children (equality act).

I'm lucky that I can go and collect my son if needed - I may not make it for finish time (sometimes it's half hour later) but he walks the 10 minutes into the village and waits at Costa!

I think it would be a case of all exams would be bought forward by half hour and the exam timetable would have to be adjusted to do this.

I would initially email back asking what arrangements they are making for pupils who will miss the school bus as they cannot disadvantage a child with a disability compared to their peers as a direct result of their needs. Then dependent on what they reply I'd take it from there!

Butterfly02 · 23/11/2019 14:20

Our school was going to have same situation last week we're a semi rural secondary so many kids live rural and need to get the school transport. The school decided to bring the lunch time earlier for those with extra time which resolved the situation. We do however have an issue with extra revision lessons 4 nights a week meaning if I can't collect him he has to walk along rural roads we've altered our lives around as a family to accommodate this year as its very important to Ds1 and therefore his family too.

Hairydogmummy · 23/11/2019 14:22

@roisinagusniamh if you'd read my thread you'd see I'm a teacher at a big secondary too. We don't arrange it like this and always respond to emails and calls from parents and clearly I'm not going to phrase it in a confrontational way...I've responded to a lot of emails, calls and letters from parents in my time. Honestly some posters pick up on ways you phrase things and assume you're going to use the same exact wording from your mumsnet post! As if!

OP posts:
roisinagusniamh · 23/11/2019 14:23

So what do you want the school to do exactly?

Mistressiggi · 23/11/2019 14:27

I can't see why starting earlier (having the extra time at the start, not the end) would be a big deal, especially as he is in separate accommodation. I think it would be a reasonable adjustment for the school to make.
Worrying about getting home and it being a change to his usual routine might even make him perform less well (obviously I don't know your son). I would phone the learning support teacher and just talk to them.


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steppemum · 23/11/2019 14:35

I do transport think there is a differenc ein schools where the kids are transport dependant.
My kids go to schools like this and they always a do their upmost to ensure that things fall within the school day, as they understand that it is just not possible for most parents to arrange an alternative. So, while for the exams in the summe,r they may have no choice, they would do their best for mocks.

So i would try the school first, 10 minutes earlier start sounds reasonable.
If that doesn't work, could he go to a friends house until you can collect him?
Is there anyone else who could collect him? friend/grandparent, that you could do a return favour for?

How many actual days is it, as many afternoon exmas are shorter anyway, so even with extra time he should be fine, so it shouldn't be too many days.

Hairydogmummy · 23/11/2019 14:36

As I've said up thread, start the kids needing extra time 10 mins earlier. Even on his longest exams he would therefore finish at the same time as school finish and be able to get the bus. As it stands there are five occasions where he'd literally come out to see the bus going off up the road. They actually emailed to tell parents that students with extra time need to make their own arrangements so I doubt they're willing to do it otherwise wouldn't have timetabled it like they have. They're usually really good with him. The previous SENCO was fab but she's left now and I'm not even sure who it is now. I've got a good relationship with the school so I'll just see what they say. He'd be looking at an hour extra wait if I have to get to him from my school as it's 30 miles from his. I guess he could just revise at school but it's v stressful for him anyway and he also has a music exam that week after school too.

OP posts:
IWorkAtTheCheescakeFactory · 23/11/2019 14:37

Some really shitty responses on this thread. Showing nothing but their own ignorance.

OP I think asking if they can start them earlier is the way to go here.

Children who get extra time get it for a legitimate reason and they shouldn’t suffer negative consequences for needing that extra time. Which missing the school transport is.

The schools know what time the buses leave and they know they will always have students requiring extra time. The school sets the times for the mocks. It’s time for some joined up thinking. It’s really not good enough to say “here’s a problem we’ve created- you’ll need to deal with it”.

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