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AIBU?

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.

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roisinagusniamh · 23/11/2019 14:52

Could you organise a shared taxi with other parents in the same situation?

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Hairydogmummy · 23/11/2019 16:48

He doesn't have any friends that live nearby unfortunately and he doesn't know the other kids who have extra time anyway. He only really properly knows a few kids and none live near school. My parents only have one car and mum still works and looks after my sisters kids. Hubby works even further away than me and his own dad never helps with stuff like this except to alert me if there's a problem! Believe me I've racked my brains for a solution. If school can't accommodate, I'll have to either get him to wait or pay for taxi. He's at his dad's at the moment so will see what he says when he gets home. Will probably get all stressy about it. Beginning to wish school had stuck with the previous bus company that always showed up 20 mins late for the run!

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57mama · 23/11/2019 17:15

This has me worried now... DD is entitled to extra time too (year 10), and we live over 10 miles away from the school. Hopefully our school will plan for this... Sad

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LolaSmiles · 23/11/2019 19:17

The other thing I was just thinking about, what sort of school day lengths are all these schools doing?

For example, a school with 2 hours of lessons or 2 hours of lessons plus 15-30mins of tutor time on an afternoon has much more chance of being able to fit exams and associated extra time within the school day, vs a school that ends at 2:30.

57mama
Schools have no reason to plan their mock exams to be terrible and a logistical nightmare. It makes no sense to do that.

What they generally do is try to make the timetable work as best they can for the cohort they have, exam numbers by subject, time of exam, availability of support staff to scribe for certain subjects/students (whilst also ensuring that all the EHCP hours of y7-10 students are covered), room availability for separate settings, settings for those who require readers or IT provisions.
All that has to get thought about.

For example, if an option subject has 75% of the students who require scribes then that's probably going to be a similar pull on resources as core subject exams so the school have to look at TA staffing across the school to ensure those who need it are also covered.

It's why I think it's a bit much for people to decide they'll be informing school that the school need to change the timetable etc because they're not seeing the big picture.

I wouldn't worry and just see what happens when your child comes to it

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Hairydogmummy · 23/11/2019 19:36

@LolaSmiles have you read the thread? I'm a teacher at a big secondary. I totally get the logistics. I'm not going to start telling them how to arrange their timetable. They have a long lunch and a late finish and the way they've done the timetable means he'll miss the bus by minutes. His time will finish 10 mins after the bell just as the bus leaves so he'll miss it by two or three minutes. I'm just going to enquire if he could start a bit earlier so he can make it.

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LolaSmiles · 23/11/2019 19:40

I have read the thread. I was asking about all the school days that people are giving opinions on because ultimately that affects things.

Equally, a school with a longer lunch often means support staff (who have a 30 minute lunch) double up as lunch duty staff and supervision during lunch so they aren't free to start afternoon sessions early whilst maintaining duty numbers.

I think you're fine and reasonable to have the chat OP, it's more some of the replies on this thread seem to demonstrate very little awareness of what actually goes into these arrangements.

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HiJenny35 · 23/11/2019 19:47

Sen teacher here and some of the responses are disgraceful. The school 100% does have a responsibility to later arrangements for your child. That's exactly what the Sen provions

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HiJenny35 · 23/11/2019 20:03

Sorry battery went. The Sen code of practice Equality and inclusion section (its 6.something ) is all about the fact that's school must make provions for additional needs that doesn't allow the child to be disadvantaged. To state that the family should be out of pocket or the child should find an alternative way home or not take the extra time allowed in order to be able to take school transport is disadvantaging the child. School need to be reminded of this and find an alternative arrangement and yes I've intergrated pupils into mainstream schools for 17 years and it's VERY easy for school to start in lunch break/end in lunch break/speak to the borough and delay school transport for all pupils for ten minutes in these situations. It all depends on if the school actually consider their legal obligation to inclusive provision important.

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Hairydogmummy · 23/11/2019 20:10

Spoken to DS now. Apparently the year 11 don't get to have their exams in a separate room even if they have extra time. He's been told he has to go in with the others which means he'll be disturbed as they leave and won't be prompted if he loses concentration. He seems fine with all that though and says that's the way it's got to be and doesn't want me to fuss about it! Previously he's just sorted out to start a bit early with the staff who supervise the access arrangements room. He's going to ask the exam manager if there's anything they can do on Monday but I doubt it if he's in the hall with the others.

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Reallynowdear · 23/11/2019 20:14

Hang on, are pp advising that SEN children must not be disadvantaged at any additional cost to their parents and that this is a legal requirement?

Is this just the caste in state schools?

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Reallynowdear · 23/11/2019 20:14

case fgs

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CSIblonde · 23/11/2019 20:15

We were always allowed to leave, as quietly as possible, if we finished early in the late 80's at 6th form & then at University. Has this changed? If he never needs all the allocated time, beyond pointless for him & invigilator to stay sitting there.

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Hairydogmummy · 23/11/2019 20:16

Thanks @HiJenny35 I did have a feeling they shouldn't disadvantage him like this just from talks I've had with our senco at school. I'll see how he gets on with the exam manager on Monday and if they won't do anything I might have to email. I like him to try and sort stuff out himself if possible first. They're usually brilliant so was v surprised at their email yesterday. I can't imagine us sending a message like that to our parents. They'd be up in arms!

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Hairydogmummy · 23/11/2019 20:19

@CSIblonde yes he'll need it all. It's his weakest subjects where they've scheduled the exams in the afternoon. He doesn't need it at all in some subjects but generally doesn't finish even with it in others.

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MsJaneAusten · 23/11/2019 20:56

Yes @Reallynowdear - otherwise it’s
disability discrimination.

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MsJaneAusten · 23/11/2019 20:57

@CSIblonde - yes. All changed. You all stay until the end.

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Hadalifeonce · 23/11/2019 21:04

OP, do you pay for this bus service? If so, I might be inclined to deduct the cost of a taxi from the payment.
I pay for a bus for DD, and it seriously pisses me off when through no fault of hers a school 'thing' means she is too late for the bus, luckily either me or DH can collect her.

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Reallynowdear · 23/11/2019 21:05

@MsJaneAusten

Thank you, my youngest has many additional need, I put him in a school that perhaps wasn't the best for him. I'm loathed to discredit it as his exclusion had a huge impact on his mental health yet my eldest thrived there.

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TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross · 24/11/2019 07:36

If he never needs all the allocated time, beyond pointless for him & invigilator to stay sitting there.

Schools are supposed to monitor how much of their ET candidates use, because they are required to provide ongoing evidence of need. If a candidate habitually doesn't use it, it will be removed. We warn ours about this, because in internal exams sometimes they just want to finish at the same time as their mates despite actually needing the ET to finish their exam.

That bit about him having to sit his exams in the same hall as everyone else sounds as if the school are not making the appropriate reasonable adjustments if your DS needs a prompter, though? We have ET candidates in the same hall but once students need prompters, readers, scribes, rest breaks, etc, they sit their exams in the SEN department.

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bettyboo40 · 24/11/2019 07:40

In my school, the day is restructured during exam times to have lunch ab hour earlier (and ab extra lesson after lunch). Students with extra time would also be allowed to start at lunchtime too. Most of our students catch the bus and nobody ever has to miss it.

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bettyboo40 · 24/11/2019 07:40
  • an not ab! Blame my fat thumbs!
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BeanBag7 · 24/11/2019 07:42

It is important to make sure he has all the extra time available for his mocks. The mocks are used as evidence that a student needs extra time, they send off the papers showing what they completed in the set time and what they completed in extra time. If he only has half the extra time, he won't complete much more and the exam board may judge that he doesnt need the extra time and take it away for his real exams. Not worth the risk.

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pinksparkleunicorns · 24/11/2019 07:46

Some of these replies are shocking. I assume it's a school bus not a public one. In which case, it's discrimination to make him miss the bus due to arrangements made for his disability. I'd email the school saying this, and requesting the money for the taxi

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stucknoue · 24/11/2019 07:59

It's the same for actual exams. The school buses are fixed, if they need to stay later it's always the case of needing to arrange transport. I picked up my dd for this very reason when she did hers (she also is so anxious I wouldn't want her traveling on the bus)

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stucknoue · 24/11/2019 08:06

But is there a public bus he could use? If the cab is only £11 you can't be that far, at 16 and at mainstream school he should be getting ready to be independent travelling - 6th form doesn't have school buses. In our experience 6th form college had better asd support and university has been excellent.

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