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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:
LolaSmiles · 24/11/2019 08:55

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.
Separate rooms and extra time are two different access arrangements.

We have students who have separate settings and the usual exam time, those who have extra time and the normal setting, those who have both separate setting and extra time, and other access arrangements such as scribes / readers / IT / rest breaks etc.

I understand the concern regarding busses and think you should speak to the school, but keep to the issue at hand. Don't muddy the waters by bringing in different access arrangements that don't apply to your child.

woodhill · 24/11/2019 09:06

Shame he can't go in a separate room as the others leaving does stress some students.

Hope something can get sorted for your ds OP

Hairydogmummy · 24/11/2019 09:24

@LolaSmiles yes I know...I've always been led to believe he's entitled to extra time, small room and prompting as that's what I discussed with old senco and what he always had before. He's always found it hard when others question him about why he's allowed extra time but I imagine that will be more likely now since the whole rest of the hall will get up and leave with him and a few others still sat there. That definitely doesn't happen in our school.

OP posts:
Hairydogmummy · 24/11/2019 09:26

@stucknoue he'd have to get two buses or train and two longish walks either end. I could pick him up in the time that would all take and he'd lose all that revision time.

OP posts:
LolaSmiles · 24/11/2019 10:16

If he's been approved for the separate setting then he should be getting it. I thought from your post you were surprised that the extra time students were in the main exam hall, when that's normal.

Given the difference between the old SENDCO and new, is it worth seeing what arrangements have been officially assessed and approved Vs someone saying yes to things but there not being the right documentation to back it up?

I feel awful saying this, but I've known it happen.

RufusthebewiIderedreindeer · 24/11/2019 10:19

won't be prompted if he loses concentration

No he should still be prompted

There is no reason why he couldn’t be prompted...I’d deffo complain about this is if its not happening

(Reading sorry if this has already been brought up)

RufusthebewiIderedreindeer · 24/11/2019 10:23

And what lola says

If he isnt getting what you have been led to believe he is entitled to then it needs to be sorted immediately

Its not too late to have this in place for next year if the school have mucked ip and not applied for it...(i think) But it will get too late

Hairydogmummy · 24/11/2019 10:36

I am kind of worried that his 'official' access arrangements are in fact only the extra time and the other stuff wasn't official that maybe why for year 11 mocks he's only getting the extra time. He says no year 11s go in a separate room but I find that hard to believe. They really should have spoken to me rather than just him as he's just accepted it and not asked any questions...not that any 16yo would be likely to! I'll email them now and see what the score is. Thanks for all the helpful posts...I'll let you know how I get on

OP posts:
LolaSmiles · 24/11/2019 10:42

He may be right on nobody going to a separate room as it would depend on what other needs exist.

Some years, particularly for A Level we have multiple subject exams in the hall and the only people who are in separate settings are those requiring IT support or a reader.
Other years I've had classes reroomed to the canteen for lessons because there's been so many students requiring separate rooms (some with others some individual) that classrooms have been taken out of action for weeks. I have to say that's a bloody nightmare. Zero issue with those who have the access needs but it's absolutely chaotic for months because all spaces are used, SLT end up losing their offices, department offices have been used (obviously all noticeboards have to be covered), some classrooms etc and then there's millions of signs up saying silence for the exams and it makes breaks/lesson change ridiculous.

RufusthebewiIderedreindeer · 24/11/2019 10:55

He may be right on nobody going to a separate room as it would depend on what other needs exist.


But i would be very surprised to be have no one needing IT support or with a medical issue whether physical or mental in the WHOLE of the year group would be unusual i would have thought

Good luck hairy

LolaSmiles · 24/11/2019 11:05

I'd also be surprised Rufus, but it is possible (especially in schools who manage to "lose" students before y11 - obviously I have no idea if the OP's son's school is one of those but I think many of us know what goes on in some places)

itsgettingweird · 24/11/2019 11:10

Yes. They shouldn't be disadvantaged.

My ds academy wanted him to stay for hour after school 3 times a week for sen provision. Every other child could go home or there was an hours enrichment. The only children who had to stay were those on a 30 minute detention.

Judge ruled in tribunal it was unreasonable. And if I'd had the strength to pursue a DD claim he would have had serious inclination to award it based on that information alone.

Obviously sometimes it is possible. Like I say I have picked my ds up when he's been unable to make taxi (even though it's a personal taxi!). But I could have sorted it and will be contacting LA when his actual GCSEs start.

itsgettingweird · 24/11/2019 11:14

Oh and btw he's not at the academy anymore! His current school are fantastic and he has reader, scribe and extra time. He also has a room to himself for exams to limit distraction.
I'm also sure if I asked them to contact la re taxi then they would.

OhYouBadBadKitten · 24/11/2019 11:18

It would make most sense for him to sit in another room with others in a similar position and start the exam so they finish at the same time as everyone else. Anxiety about how he is going to get home isn't going to allow him to do his best.

Seeline · 24/11/2019 11:29

If it's anything like my DDs mock timetable, they are having 2-3 exams a day, each one 1.5-2 hrs long. If the OPs DS has extra time for all his exams, then starting the last one of the day early probably isn't an option unless they have found a way to bend the space/time continuum. They need to have some break in between each exam to refuel and go to the loo!

RufusthebewiIderedreindeer · 24/11/2019 11:36

Yeah you’re absolutely right lola

LolaSmiles · 24/11/2019 11:38

Access arrangements aren't done by what someone thinks might common sense and whether it would be nice to sit in another room, nor are they done by armchair claims of anxiety.
There's some questionable practice in places for access arrangements, but someone deciding it would be nice doesn't cut it (and may actually be the cause of the OP's situation)

Hairydogmummy · 24/11/2019 12:13

Lol @LolaSmiles we have a real problem with anxious kids in the school I teach at. It's become impossible as we started sitting them in deprecate rooms then more and more said they were anxious and now we can't fit them all. At my son's school they run exams for all year groups in the summer at the same time internal and external. God knows how they do it so I think they decide maybe that year 11 have to be the ones to give way to the younger years and I assume that they're practicing for that in the mocks. It may well turn out to be the case that they never applied formally for anything other than extra time for him. Still doesn't solve my original problem though. Wouldn't be so bad if his dad stepped up once in a while for this sort of thing but hey ho! I'll wait and see what they say.

OP posts:
haba · 24/11/2019 12:29

FFS- this is a child with SEND! He will likely be super-stressed about the transport situation, and that will have an effect in his performance in the exams.
OP, talk to the exams officer at school. Exams can start early- even in the real thing (our school begin earlier than other schools, and their morning exams start at normal school time, not 9am or whatever, pretty sure).

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