29/11/2012

Examination provision for pupils with SEN

If you, or your child, has Special Educational Needs which require adaptations of the usual exam procedures (ie:  you or they require the use of a laptop, or access to a reader and/or a scribe, or extra time), and you have been told that you, or your child, should sit the examination without adaptations first, and if that results in failure or lower-than-predicted grades, then adaptations will be sought for a re-sit, please let me know.

I am trying to work out how widespread this kind of discrimination is.

Apologies for the waffly first sentence.

Basically, if you or your child has been told that in order to receive the SEN support you or they are entitled to, you have to first suffer the indignity and loss of self-confidence that comes from failure or under-performance, please get in touch.

You can email me privately via my contact tab above, but I'd prefer if you left comments below (it can be done anonymously), so that everyone can see the extent of this issue.

I would also like to know if you have been told that you probably won't get extra support because the rules have been tightened up because "some schools and parents were cheating".

I smell the aroma of an Urban Myth!

Seriously, if you had the inclination to cheat a public body, would your first choice really be to try and wangle an extra 20 minutes in a Maths exam - or would you go for fixing The National Lottery?

This kind of discriminatory crap needs to be stopped, because it is causing parents to be made to feel like the are being pushy and demanding, or even lying in order to get exam provision, and pupils are being made to feel like they are a problem.

SEN adaptations are not a gift or an unfair advantage; they are a right given to people who require them, in order to level up the playing field against pupils without SEN.

Do not accept that the school cannot facilitate them.

Not wanting to is not the same as not being able to, so fight for your child!

If you are the person sitting the exams, and you have no-one to fight on your behalf, drop me a line as I'm on a roll with this subject! :o)

Parents, you can contact the examination boards directly if you need help or more information; we have found Edexel to be extremely helpful.

Don't panic if deadlines have passed; if your child is entitled to support and the school has failed in its' responsibility to facilitate it, speak to the Education Authority or the exam boards.

They are used to ruling on individuals on a case by case basis.

Don't let an inexperienced, unmotivated, disengaged, resistant, non-communicative or ill-informed SENCO or Examination Administrator block the path to fair education provision for your child.

We shouldn't have to be doing all this stuff just to get our children the support they are entitled to (especially when other people are being paid to do it on our behalf!), but as with everything relating to Specific Learning Difficulties in the English state school system, it is a slog and a battle.

Please do NOT give up, though!

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