Hi I’m hoping someone can give me advice. My daughter is autistic and sitting her GCSE exams. Nobody offered her any special access arrangements so she’s been sitting in the main hall with the other kids and finding it really hard because of sensory distractions. The school day they can let her sit in the smaller room with the other autistic kids because the access arrangements were made some time ago and can’t be changed now.
Is there any way I can appeal to the school as I feel it’s unfair she was never offered any assistance and also she didn’t realise about the sensory issues until she was actually in the exam environment. She still has 2 weeks of exams left.
Sorry typo i meant to say the school CAN’T let her sit in the smaller room.
It will all depend what is written in her EdPsych report in terms of exam concessions. All of my aspie students (sitting their exams this year) sat their exams in the main hall with other candidates. However I have worked in schools where aspie students have been sat in smaller rooms with a much smaller cohort (such as those with extra time assess requirements) in order to give them a quieter place.
No all exam rooms are equal and unfortunately some also have very bad acoustics (such as Sport Hall spaces) etc which can amplify every single chair scrape and cough!
I fear it may be a case that your daughter has not raised concerns to the school SENCO team (I am presuming here), so they have ASSUMED that such considerations are not required. Unfortunately SENCO departments can often be very stretched staff wise so sometimes things are missed and can end up being reactive rather than proactive.
There is still another 2/3 week of exams left... so there is no harm in asking...or even that she might be permitted to enter the hall last when everyone is settled.
Thanks for the detailed response. Yes it’s a bit of a difficult one as she’s previously sat mock exams with no issues so it’s obvious the school would conclude that she’s ok. However, she’s found the real exam scenario more challenging, I think the depth of realising that this is the real thing, so her anxiety levels are off the scale and every little noise in the exam hall is distracting her.
i will ask tomorrow and see if th school can make any adjustments, but appreciate their hands may be tied.
When is her next exam? If its tomorrow..it might be worth emailing the school TODAY so that the email can be picked up first thing in the morning.
For example...I'll be in at 7:30am tomorrow at my school desk.. a whole 1.5hours before my A level students take their exam tomorrow. :)
Great advice. I’ve composed an email and sent it to the head of school, head of year and senco. Hopefully they will pick it up before the exam in the morning. Thank you so much for your reply.
No problem.... as you know...mocks are rehearsals...this is the real thing x Wishing both of you the best. Bottom line teachers want the best for they students. Even a cynic knows that to facilitate its students to get the best results possible and reach their potential is a good thing for all concerned.
Had a reply from head of year who is forwarding it to the exams department, she said they were going to try and get her a space in an alternative area to take the exam. Hopefully it will work out.
YAY! thank you for the update
Just heard back from them. They’ve put her in a small room for the exam and will be doing so for all the rest of the exams over the coming weeks. Great Result!