For pupils absent due to illness in the weeks during exam preparation,
appeals and additional support procedures can be put in place in collaboration with Support for Learning Departments.
In 2007, for the first time, according to Chief Nurse, Janice McKenzie, at the Sick KIds in Edinburgh, in-patients were able to sit Standard Grades in English and Maths.
A pupil from Fife had her papers locked in the ward safe under great secrecy and security; while Chris Rainger, Support for Learning at Knox arranged to have the East Lothian pupil’s papers sent directly to my home address.
The designated exam area was in a room beside the phlebotomists’ tearoom, at the back of the haematology labs off Rillbank Terrace.
The ward play specialist wheeled the pupils through the Victorian building out of the back door and along the street. I invigilated, provided IT support and tried to keep the girls comfortable with cups of tea and hot water bottles as the temperature dropped.
Anxious to follow the SQA guidelines accurately, I packed up and posted off the papers at the end of each day.
Both pupils finished the papers exhausted but happy to have experienced this high point in their education.
Hannah’s mum said that, like any 15 year old, Hannah wanted to be able to share the experience with her peers.
She was able to discuss papers with friends on her return home and Hannah
went on to complete 6 more exams on day trips from hospital to school where special arrangements had been made . Her results were excellent.
With a ‘can do’ attitude and collaboration, inclusion can limit the disadvantages for pupils with medical conditions.