If possible keep in contact with your friends whilst you are off so that you know what is going on at school and what subject matters you are missing.

GCSE Examinations and Coursework

Many children with PCD have absences from school. This becomes more difficult to manage when you have started in Senior School and start your GCSE course work.

In order for a pupil to be considered for concessions at GCSE level, they need to have documented their special needs over a number of years. If your child regularly has time off school due to medical reasons it may be worth talking to the school about how concessions may be applied for at an early stage. It is advisable to keep a record of any absences from school, so it can be presented at the request of the examining board.

The joint council for the GCSE (standing agreement number four) advises that ‘Examining groups are required to take all reasonable steps to enable candidates with permanent, long-term, or temporary handicaps or indispositions to demonstrate their attainments.’ This means that under suitable safeguards, a grade can be awarded if a candidate is absent from an exam for legitimate reasons. Additional time may be permitted (normally up to 25%) for all types of examination.

If necessary, a candidate can receive treatment during a supervised break. Arrangements can also be made (subject to examining board approval) for candidates to take examinations outside their own centre (ie: at home or in hospital).

Disabled candidates may be given additional time to complete course work, or assigned a reduced amount of course work. Again, this is subject to the approval of the examining board. Many of the larger specialist hospitals have hospital schools who will be able to give you further information on this subject.

Catching up with work missed

If you know you are going to be absent from school ask the teacher to provide you with details of the course work they will be covering. If you have unplanned absences on a regular basis then ask a friend to provide copies of their work/notes as soon as you return to school.

If you are doing a course that requires working on the school site such as D&T or Art – ask the teacher if you are permitted to work at lunchtimes or after school to keep up.

Case Study