21st May, 2019

Angry parents say special needs school mislead them over GCSEs

Laura Kearns 23rd Feb, 2018

ANGRY parents claim they were wrongly told their children could sit GCSEs.

The Observer recently highlighted the plight of 13-year-old Charlie Medcalf who attends Round Oak School in Warwick and who was left devastated after being told the school did not offer GCSE exams.

The teenager, who has autism, says he was told if he wanted to sit them he would have to pay – with each one costing around £300.

And parents of children at the Brittain Lane school took to social media in their droves to say they were not aware the school did not offer GCSEs – something the Round Oak denies.

Denise Lee, who is mum to Leo, a 15-year-old with autism, was one of many to contact the Observer.

She said: “I specifically asked the school if he would be able to sit his GCSEs there before I decided which secondary school he would attend. The school said yes so I agreed on him going there.

“Myself and my son started to question when he will be starting them over the last two years but didn’t get a straight answer until recently. I was finally told the school no longer do GCSE’s but they do an equivalent.

“Leo wanted to do GCSEs and was quite upset when he was told the school didn’t do them anymore.

“I was pretty annoyed that as a parent I was not informed, even when i had questioned why he wasn’t doing any work towards GCSEs.

“My son now has to wait until he goes to college to do the exams.”

The Observer understands GCSEs are offered at some other SEN schools across the county.

But a Round Oak spokesman said instead of GCSEs the school offered courses aimed to prepare pupils for adult life and which were geared to future education and employment.

He added: “None of our pupils sit GCSE’s at Round Oaks School. All prospective students know the school does not offer GCSE’s before joining our roll.

“All pupils do complete accredited courses in a broad of range of subjects, enabling them to access further education or an apprenticeship, internship or employment as we can best support them to prepare and safeguard them for adult life.

“This offer takes into account the views of parents, carers, the student and other professionals who work as part of the team around the student.”

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