Teen told he cannot sit GCSEs threatens to take battle to parliament - The Leamington Observer

Teen told he cannot sit GCSEs threatens to take battle to parliament

Leamington Editorial 25th Jan, 2018   0

A DETERMINED teenager told he cannot sit his GCSEs has threatened to take his battle to parliament.

Charlie Medcalf suffers from autism and goes to Round Oak School in Warwick, which caters for those with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

But the 13-year-old from Bishops Itchington has been left devastated after learning the school does not offer GCSEs for its pupils and he would have to pay to take the exams – which cost around £300 each.

The youngster, whose favourite subject is science, said: “I am an intelligent person, one of the smartest in the school, I have been told I am a role model to younger and older kids in my school and I really wanted and still want to do my GCSEs so I have some decent qualifications.

“In my opinion, SEN schools should give their pupils the choice whether they want to do GCSEs or not.

“I really do not want to pay for my GCSEs. For the four I want to do I would have to pay around £1,140 which I would have to fund myself.”

Charlie – who in his spare time writes a school magazine, plays guitar and sings in a choir – is now looking to start a group pushing for special education schools to offer GCSEs.

He says having a learning disability should not impact on the chance for a full education.

Charlie, who hopes to become a businessman, added: “I want to start a group of people who think people like myself should do GCSEs.

“I am hoping to speak to Warwickshire County Council about this matter and if nothing is done I will go to parliament.

“Einstein had a learning difficulty and special educational needs and he was one of the smartest humans to ever live.”

But a council spokesman said instead of GCSEs the authority offered courses aimed to best prepare pupils for adult life, and which were geared to further education or employment.

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

“All pupils complete accredited courses in a broad of range of subjects. This takes into account the views of parents and carers, the student and other professionals who work as part of the team around the student.

“We are concerned a student of our school is upset and we would always endeavour to support our students and take their voice into account. We would like to encourage the student involved to speak to a member of staff in school about their worries, so we can support the student and their family.”


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