Students from independent schools requested special concessions in WA Certificate of Education exams last year at a higher rate than those from public or Catholic schools.
More than 40 per cent of applications for special exam arrangements for students with a medical condition, disability or learning difficulty came from the independent sector, even though it educated only 28 per cent of exam candidates.
Students can ask the School Curriculum and Standards Authority for special exam provisions including extra working time, rest breaks, a special desk or access to a personal computer.
Schools must help students and their parents gather evidence of a student's disability to support their case, such as timed essay examples or reading test results.
The authority received 512 applications last year for special exam arrangements, of which 41 per cent were from independent schools and 21 per cent from Catholic schools.
Thirty-eight per cent were from public schools, even though they produced 44 per cent of the students who were enrolled to sit at least one exam.
About one-third of all applications were for specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia.
Another 98 applications were for psychological issues such as anxiety or difficulty concentrating, while 87 students applied for concessions for long-term illness such as chronic fatigue syndrome or diabetes.
WA Secondary School Executives Association president Rob Nairn said it was "a bit of an anomaly" that more public school students sat exams but fewer applied for special provisions.
Separate figures show that another 638 students applied for special consideration after the exams because they were ill or experienced a traumatic event that caused them to miss an exam or not perform as well as expected.More than 47 students reported being affected by the death of a close friend or relative, 43 had a broken or injured leg, 39 had gastroenteritis and two had appendicitis.
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