More seek exam concessions

A record number of WA students applied for special concessions in their WA Certificate of Education exams last year.

Figures supplied by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority show that 562 Year 12 students requested special arrangements before their exams last year, up from 512 the previous year.

Two-thirds of applications were from students who attended private schools, including 106 from Catholic schools and 250 from independent schools, while 204 came from public school students.

Students with a pre-existing medical condition, disability or learning difficulty can ask for help during the exams such as extra working time, rest breaks, a special desk or access to a personal computer.

The authority approved 493 applications and knocked back 35, while 34 requests were withdrawn.

About one-third of all applications, or 185, were for specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

Another 107 applications were for psychological issues such as anxiety or difficulty concentrating, while 104 students applied for concessions for long-term illness such as chronic fatigue syndrome or diabetes.

SCSA chief executive Allan Blagaich said even though applications had increased, the number was still below the proportion of people in the population with a disability who could be eligible to apply.

Separate figures show that another 609 students applied for special consideration after the exams because they fell ill or experienced a traumatic event that caused them to miss an exam or not perform as well as expected.

The West Australian

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