A student has spoken of how she refused extra exam time during her GCSEs because she did not want to be seen as different. Olivia Rogers, 22, has dyspraxia, a developmental co-ordination disorder. The BBC reports.
“I just didn’t want people asking me, ‘why do you get extra time?’…You don’t want to be seen to be different,” she said.
Since year 13, she has taken advantage of the extra time, and is now studying at Swansea University.
When she was younger, Olivia says she “really struggled with maths and English” but progressed through school with some extra help.
“I still got fairly good grades in GCSEs, but I found it really stressful to actually finish.”
Denise Inger, chief executive of SNAP Cymru, which provides advice for those with special educational needs or disabilities, said she is “sure that schools will always be trying to do their best to encourage pupils”.
She continued: “I think Olivia raises an issue really about how young people feel. I think this is about really looking at equality and removing that stigma and having a general discussion.
“The equality act clearly tells us to do this and we need to be better at that – removing the stigma from having additional time for examinations.”
Now only a few weeks from her graduation, Olivia Rogers hopes that others who are eligible for access arrangements in school and at university are open and seek help.
“If you’re struggling, I would just say – persevere and if you want to get help, ask for it and there’s going to be a place at school where you can seek help and they probably will give it to you.”
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