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The BBC's James Westhead
"Hundreds of pupils have missed out on their education at a crucial time."
 real 56k

Thursday, 3 May, 2001, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
Examiners account for foot-and-mouth
Farm in Cumbria
Many pupils have been restricted by the disease
Pupils taking exams this summer will be given special allowances if their studies have been affected by the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

With many children, living on farms and in other rural locations, unable to leave their homes, there had been concern they would be unfairly disadvantaged in official examinations.

But, in guidance to schools, the Joint Council for General Qualifications confirmed that those pupils taking A-levels, GCSEs and GNVQs would be given special consideration when grades were awarded.

To qualify for this special status, pupils must show they have been unable to complete course or fieldwork, have had time off school or have suffered emotional stress as a result of the crisis.

Those unable to complete coursework or attend exams would be given estimated grades, as long they had completed at least 35% of examinable work for GCSE and at least 50% for GCE, the Joint Council confirmed.

Special forms

The council - which represents five exam boards in England, Wales and Northern Ireland - is printing forms to be sent to teachers at examination centres, whether in areas currently affected by foot-and-mouth or not.

The guidance takes the same form as that used for individual pupils who have suffered a bereavement, an illness, or other extenuating circumstances.

Last month, the Department for Education confirmed consideration of foot-and-mouth would also be taken into account for school league tables published later this year.

Those pupils unable to get to school to sit exams would not have their results - nil - counted in the tables, thereby bringing down a school's rating as a whole, the Dfee said.

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See also:

23 Mar 01 | Education
Disease crisis hits exams
26 Mar 01 | Education
Exam worries over foot-and-mouth
27 Feb 01 | Education
College foot-and-mouth precautions
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