Just hours after a huge fire engulfed a 24-storey tower block right next to their school, pupils congregated in an unfamiliar hall to sit their AS-level maths exam.
The sixth-formers at Kensington Aldridge Academy, which lies at the foot of Grenfell Tower in West London, were contacted by the school in the early hours of the morning as the blaze ravaged the block of flats.The exam was held at nearby Ark Burlington Danes Academy on the morning after the tragic fire – and 93 per cent of the AS-level maths pupils turned up. Of the four who did not, three had actually been evacuated from the tower.
Four pupils of the school, which has been inaccessible since the blaze, are missing and presumed dead. And a former pupil, who left the school earlier this year, is also missing. “We have been talking to Ofqual about special considerations from very early on,” says school spokesman Andy Holdsworth.
“They will make their decision but we have asked for the extenuating circumstances to be considered. Hopefully it won’t have any lasting impact on [the pupils’] education.”
Since the tragedy, the school has increased the care and support services it offers – such as educational psychologists, therapists and counsellors – for pupils, teachers and families, and these services will continue to be offered throughout the summer.
The school, which opened in 2014 and currently only has key stage 3 pupils and Year 12s, will not make any decisions on option choices for GCSE and A levels based on exam performance this summer.