Help and advice around the clock

AS the exams season is now under way, I wish to draw TES readers' attention to a new organisation, EXAMAID, which has been set up by a group of concerned education professionals.

We shared a belief, based on personal and research experience, that "non-academic" problems could be at least as damaging as any work-based difficulties for up to a quarter of GCSE and A-level students. We also felt that many of these domestic and personal crises were extremely difficult for schools and colleges to deal with.

In addition to the mounting pressure for improved results, many of the problems are rooted in an out-of-school context. The potentially harmful consequences of deaths, divorces, separations, redundancies, illnesses, economic pressures and isolation are also compounded by less community and extended-family back-up.

We felt that this wa an area where we could usefully contribute to easing the pressures on students and teachers alike, with the potential to improve results for the benefit of all concerned.

We have established a web site, on http:members.aol.combharrisma, which offers 24-hour AdviceMail and networks for students who are ill, isolated or acting as carers.

The only financial support we have at the moment is from donations and membership. While we want to make certain that services like AdviceMail are available to all, we do have individual and institutional membership packages on offer, which include the supply of publications and regular information.

We also hope to do detailed research on the problems and report to schools and colleges.

Bruce Harris

Director ExamAid

P.O. Box 5541

Swadlincote

Derbyshire DE12 6ZQ


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