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A-level help for the disabled

I find it interesting that George Turnbull of the Associated Examining Board is "student-friendly. All students need to be able to understand the questions", he says. (TES, October 28).

Along with most other boards, the friendliness seems to evaporate when it comes to special needs students taking A-levels. Extra time certainly - but this is no help to an able candidate struggling with the problems of word recognition. In spite of statements to the contrary from various boards, most universities do provide back-up for such disabilities for both termly and final exams. A reader for such a student is acceptable, just as it is at GCSE.

Why then do boards, such as AEB, come out with such statements, when in reality an almost impossible barrier is placed in front of a few students at a crucial time of their life. At GCSE and university finals, the need for help is recognised, why not A-level as well?

C KIRKHAM

Head of mathematics

The Coleshill School

Coventry Road, Coleshill

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