Unkind board

9th December 2005 at 00:00
A pupil has their first-ever epileptic fit during a GCSE examination. What words could you choose to describe this event? Unexpected? Distressing? Traumatic?

Not for the regional officer of the exam board AQA, who, during her review of the exam officer's year, stated that students experiencing their first-time fits were usually "inconveniently" situated in the middle of the room. ("Pants on fire, but it's only an exam", TES, November 25).

These fits are reported to have "blighted" the examination season. Having taught many pupils with epilepsy, the word "inconvenience" does not immediately spring to mind.

If this story doesn't illustrate the gap between the world of human values and the world of assessment, league tables and results, I don't know what does.

Anne Krisman

Richmond Road, London E11

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