Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue has called for a review of the State Examination Commission’s “reasonable accommodation” policy after a High Court overturned a decision not to facilitate a dyslexic student’s request for a reader for his Leaving Cert.
Readers can be provided to students to help them understand the exam papers, however the SEC had in this case refused the student’s request.
Deputy McConalogue commented, “This High Court case has highlighted certain deficiencies with the current system and as a result I would like to see a review of the “reasonable accommodation” policy. The guidelines used to decide whether a reader is allocated appear to be unnecessarily rigid and should be examined. We need to ensure that students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties are properly supported and the decision taken by the SEC in this particular case was clearly wrong and the High Court ruling has reflected that.
“The Leaving Cert is an exceptionally stressful time for students, and the added anxiety for pupils with dyslexia is being exacerbated by these stringent rules and the fear of being denied the assistance they need in an exam situation.
“I am calling on the new Education Minister to instigate a review of these guidelines to ensure that the students who need additional supports at exam time are allocated them without having to bring a case before the courts”.