Stone King Partner Laura Berman has been quoted by education publication Schools Week in an article investigating the situation for critically ill pupils that were due to sit their GCSE exams this summer.

The article explores the challenges faced by three year 11 pupils who have developed life-threatening illnesses or been involved in devastating accidents in the run up to their exams, including a call for pupils in this situation to be given teacher assessed grades.

On the question of whether one of these pupils could challenge the exam boards on the grounds of discrimination, Laura Berman gives an objective view that the student could potentially make a claim for indirect discrimination or a failure to make reasonable adjustments. However, she adds that indirect discrimination can be justified if it can be shown to be ‘a proportionate means of achieving legitimate aim’.  She notes that the exam boards are currently stating that there is no mechanism to allow teacher assessed grades this year, as these were awarded pursuant to a temporary COVID framework and the examinations process already has measures built into it that assist students in this position.  

To read the full article, please go to schoolsweek.co.uk/Why are our sick children forced to sit exams