In New South Wales there are four programs which deal with illness/ misadventure and exam conditions for students with any difficulty.
- School assessment policies – Determined and ruled by individual schools/colleges. They include arrangements in case of illness (hypo during an examination).
- Special examination provisions – Run by the Board of Studies for the HSC examinations.
- Illness/misadventure program – Run by the Board of Studies for the HSC. It involves illness or misadventure immediately prior to, or during, the examinations.
- Special access to universities – Run entirely by universities. Students, who have experienced difficulties during Year 12, contact each university to whom they wish to apply, and ask for information on their special access program.
In some states the school is required to send an “Application for Candidates with Disabilities” form together with a medical certificate, to the “Special Provisions for Students with Disabilities” Program at the Board of Studies. This is to be done six to twelve months prior to the examination.
During examinations the student is usually allowed to:
- Take bite-sized carbohydrate food such as dried fruit (but no noisy wrappers) to ‘top-up’ blood glucose levels throughout a lengthy examination.
- Have small group supervision or be seated near an exit so others are not disturbed if the student has to leave the room.
- Take a blood glucose meter and test strips into the examination room.
- Have a maximum of 5 minutes extra time per half hour of examination time to eat, drink, go to the toilet or check their BGLs. The student is not allowed access to the exam questions or answers during these breaks. The supervisor is required to time the breaks and extend the student exam time accordingly.
- Take insulin or insulin pump into the examination room for use as necessary
- If BGL falls below 5mmol/L, they may have one period of up to 20 minutes to take remedial action and retest your BGL. If after 20 minutes the BGL is still below 5mmol/L, an illness/misadventure application may be submitted. The BGL should be included in the application. Students can also elect to keep working.
Provisions are made on an individual basis with recommendations from your doctor. The student who experiences a hypo during the HSC (or equivalent) should apply to be treated as an “illness or misadventure case”.
Students treated in this way can usually receive a mark based on a school assessment instead of their examination mark.
You can obtain further information from your teenager’s school, Diabetes Australia or The Department of Education. Or go to Useful Links to see a list of contacts in your State or Territory.