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Teen with cancer 'forced to do GCSE exams' despite spending months in hospital
24 May 2022, 17:55
A teenager who is undergoing treatment for cancer is being "forced" to sit her GCSE exams, despite spending most of her final school year in hospital.
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Grace Sanderson, 16, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia on March 11, 2022 and spends the majority of her time in a Newcastle hospital instead of in a classroom.
In the midst of her chemotherapy, the teen has been told she faces failing her GCSEs if she is too unwell to sit the exams this summer, even though she has completed and passed two full sets of mock exams.
The Northallerton High School student has missed a considerable amount of classroom time since starting chemotherapy in March and having to spend 16 days in intensive care.
Her mother, Emma Sanderson, says her daughter has only spent six nights at home since first being diagnosed.
But the GCSE exam board has said Grace will receive no grades if she is not well enough to complete the exams this summer.
Emma has since launched a petition in a bid to stop her daughter being "penalised for having cancer".
She wrote: "My daughter has sat two full sets of mock exams under exam conditions and had 100% attendance before her diagnosis and she works hard and diligently at school.
"Despite all her hard work and effort, she has been told by the exam boards that if she is too poorly to sit her exams, she will not get any grades.
"They will not consider teacher assessed grades at all. We ask that the exam boards take into account individual circumstances and award fair teacher assessed grades as they did throughout Covid.
"We are not asking them to do anything which has not been tried and tested. Our daughter and other teenagers in similar situations should not be penalised for having cancer."
The petition has 5,475 signatures so far.