Help with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and exams?

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I was wondering if anyone could help me and supply me with a bit more information about my sister who suffers with CFS. She is currently 16 years old and doing her GCSEs. She spent several prior months doing mock exams which the school made her do as these mock grades would be taken as her final GCSE grades.

The school said she did not need to do her GCSEs and informed us that she would be able to transition into sixth form without her GCSEs, just her mock results.

After suffering and being very stressed doing her mocks - she managed to get grades she was pleased with. However, the school have now said that she has to do GCSEs otherwise she will not be let into sixth form at all. They have completely changed their mind and put my sister through unnecessary stress doing her mocks.

I am struggling to find a solution to all this. We were the under the impression that she did not have to take her GCSEs so she could have a long summer off before starting in September so she could fully recover and have a break from all the stress and panic caused over the last few months.

However, this is no longer the case and we are not sure what to do or who to turn to now. Even with the doctor's letter saying she has CFS the school are still making her do her GCSEs even though a few weeks ago they said she didn't have to.

What can we do? Has anyone been in a similar situation?


1 like, 5 replies


5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, it sounds like the school has treated her really badly. Did the school put in writing that your sister could just sit her mocks? If you have evidence or names you could try contacting the govenors, failing that you could contact the Local Education Authority.

    My daughter is 15, has ME and had to leave school because she was too ill to go. She now has medical needs tuition at home which is provided by a private company paid for by the LEA. The tutors said that when it comes to doing her exams she can sit them at home and they will invigilate.

    It may be a bit late to organise as exams start next week, but it may be worth talking to special needs provision at the LEA to see if they can help.

    Hope it works out for your sister x

    • Posted

      It wasn't in writing unfortunately. We are thinking of contacting our MP about it. But we will also try to contact the Local Education Authority - thanks!
  • Posted

    Hi there

    i went through a simular experiance while having CFS in my last year of A-levels, I didnt get a huge amout of understanding from my school and the majority of teachers and students.

    So I focoused on making my learning more managble, by firstly learing new ways to learn my subjects and cut the learning curve, I used various techniques from memory techniques to cutting down my subject into manable chunks.

    For energy I used a variety of Stimulents, Suppliementation, slow and easy exersize at first and transitioning to a much more healthy and energizing diet.

    For stress I would meditate, and genrally make a concious effort to relax. Also try to stay very positive.

    I would also recommend thaty you see a specialist as not GP's seem to have a full understanding of CFS, There are various reasering centers on CFS. Someone with a better understanding of the condition may be able to provide a better case for, using the mock results.

  • Posted

    Sorry to hear that your sister has such a lot to deal with.

    I don't know anything helpful about the education system that could help you but I read your post and just wondered...

    Recently my son sat his SATs and was very stressed and it was really getting him down.  He doesn't have ME, I'm the one with ME, but I had heard about a homeopathic remedy for exam stress, it's called arg nit 30 and he had that and was transformed into a happy, carefree 11 year old again.

    Just thought that it could help as I am sure that stress is a factor in any health issue but maybe more so with this one.

    Best of luck in finding the help you need.


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