Gren­fell Tower: Pupils sat exam hours af­ter blaze

TES (Times Education Supplement) - - INSIGHT -

Just hours af­ter a huge fire en­gulfed a 24-storey tower block right next to their school, pupils con­gre­gated in an un­fa­mil­iar hall to sit their As-level maths exam.

The sixth-for­m­ers at Kens­ing­ton Aldridge Academy, which lies at the foot of Gren­fell Tower in West Lon­don, were con­tacted by the school in the early hours of the morn­ing as the blaze rav­aged the block of flats. The exam was held at nearby Ark Burling­ton Danes Academy on the morn­ing af­ter the tragic fire – and 93 per cent of the As-level maths pupils turned up. Of the four who did not, three had ac­tu­ally been evac­u­ated from the tower.

Four pupils of the school, which has been in­ac­ces­si­ble since the blaze, are miss­ing and pre­sumed dead. And a former pupil, who left the school ear­lier this year, is also miss­ing. “We have been talk­ing to Ofqual about spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tions from very early on,” says school spokesman Andy Holdsworth.

“They will make their de­ci­sion but we have asked for the ex­ten­u­at­ing cir­cum­stances to be con­sid­ered. Hope­fully it won’t have any last­ing im­pact on [the pupils’] ed­u­ca­tion.”

Since the tragedy, the school has in­creased the care and sup­port ser­vices it of­fers – such as ed­u­ca­tional psy­chol­o­gists, ther­a­pists and coun­sel­lors

– for pupils, teach­ers and fam­i­lies, and th­ese ser­vices will con­tinue to be of­fered through­out the sum­mer.

The school, which opened in 2014 and cur­rently only has key stage 3 pupils and Year 12s, will not make any de­ci­sions on op­tion choices for GCSE and A lev­els based on exam per­for­mance this sum­mer.

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