So an exam board has decided how many extra marks to allow students for a range of personal trauma on or close to the day of an exam, and this is scandalous. It encourages an “excuse for anything” culture, etc.
Well, permit me some scepticism. It’s clear enough on reading the article that the only novelty here is the precise quantification of various events: for example, an extra 5% for the death of a close family relative (I can’t help thinking, is that all?) to 2% for hayfever and 1% for a headache (migraine sufferers might have something to say to anyone who thinks that headaches are merely minor inconveniences, by the way). Students have always been able to apply to schools for such consideration in exceptional circumstances, and even the critics of the move seem to accept that this should be so. Now they know exactly how much they can benefit if they do so. Or how little.
In other words, they and the schools alike now know that if they apply for extra marks because of hayfever or death of the family pet (and they’ll probably have to provide proof), the most they’ll get is an extra 2%. It might make a difference to a very small number of students on borderline grades, if getting the higher grade matters (say for university admission scores – although I can’t help thinking they’d do better to put their case directly to the university in that event). For most, is it really going to be worth the effort?