Brisbane school plans to change exam times so year 12 students can attend Swift concert

ACCC warns on Taylor Swift ticket scam

Source: TND

A Brisbane high school may reschedule looming individual exam times to accommodate some year 12 students heading to see Taylor Swift in Sydney next month, concerned parents say.

InQueensland revealed parents’ concerns followed an email from Wynnum State High School last week.

It asked parents of students attending the interstate concert to notify the school if they would be back in time for the start of an exam block on February 27.

“We will endeavour to schedule the exams your child will sit later in the week,’’ WSHS deputy principal Lisa Hawkin wrote in an email obtained by InQueensland.

Education Queensland said the exam schedule within the block had not been set and Hawkin’s email was gauging the possible impact of a Swift concert on student attendance and exam scheduling so this “could potentially be factored in”.

The school’s upcoming exam block runs from Tuesday, February 27, to Friday, March 1.

Swift’s sold-out four Eras Tour concerts in Sydney are between Friday, February 23, and Monday, February 26. She kicks off the Australian leg of her tour with three sold-out concerts at Melbourne’s MCG between February 16-18.

But those are her only Australian concert dates – with none in Queensland.

Hawkin wrote that while it had been “communicated” many times that students should not take term-time holidays in Year 12, she had been told some pupils were going to one of the interstate Taylor Swift concerts on the weekend before the scheduled exams.

“The date of the exam block cannot be changed. However, we are not unreasonable and propose the following: The timetable within the exam block is flexible; however, all students must sit the same exams at the same time,” she wrote.

“If your child will not be in Brisbane on Tuesday, February 27, please let me know via email by Monday, January 29. We will endeavour to schedule the exams your child will sit later in the week.”

The email also stated that the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority had “strict rules around this” and exams could not be sat later than the timetabled date unless there was a medical emergency or other extenuating circumstance.

“When I have the information about who won’t be in Brisbane on the 27th, [staff member] will be able to schedule the exams within the exam block and we will know if there are any further issues. I wonder if Tay-Tay knows she’s creating such issues,” Hawkin wrote.

A handful of parents of Year 12 students, who spoke to InQueensland on the condition of anonymity, said they were concerned that exam scheduling might be affected by some students attending a concert.

“I am questioning as to why a music concert has precedence over their exams. It’s their final year and such an important year that impacts their future,’’ one parent said.

“Will it mean if exams are set later in the week of the block because of the concert, the exams will be compressed from four days in three to accommodate the students attending the concert because they may not be back on the first day of the exam block?’’

InQueensland was unable to confirm how many students were heading to Sydney to see Swift.

In a statement, Education Queensland said parents with concerns were encouraged to first speak with their child’s school.

The EQ said claims that exam timetabling had been changed due to a Swift concert were inaccurate and the school had never implied that dates would change.

“No exams have been moved. The time and days of individual exams within the block exam have not been set yet. This will happen two weeks prior to the exam block,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said it was standard practice across schools and not unreasonable for a principal to seek to understand student arrangements during exam periods to ensure they were catering for students while meeting QCAA requirements.

“Individual schools consider many factors when scheduling students’ assessment times, including apprenticeships and traineeship arrangements. Schools have flexibility within the dates to place the internal assessment as best fits subjects, supervisions and students,’’ the spokesperson said.

“The deputy principal has a strong and supportive relationship with the majority of families.”

This story first appeared in InQueensland and is republished here with permission.

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