No return for absent student

Cecilie Biddle is disappointed to be told her son cannot return to Clarkson Community High School to complete Year 12. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d405882
Cecilie Biddle is disappointed to be told her son cannot return to Clarkson Community High School to complete Year 12. Picture: Emma Reeves www.communitypix.com.au d405882

Cecilie Biddle said she returned to NZ late last year because her father was sick, taking her 17-year-old son and other children.

‘My son started Year 12 over there and in the five months of being there he merited with excellence in his classes for semester one,’ she said.

However, Ms Biddle said when they returned in July and she tried to re-enrol her son at Clarkson Community High School she was told he would not be able to finish Year 12 with his former classmates.

‘I enrolled my son and daughter back into Clarkson high only to be told that they’ll accept my daughter but not my son due to this being his last year at high school and purely because he completed semester one elsewhere,’ she said.

‘His right to graduate has been taken away from him. He cannot sit the last lot of his exams.’

CCHS principal John Young said the school was working with the Biddle family to provide options for the teenager’s enrolment.

‘We have discussed a number of options with (his) family including one that will allow him to attend the school presentation evening with his former Year 12 peers,’ he said.

‘The School Curriculum and Standards Authority recommend students apply for the commencement of study by May 10 to successfully complete the education program or sufficient assessments to allow for graduation.

‘There are fewer than 10 weeks’ of Year 12 studies remaining for the year and in that short time it is simply not possible, nor is it in (his) best interests given the short timeframe, for him to attempt to complete all of the required Year 12 course work and class work for semester 1 and 2.’

Mr Young said the school had not received evidence of his academic achievements in NZ, and the family had cancelled a July appointment to discuss enrolment options.

He said they offered the family an alternative option to allow him to complete certificate-level qualifications through either the Clarkson alternative program or technical and further education.

‘The staff at Clarkson Community High School are eager to provide as much support as possible to help (him) achieve a certificate qualification in the short amount of time available over the next few weeks,’ he said.

Ms Biddle said if she had been aware that her son would not be able to finish Year 12 in WA, she would have looked at other options, and warned other parents, who had relocated, to check how it could affect their children’s education in the future should they find themselves in a similar situation.