Feel DS has been shafted by the education system

(6 Posts)
TheMouseBitesBack Mon 04-Aug-14 12:53:08

DS has Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia and Dyscaluclia. At 15 paediatrician stated he has Global Developmental Delay. He was finally statemented 3 weeks after finishing school, during study leave.

DS left school with GSCE E in Maths and D/E in English.

Due to having queried the school re DS being told to leave his laptop logged on at the end of one exam, a TA telling him what to write during a controlled assessment (work withdrawn by exam board) and passing BTEC Business, despite not understanding the majority of topics, being 6 assignments behind going into the second year, truanting from the lesson for the last 6 months and refusing to attend catch up sessions.

Ironically he failed BTEC IT, despite only taking one module and it being deemed considerably easier to pass than Business.

So despite on paper DS having qualification for a level 2 course, we weren't sure of the validity of his results. After discussion with the college we applied for a level 1 course.

DS was apparently assessed as working at Entry Level 3 in maths and English. He completed these and passed the level 1 course with distinctions.

He went on to do a Level 2 course, passing most of the written components with distinctions. He achieved level 1 in maths and English.
Unfortunately, it now appears that once DS achieved a level in Maths or English (by Christmas) the lessons stopped.

He now wants to move on to a level 3 course, only he can't because he doesn't have level 2 in maths or English, so he will have to do a certificated progression course which is allegedly a level 3 course. The college can offer GCSE Maths, but not English (vocational College), so he will need to go elsewhere for that.

I'm fuming because I started work at a different college earlier this year and students there are generally expected to be working at the same level in Maths and English as the course they are on. So even if they managed to get on a level 1 course working at entry 3, there is the expectation they will achieve level 1 by the end of the year. If they can't they are on the wrong course. DS wasn't even given the opportunity to try level 2.

As DS has a level 2 (vocational) qualification he can't do another level 2 course elsewhere without paying, but he could do stand alone FS level 2 maths and English.

Or he goes to college to try and get his GCSE A-C in Maths and English. However, because he's only got level 1 qualifications he may not be accepted.

The whole system stinks.

smokepole Mon 04-Aug-14 21:08:41

Mouse. As someone who suffered at school with similar ( undiagnosed) symptoms to your DS , I really sympathise with you.

When you say level 3 , I am a bit confused do you mean A level equivalent exams?.

Your DS has shown with his excellent grades, that if he is on a suitable course and with proper help he can achieve. I don't understand though why he cant re take his GCSEs in English/Maths because previously he only obtained D/E grades. The whole system is supposed to make sure that pupils/students get at least a C.

TheMouseBitesBack Mon 04-Aug-14 22:52:50

Thank for responding Smoke.

Thing is DS wasn't diagnosed late. We had him assessed and diagnosed when he was 6. Reassessed when he was 9. Unfortunately we were fobbed off by CAMH and his schools weren't particularly bothered. Not helped by inflated SAT scores at KS1/2 and 3, plus the concerns with his GCSE's.

We paid for a weekly private tutor for Maths and some English from 6-16.

Level 3's are supposed to be equivalent to A levels, whether this actually translates in reality is debatable.

GCSE D-G is equivalent to a level 1 qualification.
Entry level 3 is lower than D-G; what you would expect the average 10 year old to be able to attain. qualification comparisons
Which suggests that DS's ability dropped significantly between school and college, or the college assessed him incorrectly (via BKSB) and entered him for a lower qualification level than he had already attained. Which was compounded going onto the Level 2 course. So two years at college and he hasn't made any apparent progress in Maths or English.

He can retake his GCSE's in a year, but this will mean doing a progression course; he will get a certificate at the end for the vocational aspect, but not a qualification. The college are calling this a level 3 course, however he won't have a recognised level 3 qualification. So if he decided to go onto a level 3 course we would have to pay full costs. At other colleges progression course are classed as level 1.5 or 2.5 to get round this.

What frustrates me is that he wasn't given the opportunity to do level 2 Functional Skills or re-take GCSE's in Maths or English at college. Once he'd achieved his 'level' the lessons ended (only found this out recently).

Where I work students doing a level 1 or 2 course are expected to attain the same level in Maths and English by the end of the year. For example, if a student gets their level 1 by Christmas, they will continue with the lesson being given work towards level 2. I have known of students gaining high grades in their level 1 exam then being put in for their level 2 the following month. Lessons don't stop for students, unless they have achieved level 2.

samned Tue 05-Aug-14 22:08:50

The educational system has its own nuances and rules with regards to parents participation and how parents interact with each other is on a regular basis. The conduct of the child encouraged is always courteous the system has lots of subjects and what subjects you pick will determine the possible future careers so it is very important to talk to the teacher about the subjects the child should pursue. Schools are always very specific about what their requirements are and you have to make sure they tell you what they are not the other way around. Its like you are still in school!!!

samned Tue 05-Aug-14 22:38:25

The educational system has its own nuances and rules with regards to parents participation and how parents interact with each other is on a regular basis. The conduct of the child encouraged is always courteous the system has lots of subjects and what subjects you pick will determine the possible future careers so it is very important to talk to the teacher about the subjects the child should pursue. Schools are always very specific about what their requirements are and you have to make sure they tell you what they are not the other way around. Its like you are still in school!!!

Greengrow Wed 06-Aug-14 13:54:05

It sounds a bit complicated. If he made a mess of ghi GCSEs but thinks if he re does them he will get better grades can he not just do proper GCSE retakes? I am sure that would look better on a CV than these level things no one has heard of.

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