Predicted grades not good enough for where dd wants to study...worth applying anyway?

(69 Posts)
dottyaboutstripes Wed 28-Sep-11 22:46:28

DD wants to be a primary school teacher and has predicted grades of CCC. All the unis she is interested in ask for BBB. Today, her head of 6th form told her there was no point in even applying to her preferred unis and suggested other possibilities (apparently there are very few asking for the kind of points she's predicted and she's not wanting to go to any of them)

My question is - is there really no point in even trying? That seems utterly defeatist to me! In all honesty, I don't think she's capable of achieving Bs, but is there really no chance in hell that she might possible get offered a place somewhere she actually would like to study? I mean, isn't it entirely possible that applications will go down with the £9k fees being introduced etc etc?

harbingerofdoom Wed 28-Sep-11 22:50:01

If she can't even get Bs why be a teacher.

TotallyUnheardOf Wed 28-Sep-11 23:00:17

If your dd is predicted to get CCC and the grades that her preferred universities are asking for are BBB then she is really unlikely to get a place. They will have plenty of people predicted BBB or above and they simply won't make her an offer. Obviously if she were to do unexpectedly well in her A'levels and get the BBB that she'd need, then she could apply to get in through Clearing, but if she actually gets the grades that she's predicted then I think he's either going to have to change her career choice or opt for an institution that will make her a realistic offer.

No-one knows what the effect of the £9k fees will be, but I seriously doubt that they will reduce applications very much. Moreover, the government's plans to allow universities to take in more high-performing students (above their normal quotas) will almost certainly exacerbate the distinction that you've already come up against, between the more prestigious institutions which can afford to be fussy about who they take (grades-wise), and the less prestigious ones, which will make a low offer because they know that they are going to be struggling to fill their places. So, if the fees do result in a reduction in the number of applications, it'll be the places that are already in a weaker position that will suffer. [Disclaimer: I am crystal ball gazing here... could be totally wrong.]

I think that your dd needs to think seriously with her teachers and careers advisors about what kinds of things she could do with the grades that she's predicted. I hope that she's OK, dotty. It must have been hard for her to have heard that. sad I hope she can find a solution that will be good for her in the longer term.

MindtheGappp Wed 28-Sep-11 23:04:04

She needs to work on her teachers so that they will up their predictions!

This year is unknown territory with UCAS given the fee rise. I don't see any harm in applying to a couple of blue sky places. You do not have to pay anything to apply.

bluerodeo Wed 28-Sep-11 23:09:21

yikes - c grades I would say are not university grades. And I don't want my children being taught by someone who scrapped into or through university.
sorry, not what you want to hear i'm sure.
best of luck

dottyaboutstripes Wed 28-Sep-11 23:13:00

OK so my take is that there's no point applying to places where she really doesn't want to go. And I kind of feel well why not at least give it a go. We are meant to be going to an open day at her number 1 choice next week and after what was said to her today, she's saying why bother? Totally you make a really valid point.... I will be so interested to see what happens. DD says that many of her friends have decided not to apply simply due to the fees situation. What a shame.

She would be an absolutely excellent teacher in KS1, despite apparently being thick harbingerofdoom . Maybe she will have to find another route to getting there, but I really think she WILL get there one way or another. When I sat my A levels (predicted AAA but got a poxy ABB wink, my friends who wanted to go into primary teaching only needed EE!

BTW there's no point in upping predictions to get an offer which you'd never manage to achieve the points for is there??

dottyaboutstripes Wed 28-Sep-11 23:13:46

"scrapped" through?? I think there is more to teaching small children than mega brain power personally.....

bluerodeo Wed 28-Sep-11 23:19:17

I didn't say your daughter was thick dotty. she might indeed make an excellent teacher and there are different routes into teaching than through a university education.

FlumpsRule Wed 28-Sep-11 23:21:26

Maybe the 'EE' grade teachers in your day are the ones who have failed to push your Dd up to the BBB she needs. Good luck to your Dd; if she wants it badly enough, she will get there.

dottyaboutstripes Wed 28-Sep-11 23:27:05

I really do feel for my DD.....she got all A grades at GCSE but A levels have been a harder struggle for her (and she had major surgery in yr 12)

I was shocked when my friends told me they only needed EE for primary teaching way back when....but I'm not sure I can blame the teachers dd had in yrs 1 & 2 for her predicted A level grades!

DownbytheRiverside Wed 28-Sep-11 23:31:09

I'd second what bluerodeo said, look for alternative routes into teaching. Although I am a bit [shocked] that you think she'd be a good KS1 teacher, but don't mention KS2. Why is that?
FWIW all the recent graduates I've worked with had a 1st or a 2:1 with extra bling added before they were accepted onto the PCGE.
What does she think being a primary teacher entails?
Has she considered nursery nursing? I worked with some fantastic NN and they were qualified to teach EY. Don't know if the grade requirements are lower though.

DownbytheRiverside Wed 28-Sep-11 23:34:08

'but I'm not sure I can blame the teachers dd had in yrs 1 & 2 for her predicted A level grades!'

I think it would be a bit of a stretch to claim that as extenuating circumstances. smile
'In all honesty, I don't think she's capable of achieving Bs' Then I think she'd struggle with the academic demands and the level of education required for teaching now.
Alternatives?

EvilTwins Wed 28-Sep-11 23:43:08

I am Head of 6th Form in a smallish school. There is no point you DD applying if she is not likely to get the grades. The UCAS website has masses of information about what each university wants for each course- UCAS are very clear that researching before applying is absolutely essential, and that there is no point, given the amount of information available about entry requirements, in students applying for places they are not going to get the grades for. I would suggest that your DD uses the UCAS APPLY function to research places she IS likely to be accepted into, and think again about where she would like to go. Given that students DO have to pay to apply it makes no sense to apply for courses for which she doesn't meet the requirements. UCAS does have a process, which is put into place before Clearing opens, whereby students who achieved higher grades than were predicted can reject the place they accepted and try for a place with higher entry requirements.

housemum Wed 28-Sep-11 23:48:41

Dotty - have you thought about Open University? DD1 wanted to do Psychology but needed 3 C grades, she got BCD and was turned down (the only uni with lower grades for the course she wanted she really doesn't want to go to for various reasons). She has landed a full time supermarket job for now (incredibly fortunate) but says that she would still like to teach - she is going to look into Open University, although it would require a lot of discipline to study. Fees wise it is reasonable, I had a quick look and they don't take parental income into account, so she may get some of her course as a grant as she is on a low wage and has had no other Further Education.

DD1 will not set the world on fire academically, but she does understand what she studies (even though her exam recall isn't great) and has a way of speaking with younger kids that communicates well (going by her dealings with younger siblings and as a helper at Scouts)

Please, don't encourage your daughter to apply to universities that want higher grades. She won't get an offer from them. End of. She should research very carefully universities that will make her an offer.

However, having said that, this was the situation that DS1 was in. His predicted grades were very similar, based on the fact that at AS level he achieved CCCE.

He applied to relevant universities, (i.e. the ones that would make offers for these grades) and had offers from all 5 of his choices.

In the event, he really pulled his socks up and achieved AABA* in his A2s.

So he withdrew from the place he had accepted, and applied to better/more prestigious universities. This did mean that he had to take a gap year, which we hadn't planned for.

But he has ended up with a place in a top 15 university, and has also worked for a year - gaining himself very useful experience for his CV.

The current system is ridiculous. It would be far better if they could apply once they have their results.

housemum Thu 29-Sep-11 00:01:05

Sorry, skimming too many threads at once, realised she still has another year - but agree with above, don't apply to places you won't get into as you won't get the offer.

dottyaboutstripes Thu 29-Sep-11 00:10:22

Ok, so a rethink is needed. I had mentioned OU in fact, and the idea of maybe getting a job to earn some dough, then looking again as a more mature student. I think she could apply to her preferred choices on other courses also.
Thanks for all the thoughts & comments. Dd really wants to teach ks1. She's not interested in being a nursery nurse. I honestly believe she has an excellent temperament etc for this and watching her with her much younger siblings makes me totally believe in her.

DownbytheRiverside Thu 29-Sep-11 00:22:18

I think you are both misunderstanding what teaching in primary schools is about. It is not enough to have a pleasant temperament and enjoy the company of young children.
There's quite a lot more to it than that. confused

housemum Thu 29-Sep-11 00:25:10

Perhaps to help her case in future, after school/college, look at teaching assistant jobs? Might not be so easy straight out of school, I have no experience of what they look for though if she is studying for a relevant degree it might have some sway, it might be useful experience to get on a PGCE course after her degree.

dottyaboutstripes Thu 29-Sep-11 00:27:54

Ok I am knackered and can't even think straight but when I say watching her with my other kids, I'm talking about helping them with homework, reading etc. She has a placement at a local primary during her free lessons etc blah blah
Or maybe it's about playing hopscotch and Doctors & nurses grin
She should just emulate her mother and be a sahm eh? Though of course I have a degree which qualifies me for that wink

DownbytheRiverside Thu 29-Sep-11 00:32:20

You asked, we responded.
Your daughter is at liberty to do whatever she likes, as are you. But if you are unhappy with the responses you can just ignore them.

I had a SAHH with an Oxbridge double first and a PhD. Don't see why that's relevant though.

dottyaboutstripes Thu 29-Sep-11 00:37:37

I'm not unhappy and not ignoring. I'm tired and sad for my dd and the tone of what I'm typing is being lost or misunderstood. It's been a very long time since I applied and was a student. I went for the sake of studying with no clue what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Met dh, he did his phd, got knocked up, still don't know what I want to do!

DownbytheRiverside Thu 29-Sep-11 00:49:39

I'm sorry, I'm tired too. I've just put in yet another 8-6 day at work, and have spent a further two hours creating resources for class tomorrow.
You just seem to have a rather low opinion of what a KS1 teacher does, and that can be quite galling to those doing the job. I'm also an NQT mentor.
Teaching now is a highly-skilled and demanding job with a continuous learning curve, very detailed planning and assessment requirements and academically demanding. Even if the children you teach are merely adding numbers to 10 and learning their phonemes.
I do wish you and her luck, I have one teenager and one at university. Sometimes their dreams don't come true, however much you want them to.
Try other routes to the same goal.

duchesse Thu 29-Sep-11 00:57:35

Might be worth it for next year, after the bun fight that was this year's university entrance to get ahead of the fees increase, I reckon things will be quite quiet next year. However, is she certain that is really what she wants to do? Without wishing to sound rude, the calibre of teachers is actually quite high (contrary to what the Daily Fail would have us all believe) and if she's going to struggle through a teaching degree she might be quite miserable as a teacher.

However, many very bright people do not get good grades at A level (have just experienced same with DS) but excel at their degree. One of the brightest people I know just got a first in engineering despite not having a qualification to his name (not even a GCSE and basically no post primary education) There is supposed to be some quite strong correlation between A level results and degree results (as you'd expect really)

Having said that, if she is very keen and focussed, she should let nothing stop her, even the opinions of her teachers.

DownbytheRiverside Thu 29-Sep-11 01:00:46

'Without wishing to sound rude, the calibre of teachers is actually quite high'

smile

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