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9 GCSE'S grade C, no A level place

(174 Posts)
FrancesNiadova Fri 22-Aug-14 16:02:13

My DS has got 9 GCSE grade C' s including maths, Eng. Lang, physics, biology & chemistry. He's 2 marks off a B in 1 subject so we're having it re-marked.
He's been told that he can't do A levels & will have to do a year's re-sits. I don't remember it being like this when I did my A's, or my degree, grade C counted as a good, "O," level pass!
Is anyone else experiencing similar barriers being put in their way?

OddBoots Fri 22-Aug-14 16:05:05

It wasn't like that in my day either but then I don't think those who got a C (myself included) did very well with the transition to A Level so I can understand why most places want a B as a minimum.

What will he do for the resits, all his subjects or just the ones he wants to do for A Level?

ChillySundays Fri 22-Aug-14 16:08:28

Think it is quite common nowadays. BTECs are happy with 5 A-C incl maths and English language.

Leeds2 Fri 22-Aug-14 16:09:11

Who has said that to him? His present school?

If so, it might be worth ringing round other places to see if they would offer him a place to do the A Levels he wants. That said, it may be that his school know from experience that students with a C grade struggle to cope with certain subjects. I know at my DD's school, students have to get a B grade in certain subjects to be allowed to progress to A Level (I think in languages and maths, there may be more), but there isn't a blanket ban on students with C grades being allowed to do all A Levels.

FrancesNiadova Fri 22-Aug-14 16:19:25

No, it isn't his current school; they don't have a,6th form.
I think it's just a blanket policy.
I do remember the transition from O to A level, but I think that with 9 GCSE passes in all the traditional subjects; the above + geography, history, music & so on, plus his sciences & maths were on the higher tier papers, that it's a backward step with no real gain for him to have him repeat a year.
I think that it's more to do with their end of key stage data tbh!

Andcake Fri 22-Aug-14 16:20:34

It's funny isn't it the 'in my day thing' I was first year gcse - to do biology a level you had to have b at gcse and c in chemistry! And I struggled to get that despite an a in biology gcse.
Usually a levels were the subjects one did best in - does he need a levels to pursue what he want to do in life - in my experience a c is a good grade - average but perhaps not academic enough to study further. Maybe ask the school for a level grades of kids who went on to do an a level in a subject with a c at gcse. If you think he could get a good a level grade then push. Was there anything which put him off his stride this time

I don't know of any local schools that would let a student do A levels with just Grade Cs tbh. They'd be encouraged to do a BTEC or diploma instead.

Floop Fri 22-Aug-14 16:24:40

It might not be a bad thing. Its a huge step up to A levels, so he might stand a much better chance of getting good grades on a Btec course.

FrancesNiadova Fri 22-Aug-14 16:25:32

I've had a big accident, become disabled, had breast cancer & mastectomy in last 3 years. In the 6 months before his GCSE'S, I had 2 major operations & 1minor day procedure, + loads of extra tests for more lumps & spinal bone Mets, (clear, thank G!)
I'm still in a big air boot & not back at work.
So yeah, a little bit of manure hitting proverbial fan!

titchy Fri 22-Aug-14 16:32:26

There is no blanket policy nationally - out local sixth form asks for 5 a-c grades and only wants Bs for science a levels. He needs to ring round other colleges ASAP. Agree thoughBTECmaybe a better route for him.

FrancesNiadova Fri 22-Aug-14 16:33:56

I see what you mean Floop & Denis, but he wants to do A's & go on to Uni, maybe to do BioChemistry.
I don't know, I really don't.
Any suggestions of where to go from here?

FrancesNiadova Fri 22-Aug-14 16:35:38

!Oh sod, not Denis, Remus you silly Kindle!blush

Floop Fri 22-Aug-14 16:38:38

You absolutely can go on to university with Btecs!

The universities he'd be looking at do their admissions based on UCAS points. Each qualification gained is equivalent to points, and if you get enough - you get in.

He CAN and WILL go to uni!

Floop Fri 22-Aug-14 16:39:50

Here's the points breakdown Frances

Scroll down to the Btecs.

www.ucas.com/how-it-all-works/explore-your-options/entry-requirements/tariff-tables

grin at Denis! BTECs are A level equivalent at the right level - he could deffo go to uni via BTEC.

stareatthetvscreen Fri 22-Aug-14 16:46:57

another poster here who reckons a levels are for the very top gcsers - c = average marks so prob not best course of action

FrancesNiadova Fri 22-Aug-14 16:54:47

Thanks Remus & Floop, am sharing your info with DS now. thanks

OddBoots Fri 22-Aug-14 16:56:53

It sounds like you and your DS have been through an awful lot, it sounds like he has done brilliantly to pass all his GCSEs with all that happening.

TheReluctantCountess Fri 22-Aug-14 16:58:28

A-levels aren't for him if he has c grades. However, with such a lot going on in his life recently, he may be capable of higher grades, in which case re-sitting is a possibility with a view to A-levels later.

5madthings Fri 22-Aug-14 17:05:34

That's madness!

Are there colleges where he can do a levels? I got all b's and c's in my gcses putting in minimal effort, went to a grammar school 6th form did fine in four a levels and then went to uni.

He certainly has extenuating circumstances!

cricketballs Fri 22-Aug-14 17:07:17

My DS was accepted onto history A level with only a C at GCSE (apparently the B in literature showed he could write), the year was a disaster, he got E in history, U in law and another U in geography (he had a B grade at GCSE).

He went to a different college, completed a BTEC Extended Diploma (3 A Level equivalent).....hes off to uni in 4 weeks time with an academic scholarship having achieved Distinction, Distinction, Distinction (3 x A grade UCAS points). Its a high performing uni, so there is hope!

Showmethewaytogohome Fri 22-Aug-14 17:16:21

Firstly congratulations to your son...I am sure you are very proud of him

I have to disagree with those who have said he isn't suitable for A levels. People blossom at different times in their lives and he may or may not thrive doing A levels. My DC1 recently graduated with a 2:1 from a decent uni after not great GCSEs (6 with only 1 B) and uninspiring A levels.

Many moons ago I was a grade b/c a O level student who got straight As at A level it can be done.

Please shop around. Call all the local colleges and any that are within recent transport links. You will find a place that will take him for A levels there is time.

Good luck

5madthings Fri 22-Aug-14 17:23:20

I went on to get good a levels and a 2:1 at uni, history at uea Norwich.

It is a jump from gcses to a level but it's not impossible. I know people who went the btec route as well.

What a levels did he want to do and what is he looking at studying at uni?

Btw I hope you have a much better year next year and I wish you and your ds a bright future. He has done really well, be proud smile

fairywoods Fri 22-Aug-14 17:36:50

Frances 9 C passes is still a great achievement, that's a lot of subjects to cover and it seems this years grade boundaries for A*-C grades have been raised. It's really hard to know what to do for the best, as schools seem to encourage A Levels (we had no info on BTECs). My son is going into 6th form, but I'm worried the step up to A Levels will be too much. He's dyslexic which doesn't help.

cricketballs really interesting to read how well your DS did with BTEC - did he leave after AS as I think I read somewhere that if you complete A Levels then you have to pay for BTEC? (whereas if you only complete AS then further education at college is still free?). Thanks.

cricketballs Fri 22-Aug-14 18:03:10

Fairy - yes he left after his AS year and started at a different college with no fees to pay. Not sure what the situation is now but when he enrolled onto the BTEC 3 years of funding was available for higher education (post 16).

it was the best thing he has done and from the information from uni (also a student in 2nd year of his subject that he's been talking to on TSR) better preperation than A levels would have been as he will be assessed through different mediums, exams being only a small proportion

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