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to think that my DS has been fucked over by his schools 6th Form's greed for accademic results

(79 Posts)
heleninahandcart Fri 19-Aug-11 16:45:56

DS, severely dyslexic, is was doing A levels at 6th Form. He acheived a D and E in two of the harder academic subjects, failed 2 softer subjects. School told DS yesterday that his results although a pass are poor and he'd be better off doing an aprenticeship. His IQ has been assessed several times is between 142 and 146. He is out, no resits allowed, no re taking the year. Only if he had got 3 passes could he have stayed. He went into school to see how he did and came out having left school sad. I've spent years trying to find every way of building his fragile self esteem. He is crushed. Didn't even receive a congratulations of what he had achieved, I was there and heard it.

This is a London school, just changing to academy status on 1 September, and its in competition with 'the' area school. He had been told on entry to 6th form that there is always the option of 2 A levels plus 2 AS levels/BTEC etc. This has apparently changed.

Does anyone know if they can just do this? It is not common practice in most schools colleges, but common in London. Of course I'm trying to see if he can find a place somewhere else, even if he has to travel outside London but he is really going to be up against it and first 'consolation' goes to colleges and schools existing students. So far nothing.

heleninahandcart Fri 19-Aug-11 16:49:02

To clarify, this was the first year of A levels so he achieved 2 AS levels (which stand for 50% of the A level results

Lougle Fri 19-Aug-11 16:51:55

Well, realistically, what are his plans? Does he get support at college?

Academic qualifications are about being able to demonstrate knowledge.

Having said that Fred Epstein (now dead) was an eminent neurosurgeon who was profoundly dyslexic. He was able to circumvent the system by convincing his college to let him audio-record all exam answers, etc. as a viva, so he didn't have to write answers.

MumblingRagDoll Fri 19-Aug-11 16:53:26

can he not go to college to resit?

MumblingRagDoll Fri 19-Aug-11 16:54:10

Also..what does he want to do?

TheseThingsAreGoodThings Fri 19-Aug-11 16:56:24

I was at school with a very intelligent lad that did badly in his A Levels and then struggled through university. He is working now as a web developer.

I never did understand how someone so bright always did so badly academically. I met him recently at a reunion and he said to me "you Know I have ADD". The penny dropped and it all made sense to me.

I know you DS does not have ADD and this is perhaps not want to hear. But perhaps your lad may do better going straight into a vocational job rather than struggling all the way through academia, feeling a failure and then getting the sort of job that you don't even need a degree for.

inkyfingers Fri 19-Aug-11 16:58:08

Can you go in to discuss his future with senior teachers - Monday? Was he struggling with them or are the results out of the blue and against the predictions? If so they really should support him to get those results. Maybe tell them you expect the same support for him leaving at 17 as those who were endlessly helped with UCAS/personal statement etc etc.

Mine struggled during AS and is leaving but, I think, relieved to be out of doing 4 'hard' subjects.

Fontsnob Fri 19-Aug-11 16:59:52

In the case our 6th form would advise not to continue. We are a completely inclusive school however it would be a waste of another year for him to carry on. We would however offer him a re-start and it seems unfair for them to not look for an alternate solution.

porcamiseria Fri 19-Aug-11 17:00:34

I agree with thesethings

dont do anything in haste, but dont push him into academia either

stay calm, dont over react and think rationally around wther he will do any better if he resits

I am sorry, he is your baby and it must be shit

thats why you should not make any hasty decisions right now

Tigerstripes Fri 19-Aug-11 17:00:54

I'm a teacher and our kids have to achieve a certain grade in their AS to continue to A2 so if that is his school policy then that may be what happened.. However, your DS should have been warned that this was a possibility if it is school policy. Did you speak to his actual subject teachers?

heleninahandcart Fri 19-Aug-11 17:01:40

Mumbling in most areas, yes college to re sit, in most areas he would re sit at school. Bar is high here so its difficult to get in half way through. He wants to go to university, design related.

Lougle Yes obviously its about being able to demonstrate knowledge. This was still 2 passes at AS level. He is not going to be able to continue to the second year Given the chance, statistically students do better in the second A level year and many do it over 3 years, with multiple exam re sits taking the best results forward to achieve the final grade.

balia Fri 19-Aug-11 17:03:06

My DB is Dyslexic and although coped with A-levels, had a breakdown attempting to do his degree. Maybe the school does want the best results (after all, we judge them on those pass rates) but that doesn't mean they aren't giving him sound advice.

NorksAkimbo Fri 19-Aug-11 17:04:05

Did he have appropriate exam dispensation given to him when he took his exams? If he is severely dyslexic, then he should have been able to access extended time, a reader, scribe, laptop...whatever would have helped him.

Fontsnob Fri 19-Aug-11 17:05:44

If he wants to do design related course (graphics or another art based subject?) then he could do an access course at college then go on to foundation later on. I teach graphics and to be honest, it's such a coursework intense course that the kids rarely achieve any bette after a re submission of coursework due to the sheer volume of time and effort it needs. This along side having to keep up with A2 work as well. It's hard.

oldmum42 Fri 19-Aug-11 17:10:26

What provision (for Dyslexia) was your DS given for sitting his exams? Was he allowed to type, have extra time? If not why not?...... Maybe that's something to raise with the school (as leverage for him doing upper 6th).

He has a high IQ, tests confirm, there for his results are related to his "disability", so could they be breaking the law by throwing him out of school?

If your DS WANTS to continue with academic education, fight them - demand meeting with school, threaten phone call to local paper if need be, etc.

Are there other schools/colleges nearby?

Another option is to work, and do A levels part-time and apply to uni a little later than usual - he may find that a better option. Even severe dyslexia need not bar you from academic study, but you need the right package of "stuff" in place to help (computers are essential!), and IME, schools are pretty bad at providing it, but Universities make much more effort.

Salmotrutta Fri 19-Aug-11 17:12:13

Norks has posted exactly what I would have - what support did he receive for his additional need? These things absolutely should be in place for him.

heleninahandcart Fri 19-Aug-11 17:14:00

Thanks for feedback from teachers, its helpful to know its not the only school.

My personal opinion is that university is not the only way. Fresh graduates were some of the worst job applicants I ever interviewed. But its what HE has his heart set on and I know, if he got in (which is another issue) he would shine once there as the emphasis is slightly different. However, its the fact that now he doesn't have to option to try that's upsetting.

*porcamiseria yes you're right, he's my baby and he's just had his world shattered for what I think are the wrong reasons.

Salmotrutta Fri 19-Aug-11 17:21:00

He is entitled to extra support though - did the school provide this?

Fontsnob Fri 19-Aug-11 17:23:22

Sorry that he is having to go through this sad and you too.

RoseC Fri 19-Aug-11 17:25:02

How was he helped in school? Did he have a SEN helped in lessons/was he allowed to record classes to help with his comprehension and learning? I invigilate for dyslexic students and the most severe cases are usually allowed a scribe and/or reader, plus 25%

If he is set on A levels would it be possible to resit at a different (and more understanding) school? I got very bad marks in my first AS exams because I had no SEN provision despite a Dr's letter stating I couldn't physically finish a paper (wrist problem). I moved schools, having been told by the first one that I'd fail at A2 and wasn't clever enough, and ended up with a laptop for exams + 25% and excellent grades.

Resitting a year has come up in two interviews and I phrased it as 'I knew I could do better, so I did'. Both times it was received very well.

heleninahandcart Fri 19-Aug-11 17:31:14

Special needs support - he got extra time in the exams but as he is not statemented (if I could have I would have but at the time it wasn't possible) they don't have to provide the rest.

There was no advice except get a job or an apprenticeship. Its totally about results in this local market. They handled it very badly and in previous years, students have continued on successfully with lesser results. He wasn't the only one. Kids all over in tears in the park next door. I had to collect DS as he was so upset.

As he wants this, I will fight with whatever it takes. Started looking at alternatives yesterday and already have appointments with some schools a distance away.

Thanks for advice re design options. Had bizzare thought yesterday of offering Head of 6th Form a blow job, so all sane suggestions welcome.

btw I was also apparently 'not accademic', thrown out of every school and have a Ph.D so schools are not always right. I'm also dyslexic, you would think we would have moved on in 35 years.

LoopyLoopsTootyFroots Fri 19-Aug-11 17:31:35

So he wants to go to university to study design... who on earth advised him to do A levels in the first place?

Usually A level students have to do a foundation degree before a design degree, whereas vocational Art and Design students don't BTEC level 3 sounds perfect - either in Art and Design, Graphic Design, Multitmedia, textiles or others.

Here is an example of a London college that does it.

LoopyLoopsTootyFroots Fri 19-Aug-11 17:33:55

(Teacher and previous 6th form adviser by the way. I would not suggest that a student with your DS's results continue with A levels. He would be miserable).

VivaLeBeaver Fri 19-Aug-11 17:49:58

Rather than an apprenticeship could he do some sort of a level alternative? I'm quite bright but crap at exams and left school after gcse year even though got nine at grade a-c. I knew that alevels weren't for me. I did a btec in business and finance which was more coursework based. I then went onto uni and have now done two degrees. Both my degrees had more coursework than exams.

goinggetstough Fri 19-Aug-11 17:52:28

Special needs support eg scribe, reader, laptop etc is not dependent on being statemented. If your DS qualified for this support using tests carried out by a suitably qualified SENCO he is entitled to it.

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