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to think we should pay for a personal tutor for dd in her GCSE year?

(95 Posts)
madmomma Fri 23-Aug-13 20:44:05

So dd is 15 and has just sat some of her GCSEs a year early, as seems to be the fashion these days. She's passed her English but has got an F in her maths and a U in her science. Obviously she will sit them again next year, but I am alarmed by the F and the U and I feel it warrants us getting her some personal tuition. I couldn't help her much with either of these subjects as I am more of an english-y persuasion. Her Dad is not able to either (not academic enough). We've had lots of discussions with her maths and science teachers and school seem to be doing what they can, but I think by this point if she is to get Cs next year she would need to be working at at least a E or D now. She already has an hour's maths tuition per week, which costs £20 and she really enjoys it + finds it helpful.

The aibu is because my husband (dd's stepdad) feels that we should be helping her/teaching her ourselves and we are letting her down if we don't. He is adamant that I or he should be spending time doing maths and science practice with her, rather than 'farming her out' to a tutor hmm

I want her to have 4hrs tuition per week for the rest of her school career, which should hopefully help her to hit those Cs next year. I think the total cost would be well over 1k but to my mind it's what money is for and it's totally worth it. We have about 10k saved for insurance against redundancy so it would mean dipping into it, which I think is what concerns dh. Dd's Dad is broke so he can't really contribute.

AIBU to think that this is a vitally important and worthwhile expense for our hardworking but struggling daughter?

cushtie335 Sun 25-Aug-13 12:46:57

Posted too soon. Meant to say that the DH was dead against it and felt we were copping out or something. I couldn't understand his logic at all. I admit I totally ignored his misgivings and got the tutor in, once he realised the improvement in DDs maths he came round to the idea and admitted he was being an arse about it.

cushtie335 Sun 25-Aug-13 12:44:49

My DD was struggling in maths which was impacting her biology and physics as well. We got a tutor to come in for 1 hour a week for roughly a whole school session and a bit more towards the exams. It made a massive difference and she passed all of them.

alimac87 Sun 25-Aug-13 11:40:55

Reading this thread with interest as DD (12) has dyscalculia. The best thing for us has been specialist teaching in school (from maths teacher with a special needs background), plus tutoring from a specialist teacher. Needs to be a specialist teacher as dyscalculics think very, very differently and need a lot of alternative approaches. DD has been assessed by an ed psych and we have school action plus. We are also using a book called Power of 2 to do daily practice on number bonds (really, really useful).

The thing us that we couldn't do the same as a tutor/teacher - we do support but it really needs good teaching. DH and I are good at maths but this is totally different. A good tutor will definitely make a difference but it needs to be someone who knows what they are doing in maths. Right now I am not sure if DD will get a C at GCSE, it will be a massive stretch for her. But we'll see - I went from F to A at GCSE myself, so you never know.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 24-Aug-13 23:08:19

candycoated I wouldn't say the high schools in this part of the world nurture tbf; they drive. DS's school was tough and somewhat "dog eat dog" on occasion but it was right for him. Just relieved we had choices dd did two yrs in a top 100, very sought after comp and it was a disgrace - mostly due to out of control behaviour and lack of appetite or moral compass to deal with it - could not criticise the majority of the academic staff who did their best in a state of near anarchy

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 24-Aug-13 22:47:22

Married Given the fees you are paying, I'm not surprised they are nurturing your DD. Most children are not that fortunate.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 24-Aug-13 22:36:20

My dd goes to an indy that generally takes the girls who do not pass the entrance exams for the very selective schools locally, ie, the girls who were level 4/5 at year 6; not level 6 plus. The school has nurtured dd.

As you say - back to the thread and I'm not so sure I would be tutoring at this stage. But I would be asking questions of the school.

CubanoHabana Sat 24-Aug-13 22:05:37

Pupil premium.

Yes but with most independent schools you need to pass an entrance exam to attend...

You mentioned that your daughter got an 8a at at the end of year 9... You would be lucky to find a handful of children in the school I am in with a level 8 in year 9... Unfortunately, my school wants to give them as many bites of the cherry as possible (as I previously this is not something I agree in, unless a child is ready for it).

The school has been in a position recently to justify this to ofsted and although they do favour the government agenda, they have also agreed that they can see that in most cases, we are justified in our actions by a large majority of our results.

Anyway though, this has become somewhat off topic and away from the op! madmomma I think you are doing the right thing getting a tutor and practising basic number bonds / tables with dd yourself.

kim147 Sat 24-Aug-13 21:51:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 24-Aug-13 21:48:07

And who pays for all these speculative entries?

Don't you think that independent schools publish league tables. They do and seem to achieve without these multiple entries. We have plenty of money but I wouldn't expect to have to spend it unnecessarily and would be asking difficult questions if a school expected one of mine to take the same exam three times if they didn't pass in accordance with earkier indocators/expectations because they weren't ready to take it.

It's inefficient. It's wasteful. It's absurd.

CubanoHabana Sat 24-Aug-13 21:41:50


Unfortunately it's due to the school league tables - a lot of schools deem it more achievable to give the children lots of chances to get the grades rather than a one off...

Personally I disagree to a large extent, as a lot of children either don't take it seriously, as they know they have more chances, or get disillusioned and switch off, or reach a C (even though target is higher) and give up as they are 'happy with a C'.

Then again, I have had children who have reached a C early (which was their target grade) and decided that they wanted to continue working and ended up with an A/A* at year 11 which they would have been unlikely to get if they had just done the one exam.

There has been significant research done on the benefits / disadvantages of early entry - although current government thinking is that it is a bad idea as children are being entered before they are ready or that children are making the expected 3 levels progress from primary but are not being pushed to make 4 or more (which is expected of MAT / G&T children).

kim147 Sat 24-Aug-13 21:35:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 24-Aug-13 21:34:01

And this is a situation facilitated by schools and not challenged by parents???????

CubanoHabana Sat 24-Aug-13 21:09:37

I teach maths and also tutor.

1) it is possible to get up to a c by the end of year 11 from a grade F, but I won't lie, it will be difficult.

2) my maths is fantastic, look at the booster packs but start at the lower ones, there are home works that change each time you do it so can be repeated.

3) encourage the use of drawing a times table grid at the start of any exam - numbers 1 - 10 along the top, then same down the side. Most children can do their 2, 5 and 10 so can fill in the rows and columns for each one. Then encourage the use of adding to fill in the rest, eg 3's going across, add 3 each time, do the same going down. You end up only needing to do a few of the bigger numbers, as you start filling them in using the smaller ones. My lowest ability class usually manage this in about 10 mins max. You then have a full times table chart written out to keep referring back t, also can be used for dividing.

4) huge issue in calculator paper is that working out is not shown, encourage her to write down anything she puts into the calculator, you can get almost 50% more marks doing this and the number of kids who don't do this is astronomical (this includes by top sets).

5) make sure your tutor knows which exam board she is sitting, different ones have a different emphasis on what is important.

6) don't worry over much about her grade, as she will be given targeted intervention with getting a c in English, schools are paranoid about getting the elusive 5a*s to c including maths AND English.

7) find out her target grade as determined by school, or if they don't know it, let me know what she got for her SATS and I can let you know what the expected progress should be (although this does not take into account her dyscalculia). If her target is a c or higher, her school will more than likely put her on a hot list for even more intervention.

8) 2 hours is what I would recommend with view to increasing nearer the exam.

9) ou can access older exam papers online, get her to do them and I am sure her maths teacher would be willing to mark them (I do for all of my gcse classes who put the effort in to do them).

10) I second the request to teacher to get her results plus printout as this really helps target areas she needs to look at.

She may have exam in November but expect a low grade, as grade boundaries tend to be higher then but look at it as exam practice. Sorry for essay! Good luck to you both.

kim147 Sat 24-Aug-13 21:03:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 24-Aug-13 21:00:00

Well it's a frigging tRagedy that we have to pay £35k pa fo basic human rights and consultation about our children.

I don't usually swear on MNet but that's fucking disgraceful. Naïve emoticon please.

Retreats back into own world. FUCK ME!!!

madmomma Sat 24-Aug-13 20:50:53

married I wasn't asked to give consent. I certainly wasn't asked for any money.

AntoinetteCosway Sat 24-Aug-13 20:48:01

It is absolutely not too late. I started seeing one tutee in the September of his Year 11-he was, at that point, predicted a G in his GCSE English (the combined paper). He got a C this summer, partly because the school stepped up efforts, partly because of me and partly because he started working his socks off. YANBU OP.

kim147 Sat 24-Aug-13 20:42:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 24-Aug-13 20:41:26

Are you also telling me that parents' don't pay nowadays for public exam entries?

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 24-Aug-13 20:40:13

kim my parents had to pay my O'Level entry fees at grammar school ( a very long time ago but I remember taking the bill home). Both my children's schools wrote to us about early entry and we had to agree to pay.

Are you seriously telling me that state schools don't ask parents' permission? How is that working with parents in a constructive way??

educatingarti Sat 24-Aug-13 20:34:36

"If such a report is affirmative and indicates diagnosed problems your dd's school will be obliged to comply with recommended adjustments."

Actually schools don't have to comply with any psychologist or other professional recommendations! Some schools will of course, but...

sometimes they don't have the resources, and sometimes they just think they know better, and sometimes they promise things but don't deliver, and sometimes ... you get the picture!

"I'm not saying the school will provide additional teaching but with a report they will at least put the OP in touch with LA specialist tutors and arrange for op's dd to have more time in some exams."

I'm not sure LA specialist tutors exist do they? And they wouldn't necessarily arrange for extra time either - see my comments above!

kim147 Sat 24-Aug-13 19:49:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 24-Aug-13 19:46:00

I'm not saying the school will provide additional teaching but with a report they will at least put the OP in touch with LA specialist tutors and arrange for op's dd to have more time in some exams. I still don't understand how, given the dd's history, she was put forward to do maths early in the first place and why the OP gave consent for it. We had to agree to the early entries for both our children and pay the entry fees and I simply would not have done if either of the children were forecast less than a C (actually I wouldn't have agreed for less than an A on early entry).

Dayshiftdoris Sat 24-Aug-13 19:35:31

For the OP.

Married if SEN support was that simple I wouldn't be going grey and would look 10yrs younger smile

ffsx2 Sat 24-Aug-13 19:16:37

Basic good numeracy is an invaluable life skill, I might very well want her tutored for that reason. But NOT because of the need for a piece of paper (GCSE in math).
OP's Dd sounds lovely but she may not be academic & I suspect will find another good path thru life.
2 of the 3 local colleges have many courses & qualifications (including some in the caring professions) that she could get onto without needing math or science GCSE.

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