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To want dd to leave school at 16

(185 Posts)
ISBN1966 Fri 31-Jan-14 18:23:54

Which of course won't be possible, as the school leaving age has been raised.

She is in year 10 right now. She does no work at home or at school and hasn't since leaving primary. She is late for school 3 days out of 5, is rude to many of her teachers and takes days off when she feels like it. She'll probably scrape c grade passes in English, Geography, Sociology and Drama but will fail everything else.

I want her to leave school and try to get a job. In fact I'd like the school leaving age to be 14, like it was when my dad was young. Maybe I could persuade someone to give her a job, sweeping up hair in a hair salon, clearing plates in a restaurant or working as a cleaner. She hasn't got much to recommend her except cheapness as minimum wage legislation wouldn't apply.

She needs the world to teach her a lesson that you tend to get out of life what you put in in terms of effort, unless you are unlucky with your health. We have been unable to communicate this to her - she does sod all but still has a comfortable room in a private house (ours) access to nice food, family holidays, clothes, make-up etc.

I dread the thought if her staying on while making an utterly half arsed attempt at some pointless post 16 qualification.

FlyingDucky Fri 31-Jan-14 18:26:11

I agree. Why inflict her on teachers for another year? Although she doesn't sound employable either. She may grow up a bit in Year 11.

tiggytape Fri 31-Jan-14 18:26:27

She doesn't have to stay at school after 16 - it isn't the school leaving age that has been raised, it is the requirement that students continue to learn after 16
She can get a job if it meets the training requirement.
As long as she is in education or approved training of some kind that's fine. Nobody's going to make her do A Levels or stay in school

morethanpotatoprints Fri 31-Jan-14 18:29:31

that's correct just as tiggy states. There are also lots of vocational subjects available at colleges from 14.

following Fri 31-Jan-14 18:30:41

sounds like a lot of 14/15 year olds ,in yr 10 it still feels a long way off till you leave ,some kids suddenly grow up 6 months before leaving school and knuckle down and get better grades , hope she is one of them .

Wolfiefan Fri 31-Jan-14 18:31:24

Or you could try and do your job as a parent and stop her being rude/late?

louloutheshamed Fri 31-Jan-14 18:32:13

She could do a btec or other course course in hairdressing. She doesn't have to stay at school just in dome form of training.

hmm at how low your expectations of her are though.

AuntieStella Fri 31-Jan-14 18:32:15

The school leaving age has not been raised.

The requirement to remain in training includes apprenticeships etc, and that might be a good route for your DD. does her current school have adequate careers' advisers? They should be able to point her in the right direction.

What does she actually want to do?

ISBN1966 Fri 31-Jan-14 18:35:17

"I agree. Why inflict her on teachers for another year?"

I get regular phone calls home about her behaviour. The last one was from her science teacher on Tuesday. I suggested that she shouldn't expend any more professional energy on my dd as she is pretty much unteachable at present. Apologised at length. Teacher said "I just want to say thank you for saying that to me."

TA for that Tiggy. I shall start to look around. She's good with small children. Maybe a year or so earning a poverty wage in a private nursery might do the trick.

cory Fri 31-Jan-14 18:39:11

It does need to be a formal apprenticeship arrangement, though, to make sure that she is given adequate training to move forward and carry on working longterm.

What the government want to avoid is for 16yos to leave school, take a short term low qualififed job where they learn no skills and get sacked when the manager takes on the next fresh faced 16yo.

Melonbreath Fri 31-Jan-14 18:39:30

Don't buy her the clothes and makeup so she learns nothing in life is free.
I failed my a levels as I was a spoiled little brat blush too intent on having a good time and my mum played hard ball. No money until I got a crappy job in a launderette, paid rent to my parents and got no extras. I was begging college to take me back to retake before 6 months passed after I realised this would be it forever.

ISBN1966 Fri 31-Jan-14 18:40:42

Loulou - she left primary with level 5's in everything despite being an august birthday. She is very bright, just phenomenally lazy and a poor attender. I used to dream of her going to university but I'm realistic enough to appreciate that this won't happen if she steadfastly refuses to do any work. And she WILL NOT WORK, no matter what we do, and no matter what her teachers do.

ISBN1966 Fri 31-Jan-14 18:43:31

She has threatened us with ongoing school refusal if we don't buy her make up. And she will see it through, because she's like that. She's done it before. The fines are significant - we really need to avoid that happening.

Tryharder Fri 31-Jan-14 18:46:14


Academic achievement is not the be all and end all despite what the majority of people on here think.

She may well find her niche in life in something other than 'achievement' either at school or in a 'good' job.

Nanny0gg Fri 31-Jan-14 18:47:21

If she won't work in school what makes you think she'll work in a lowly paid job?

And the fines may be significant, but she's got you over a barrel. Put make-up and clothes money towards the fines.

What does the EWO say? Surely the school knows how intransigent she is? Have they no strategies?

And why do you think she is the way she is? There must be a reason.

JapaneseMargaret Fri 31-Jan-14 18:51:28

God, I have to say, this is NE of my greatest fears for my children.

Upper high school qualifications (I'm not in the UK, so am attempting to be generic here - hopefully you know what I mean) are the key that unlocks life, as far as I am concerned. And this doesn't necessarily mean going on to university.

A child who leaves school with no useful qualifications, and gets a job sweeping hair in a salon or flogging fries in McDs has not only glass ceilings above them, but layers and layers of locked and bolted steel ceilings that they will never get through without phenomenal levels of gumption and innate entrepreneurial-ship.

Which, it has to be said, most people who are always late for school and have zero interest in learning tend not to have.

I honestly don't know what the answer is. Without some level of upper HC qual, she will be seriously disadvantaged. The research and evidence shows this.

cory Fri 31-Jan-14 18:51:32

Could you possibly work with the school to cut the ground from under her feet? How do you think they would react if you were to make an appointment and go in and explain exactly what you've told us and ask them for help? (depends on the school of course)

You've still got another year and a bit before you can even move down the apprenticeship road and she could make your life pretty miserable if she decides to up her price for attendance. It's also quite miserable for her to feel she has the power to hold her whole family to ransom- it's unsettling for a teen to feel they can run the show.

I'd be tempted to call her bluff by speaking to the HT and the EWO.

There is always the risk that she would get sacked from a job as well and then you'd still be risking a fine.

JapaneseMargaret Fri 31-Jan-14 18:52:12

One of my greatest fears.

ISBN1966 Fri 31-Jan-14 18:52:24

She has indeed got us over a barrel.

Nobody knows why she won't work.

She's been discharged by CAMHS. Apparently her mental health is fine. She has friends. Many of her teachers find her very personable. She just doesn't want to do any work, so she doesn't do it.

KepekCrumbs Fri 31-Jan-14 18:55:30

Are you about during the day or do you work?

JapaneseMargaret Fri 31-Jan-14 18:57:56

So she's happy staring out the rest of her life (decades and decades ahead) earning enough to pay the gas and electricity, maybe enough for rent and a pot noodle for dinner, and that's it?

No nice things, ever, for the rest of her life.

Does she understand the bigger picture, at all?

A lot of teens don't. Is it worth trying to paint a picture of her adult life if she continues down this route?

ISBN1966 Fri 31-Jan-14 18:58:37

The school are great. They have made a lot of allowances for her. If they had followed their discipline policy to the letter she would be in a pupil referral unit by now. They are not escalating things. She doesn't attend detentions generally, refuses to turn up for controlled assessments, bunks off lessons if she's got work due. She has a huge portfolio of work avoidance strategies, that she skillfully juggles to maintain a place at school and dodge formal punishments.

ISBN1966 Fri 31-Jan-14 19:01:42

"So she's happy staring out the rest of her life (decades and decades ahead) earning enough to pay the gas and electricity, maybe enough for rent and a pot noodle for dinner, and that's it?

No nice things, ever, for the rest of her life.

Does she understand the bigger picture, at all?"

She lives on a different planet where the future doesn't exist. It's almost like trying to explain the concept of a long term future to a toddler.

cory Fri 31-Jan-14 19:02:17

Sounds very difficult.

How does she herself feel about an apprenticeship? Any chance that you could hold that out as an incentive?

If she does like the sound of it, it might be worth pointing out that they are still fairly rare and that the prospective employer will ask her school for a reference- so the quickest way of escaping the school may paradoxically be to go along with them for a bit.

Nanny0gg Fri 31-Jan-14 19:02:38

Give her a deadline to get her act together or maybe the referral unit is the way to go.

Point out that you won't be subbing her into her 20s unless she is studying so she best start thinking about the jobs she'll be able to do to live.

What does she actually say about it all?

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