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AIBU - DS1s BTEC Course Rant - Help!!!!

(37 Posts)
FunkyFlanFlinger Tue 03-Jun-14 22:51:56

DS1 is coming to the end of his first year of a BTEC level 3 course, he will be moving onto year 2 to work towards his extended diploma, then onwards to uni.

The only issue is that when asked to choose which option to take for next year he is the only student to have chosen one particular option. Every other student has taken the other option which means his choice is unlikely to run.

There is no way he would be able or want to take that option, in actual fact this is the first year the college have offered "options", as when he started the course the option everyone has opted for was not available, and the topic that DS1 has chosen was going to be the main part of year 2. So at enrolment DS1 was advised to take the course because it was the only way to study this subject at that particular college and in our locality, no other colleges near us offer the same course.

If he stays on the course for next year and takes this option it will not be recognised by the uni he wishes to attend as it will not be in the right subject.

So does anyone have any advice as to what may happen, or what our choices could be? No other local colleges offer this BTEC local to us. In actual fact I have found out today that if he was to take the second year at another college it would not count as a BTEC Extended diploma but as two separate BTEC level3s and would not count as adequate entry to uni.

I am furious, I cannot lie, but trying to be proactive about it all, am I right to be angry or AIBU?

The college will be calling me tomorrow, would appreciate any ideas as to how I can move this forward....

Sorry I have not been more descriptive about the course, this is for persec reasons...

Many thanks

FFF xxx

AnyFucker Tue 03-Jun-14 22:54:09

I don't really understand why he is insisting on taking this particular option under the circumstances you dscribe

Just tell him to take the available one that the Uni will recognise (assuming he wants to go to Uni?). Job done.

Or am I missing something ?

whois Tue 03-Jun-14 22:57:59

Or am I missing something ?

Yes. I think the one that will run, is not recognised by uni?

magoria Tue 03-Jun-14 22:58:04

AnyF you missed If he stays on the course for next year and takes this option it will not be recognised by the uni he wishes to attend as it will not be in the right subject

Unfortunately if everyone else pick the alternative I can't see them running one just for your son. Is there any way he can cover both options some how?

Or can yo speak to his chosen uni and ask them for advise?

FunkyFlanFlinger Tue 03-Jun-14 22:59:27

AF - sorry, I was not clear in my OP.

If he takes the option that everyone else has chosen (ie not his chosen one) then the uni he wants to attend will not accept his BTEC as it will not be the right BTEC. Basically, it appears that that original year 2,as sold to us only last September, is no longer running and instead they are going to be running a different year 2 that will is not adequate to his chosen pathway.

Sorry, I don't think my OP was very clear. Apologies.

AnyFucker Tue 03-Jun-14 22:59:43

So, everyone simply takes the course recognised by Uni ? Is that not the best option ? Is it time for me to go to bed ? I am feeling a bit tired.

cricketballs Tue 03-Jun-14 23:00:09

The options available will be the units they can cover, its the weighting of the units/amount they study that render the final qualification not the units chosen. It will not be in the colleges interests to offer anything other than a university acceptable qualification

AnyFucker Tue 03-Jun-14 23:01:44

He took a different option to everyone else in 1st year then ?

It's me. Sorry, my brain appears to gone into shutdown. Good luck with it (whatever it is) smile

StarSwirl92 Tue 03-Jun-14 23:02:49

As I understand it, your DS is on a course at college. There was one option for second year when he started but the college have introduced another, this second option is more popular but is unrelated to the university course your DS had chosen. Leaving him with no way of getting into uni.

if I'm right I understand your anger but am unsure what you can actually do about it other than contacting universities and explaining.

AElfgifu Tue 03-Jun-14 23:03:27

Why would the uni not accept the other optional unit? If they are accepting that Btec level 3 course they are likely to accept all its perpetrations. If there is a subject they really want DS to have experience of, he could maybe simply get hold of some text books or journals and read up on it himself, as long as he can explain he has done that in his application, and can discuss the topic at interview, I don't for see a problem.

FunkyFlanFlinger Tue 03-Jun-14 23:03:36

I am just struggling with the fact that under these circumstances he cannot take his Year 2 at another college.

It am sitting here looking at the course directory for 2013-2014 and it quite clearly states what Year 2 will be. There were no options, it was a set course. The worst thing is that in a parents meeting tonight they were saying about all the different pathways that are possible from that course. Well clearly if this is the new Year2 then the pathways greatly affected.

Apologies for not being clearer on the course, hope that is OK.


cricketballs Tue 03-Jun-14 23:04:15

Op, just read your latest post, after going through ucas with my DS (who is doing BTEC rather than A levels), I have yet to see a particular BTEC requested, rather they ask for something within that field not anything specific (as their pool of possible students is very limited); I would check entry requirements very carefully on your DS's chosen course

LindyHemming Tue 03-Jun-14 23:05:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FunkyFlanFlinger Tue 03-Jun-14 23:06:37

They won't accept it, I have already asked the question.

Up until this year they ran a foundation year for students who did not have the right a levels or btecs but that is no longer running. A lot of unis are no longer accepting btecs for uni entry, it all depends on the course you apply really.

Apparently this is quite a common problem, either the unis change their entry requirements or the btecs change their course content.

Thanks for your responses...


cricketballs Tue 03-Jun-14 23:06:42

I will also add that due to staff implications, the optional units have to be only offered if there is the uptake/staff to run, otherwise it is not financially viable for them to run

AElfgifu Tue 03-Jun-14 23:10:12

I have never ever come across a situation when a uni only accepts certain combinations of a Btec course, FFF. All my classes goes to Uni every year, with their Btec qualifications. Not all to their first choice, but they get there.

FunkyFlanFlinger Tue 03-Jun-14 23:11:56

I am starting to think that it is down to the staff they will have available for next year. If they have not even started to recruit then they clearly have no intention of running the original year 2.

Tonight the Head of Department clearly did not want to have the conversation with me in front of other parents.

I was not confrontational, I just merely mentioned that perhaps that the pathways shown in the powerpoint were grossly misleading if they are not going to be studying the original Year 2 format. Well, perhaps that was a little confrontational, in hindsight...


AElfgifu Tue 03-Jun-14 23:13:24

It might well be partly down to the staff they have available, or to funding for resources. But I really really really can't see how it will prevent him going to uni, I really can't.

FunkyFlanFlinger Tue 03-Jun-14 23:21:15

AElfgifu, this is what the college stated tonight, but his uni choice is a specialist topic and is only taught at three unis in the UK. Two of the these do not take BTECS at all. A lot the top unis are not accepting BTECS for entry to their degrees, it was one of the first slides we were shown this evening.

Thanks everyone for your responses, I will see what the college says tomorrow.


ps: i do feel angry though as when your child signs up for a 2 year course with set topics of study you do expect it to stick to that description. This is a totally different field of study. I cannot be too specific but as an example if your child had enrolled on a business course but you discovered tonight the second year had been changed to social care then I don't think you or your child would be happy. That is an example but is pretty close to what is happening...

pps: just had a text of another mum who I met this evening. She thinks that the college is now part of a uni and the course has apparently been redesigned to act as a feeder course to a specific degree, which will be solely offered at that uni.

AElfgifu Tue 03-Jun-14 23:29:13

I understand you are anxious, but I don't think it is likely to make a difference to entry requirements.

Btecs always give you fewer options than A levels, top unis have never taken them. However, a uni that accepts Btecs, accepts them, they don't insist on certain combinations of optional units.

it is possible for your DS to show knowledge and understanding in a topic without having studied it for his Btec, he can study it independently.

ideally, yes, you get exactly what you signed up for, but pragmatically, school staff are not contracted to give two years notice if they leave, and school budgets are not that reliable either. I teach Btecs, and I think they are a great course, but sadly not rated, either by unis or schools, very much not the priority in any school department.

I'm sure there is a way round this though. I really am. i have never come across anyone turned down for this reason. Turned down for doing Btecs, yes, very common, but as I said, if the Uni accepts Btecs, they accept Btecs, whatever combination of units was done.

Your DS needs to put down 5 choices of Uni anyway, so even if he knows which his first choice will be already , still has to decide anther 4, which from the sounds of it will be different courses anyway.

FunkyFlanFlinger Tue 03-Jun-14 23:46:47

AElfgifu, I do understand your comments but the reality is that should the revised option for Year 2 go ahead then DS1 will be not be able or capable of studying that topic in any shape or form. DS1 is ASD and also has dyspraxia, this is why we were so particular about the course that he signed up for originally.

In actual fact, on his enrolment day this particular topic formed the basis of another BTEC level 3 course and even the lecturer said it was not appropriate for DS1 to study which was another reason why he ended up on this course last September.

It was actually the person who is now his course tutor who "sold" my DS1 the course because of the year 2 content.


AElfgifu Tue 03-Jun-14 23:48:54

I'm sorry for the situation you are in, and hope it gets resolved. if the other Btec course is being taught in Ds's school, he can do units from that course, instead, most Btec courses have a certain % of units that can be taken from other courses, or other levels.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Tue 03-Jun-14 23:59:54

So your ds is doing a BTEC in (say) French and German - with German as the second year and he wants to do German at university.

Tonight they have just announced that in second year the kids can now choose either German or Spanish and everyone else has said 'Yippee - Spanish!" except your ds.

And they no longer have a German teacher?

And the college is still saying "do this course then study German"

Yep - that does sound really annoying.

Any chance he could do an AS German at another college as an evening course as well as the BTEC. I realise that would be really tough but it is just one year. (I got a Cambridge offer when I was an upper 6th. I didn't think I'd get the grades so I decided I would work so hard that I would either get the grades or die in the attempt. At 17 your body can take a hell of a lot.)

AllDirections Wed 04-Jun-14 00:03:28

From everything that you've said OP I would be absolutely furious.

DD1 started at a particular college last year with one main subject and one side subject. After she started the course they then said they wouldn't be doing the side subject which was pretty integral to what she wanted to achieve. I think it's awful when they change the program once you've signed up. For DD1 it wasn't too late to change to a different college though I had to ask about the appeals process before they agreed to her starting at such a late date. That second subject has now become the focal point for her career.

Canthisonebeused Wed 04-Jun-14 00:07:51

Can he do an AS in the relevant subject alongside the btech? May be lots of work but often doable.

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