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DB potentially missing the first two weeks of secondary school. Are we/my parents being unreasonable?

(56 Posts)
notamum3210 Sun 22-Nov-15 14:55:19

I've posted about my younger brother before- there's a big age gap between us and my parents often ask me to help them make important decisions about him/his future. I'm not a third parent but I think they value my input which is nice.

He is in year 6 and next September is due to start at secondary school- this is a new environment for him obviously and there'll likely be only a few other children from his current primary school. I'm not too old to remember how hard it was making friends and feeling shy in the first few weeks of term.

My brother has recently auditioned for a big role in a west end musical. It's not the title role but probably the next biggest and requires a huge amount of energy and commitment. We are not based in London but it's one of the roles where the theatre company will house the child performers with chaperones and pay for everything: food, tuition and fun activities for the duration of the contract. He'll essentially be moving to London in January for rehearsals and then when he starts performing in the show he'll be working in alternate weeks- one week in London being tutored and living with chaperones and other children and one week at home. His contract is due to end towards the end of September next year which will mean potentially missing one or two weeks of a brand new school.

He has performed in a similar kind of show before (though there were key differences) but back then he was in primary school and had been at the school since he was very young. It was disruptive and hard work but he loved it.

He's worked incredibly hard to get selected as the auditions were tough and we're all very proud of him. However, I'm a little concerned about the potential impact of missing a few weeks of school right at the very start and whether this will affect him making friends. We haven't signed the contract yet but I wondered whether it would be unreasonable to let him go for it?

balletgirlmum Sun 22-Nov-15 14:59:05

Normally I would say he shouldn't miss the start of secondary but in this case it's an opportunity he absolutly cant pass up. And at 11 going on 12 it will probably be his last chance.

I take it from your description it's something like Michael or Bruce?

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 22-Nov-15 15:00:03

I started high school twice. Once at a mixed school, then on appeal got into the school next door where my sister was. I made friends, found my way round. Made no difference. The kids mix and change groups lots in the first term.

Enjolrass Sun 22-Nov-15 15:01:08

It's really only a decision your parents can make.

Personally, I think the first couple of weeks at secondary school are important. New friendships are formed, it's excitement and scary etc. Dd absolutely loved those first few weeks, meeting other new students, all trying to find their way round and all that stuff.

However it's an amazing opportunity.

If it was 2 random weeks I would say the show. But I honestly can't decide what they should do, since it's the first two.

LovelyFriend Sun 22-Nov-15 15:04:38

Let him go - it will be an amazing experience that he will remember forever.

I missed the first month of high school as my parents took me backpacking in SE Asia. Don't regret anything about that decision at all.

notamum3210 Sun 22-Nov-15 15:07:55

Yes balletgirlmum it is one of those two- trying not to out ourselves too much.

Emmmder2015 Sun 22-Nov-15 15:09:18

It is hard to settle in and coming 2 weeks later isn't deal. HOWEVER, what an amazing opportunity!

What about sitting him down and explaining your concerns and why and giving him the chance to say no to the contract. While he won't understand fully how difficult it COULD be, at least he's fully informed/warned.

Personally I'd hope he took the contract and would support him if he had any difficulties in September - as I'm sure you guys would anyway!

RandomMess Sun 22-Nov-15 15:11:31

As it's something for him then Yes I'd say go for it. I'm sure he'll have the confidence to carry it off.

Can't think of any other circumstances for which I'd say it though.

Junosmum Sun 22-Nov-15 15:15:09

I was ready to say 'are you mad', expecting it would be to go on holiday or something. But actually I think it is a great opportunity, unlikely to occur again and he should go for it. How does he feel about it?

notamum3210 Sun 22-Nov-15 15:18:56

He's really thrilled as he was convinced he wouldn't get it- only a bit gutted that he might have to miss PGL activity week in the spring...I don't think the beginning of secondary school is on his agenda.

balletgirlmum Sun 22-Nov-15 15:19:45

It's an amazing achievement. He should be very very proud.

Paintedhandprints Sun 22-Nov-15 15:25:31

Let him decide? He will still know someone from primary in his new class. The show will probably give him a bit of prestige with his new classmates anyway.

TheCuriousOwl Sun 22-Nov-15 15:28:21

He should do the show.

The people I started at secondary school with were not my friendship group at the end of secondary and I went to a teeny tiny school with not much room for manoeuvre! He'll be fine. This show opportunity won't come round again.

LIZS Sun 22-Nov-15 15:28:25

Go for it. They may yet change the contract and presumably he'd be home for a week or two in September, depending on the rota, so could even yet make the first few days.

Littlef00t Sun 22-Nov-15 15:28:39

Wow this sounds like his career is on the rise! Any way you can get an early 'induction' so he know his way around the school and has made some friends in his class to ease the transition without the usual time?

SoWhite Sun 22-Nov-15 15:28:55

If it was something trivial like a holiday, I think your parents would be mad.

But for a near-title role in the West End? You'd be mad to miss that! He'll catch up and make friends no problem. Particularly with his cool story when he joins drama club.

IwishIwasinNewYork Sun 22-Nov-15 15:30:07

I would allow him to do this, huge opportunity, wonderful experience.

You must be proud of him!

My friend's daughter is lead in a west end musical - she has gained so much confidence, plus many new friends and fab memories.

My kids would rather stick pins in their eyes than do any kind of acting or dance performance btw, I am not a stage school mum!

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Sun 22-Nov-15 15:31:16

I would say let hi. Decide as well. Sounds a great opportunity.

Musicaltheatremum Sun 22-Nov-15 15:37:20

Let him do it. Not only will it be brilliant for him but if he wants a career out of this in the future then they might frown on him declining. Not directly, but it's a hard world out there. My daughter is training in the industry and knows how hard it is.

Cocolepew Sun 22-Nov-15 15:40:21

What a great opportunity, you al must be do proud!
I'd definitely let him do it, as others have said it takes a few weeks to settle into friendship groups anyway.

nuttybananas Sun 22-Nov-15 15:41:56

Is there any chance of discussing with the show organisers? that said i would let him miss the start of secondary for this reason.

CheekyMaleekey Sun 22-Nov-15 15:43:28

Who are Michael and Bruce?

LIZS Sun 22-Nov-15 15:44:40

Characters in Billy Elliot and Matilda. Very competitive to get these roles and a limited timeframe.

SoupDragon Sun 22-Nov-15 15:47:57

When I read the thread title I thought "no way!"

Having read it, it is a fabulous opportunity and should not be missed. School can wait for 2 weeks.

manicinsomniac Sun 22-Nov-15 15:50:02

Another one who was going to say YABU but for an opportunity like that I'd take him out of school for as long as needed. How amazing! (but I am a terrible stage mum, admittedly).

I teach performing arts in a school where children occasionally get west end contracts (never anything quite this big) and always take that child's form on a trip to see them. Maybe this is something the new form tutor could do so the children in his class are aware of him?

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