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DS wants to do sixth form "for the experience" and doesn't even need a levels.

(121 Posts)
PrinceCharming80 Thu 25-Aug-16 20:06:21

DS wants to end up in the police. He's a smart lad. There's a public services course at the local college that I thinks for things like the police but he says it does focus a lot on the army and that he just really doesn't want to do it confused he wants to go to a local sixth form joined to a school, he is smart but didn't receive any As in GCSEs (I'm not fussed, I'm very proud of his grades) and wants to do a levels, for the heck of it (his words) he says he wants to meet new friends and just learn a bit more before he actually goes down that whole chosen careers route as he would just like to build his confidence up and learn more about life. I'm just worried that he is going to find them too tough but then get a bit too attached to this experience and then spend 3 years getting a levels he doesn't need IYSWIM? When maybe he could be doing public services or something a bit more related to his chosen career.

I'm just not sure how I feel about this. I saw 2 threads on here recently about a levels and I thought they were helpful but none were exactly to my son's experience, so wanted to see what people's thoughts were! Thank you smile

SprogletsMum Thu 25-Aug-16 20:07:48

I think if he wants to do then you should encourage him, it's always good to have a back up plan!

Nightmanagerfan Thu 25-Aug-16 20:08:21

A levels are two years...

I would say he should definitely do them - qualifications may not seem important but they will open doors: what if he wants to do a degree later on or has a career change? Also A levels teach a level of critical thinking that is super useful for life in general.

sooperdooper Thu 25-Aug-16 20:09:14

I think doing A levels is a good idea and gives him more options in the long run, which can't be a bad thing

CremeBrulee Thu 25-Aug-16 20:11:15

It sounds like a very sensible plan. Why wouldn't you want him to do A levels??

PrinceCharming80 Thu 25-Aug-16 20:11:41

I just see lots of people saying how tough they are. He got mainly Bs and Cs. He would be at the very minimum entry requirements.

I know they're normally 2, but you're entitled to 3 years for them, so I was just emphasising on the fact that if he found them tough, it may be a 3 year thing.

DeadGood Thu 25-Aug-16 20:12:32

Agree with creme

gettingtherequickly Thu 25-Aug-16 20:12:49

Not every child should do A levels, and with no As at GCSE I think that the course you're suggesting sounds much more appropriate.

No judging, I'm horrified that the government are pushing everyone down an academic route when vocational courses are so much better for some careers.

Good luck to him.

Wooftweetwooftweet Thu 25-Aug-16 20:13:37

I agree, while his head is still in learning mode, plenty of time to jump into his career afterwards.

museumum Thu 25-Aug-16 20:13:37

A levels sound like a good idea. There will be lots of book learning and exams in the police so it's a good idea to develop those skills.

CustardLover Thu 25-Aug-16 20:14:34

Bs and Cs are fine grades to start A-levels - he won't find them ridiculously hard, he'll have some fun, meet new people, broaden his horizons, shore up his future a bit more (no reason not to start a little insurance on the side - what if he hates the police?) and he's only (presumably) 16 right? It's far too young to be clipping his wings.

noblegiraffe Thu 25-Aug-16 20:19:10

What about BTECs?

PrinceCharming80 Thu 25-Aug-16 20:20:34

Noble, the public services is a BTEC

yummymummy1920 Thu 25-Aug-16 20:21:51

I personally did a public services course and really regretted it.. I wish I had done A levels instead they are so much more use in every day use..
And not to put a downer on things for your DS but it's very unlikely he will get into the police straight after college/sixth form. My whole family is involved in the police force my DP and my cousin both being specials have applied for the job full time and didn't get through ..

Lesley1980 Thu 25-Aug-16 20:22:04

My brother was the school sports champion & stayed on for 5th & 6th year so he could compete but had no interest in sitting exams. He didn't go to any of his academic classes & the school didn't care because he represented them in sports & did so well. He left with one Higher but as he was joining the police & had the minimum qualification it wasn't a big deal. He applied & they turned him down, told him to get more experience by joining the specials & get some A levels - he had moved to England at this point. He sat A levels in Law, English, Maths & later French & they accepted him. Sitting exams also helped him prepare for police college.

noblegiraffe Thu 25-Aug-16 20:23:07

Doesn't the sixth form offer any BTECs?

karalime Thu 25-Aug-16 20:24:03

You don't need a Btec in Public Services to join the police either. My former dp did that course and he said it was a waste of time.

Some good A Levels or a Btec in something like IT would be a good bet.

annandale Thu 25-Aug-16 20:24:20

I like that he's keeping his options open. I think he should have a go at Alevels if he wants to. What subjects?

On the quiet, in this situation I might ring a couple of colleges and ask how they would feel about a student transferring to the BTEC in year, if it turns out A levels are not for him.

PumpkinPie2013 Thu 25-Aug-16 20:25:52

If he wants to do A-levels then I think it would be good for him to do it - he can broaden his horizons and take his time deciding what to do long term. He may eventually want to go to uni and join the police as a graduate.

To be honest, I think A-levels would be more highly regarded as well.

It's also worth bearing in mind that the police is very difficult to get into and it might be worth your son looking into doing his studies and also, once old enough, looking at doing some volunteering as a special constable.

I was talking to a police officer recently who was saying that the vast majority of new officers were recruited after being special constables for about 6 months - very, very few got in without being a SC first (this was for greater Manchester police).

Good luck to your son smile

corythatwas Thu 25-Aug-16 20:27:06

Except for a few subjects (maths probably about them), you don't really need a's at GSCE level to go onto the A-level. My ds (also aiming for the police force) got B's and C's, but will still be going to college to do A-levels. He also looked at the public services course, but felt the same as your ds: that something focusing that heavily on the army was simply not for him.

On Open Day he spoke to a student at the college who was doing the same thing, A-levels, then applying for the police. Quite common according to the tutor.

ImperialBlether Thu 25-Aug-16 20:27:22

I taught A levels. I'd recommend he takes A levels and if he wants to, takes a degree, too, going into the police at 21. I wouldn't recommend the public service BTEC.

bigTillyMint Thu 25-Aug-16 20:28:46

Prince, it sounds like he has had some good advice from teachers/friends/others and his plans sound really sensible. Many A'levels are fine from B grades - I am sure his school would be well-placed to support him to make a good choice. Or he could choose a mix of A levels and BTECs at sixth form - there are all sorts of different BTECs he could do, not just one - some are worth 1, 2 or 3 A'levels.

It sounds like he knows he will need to work hard and is prepared for that - give him your support!

yummymummy, do the Police require degrees now? Just interested as I could see it could be a possibility for DS.

Scarydinosaurs Thu 25-Aug-16 20:29:24

The public services BTEC is more aimed at the armed forces. For the police the requirements are only going to become more stringent, if he wants to join the police I would definitely recommend doing a levels.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Thu 25-Aug-16 20:33:08

What if he changes his mind about going into the police? If you don't support his choice he won't thank you in the future if your chocs restricts his options (which it will, from the outset).

PrinceCharming80 Thu 25-Aug-16 20:34:05

I also have family in the police. A degree is not needed. However, 2 a levels or the equivalent are. I just thought the BTEC may be better as he has a smaller chance of needing to resit it.

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