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To think kids can start college at 14

(92 Posts)
Cluelessmun Tue 27-Sep-16 11:43:43

Dd has a friend who would be in year 10 but is at college full time instead.

I've tried contacting local colleges for my Dd who is 14 as we think a full time vocational course will suit her better (she will still do GCSEs ) but most colleges are saying they have never heard of 14+ entry.

We can only find part time vocational colleges where she will go there once a week and to school the rest of the week.

Longlost10 Tue 27-Sep-16 11:46:57

It is very rare, but special arrangements can be made for young people who are failing badly in school, this is to remove them from the school environment as much as anything else. Some children with SEN also do part time college, maybe one afternoon a week. Or there are the UTCs, which again are a fresh start for the particular group of students who are doing no body any favours by continuing to turn up at secondary school.

Is your DD in danger of exclusion?

SugarMiceInTheRain Tue 27-Sep-16 11:48:45

Is your friend in an area where they still have the middle school/ college system? Where I am some of the towns you go to middle/ high school from 10-14 then college from 14-18, ie GCSE and A-Level years. However, they are phasing it out here and making them all 11-16 or 11-18 schools. 14-18 college is not really 'college' as you might think of it, just the upper part of secondary school, so here you have X Academy/ High School and X College - and very often the 'college' is linked to or shares a site with a high school.

HallowedMimic Tue 27-Sep-16 11:49:14

It depends on the college and course.

Some places here will take kids at 14, but generally they are home educated kids who are taking one year courses for GCSEs.

It makes exam entry cheaper and easier. It's only English, Maths, and science though so they are sitting other subjects privately.

Cluelessmun Tue 27-Sep-16 11:49:41

Just moved house so waiting on school places and then thought about college . Dd was in no danger of exclusion,top sets at school but just doesn't enjoy school

CancellyMcChequeface Tue 27-Sep-16 11:50:12

Is your DD's friend at a University Technical College? ( )

I agree that the school environment doesn't suit all 14-year-olds and if your DD would do better taking a more vocational course, it's worth looking into.

Longlost10 Tue 27-Sep-16 11:51:15

rereading your post, I am not sure what you are looking for, you can do full time vocational, or you can do GCSEs, not both. Vocational courses at 16+ will include compulsary English and/or maths GCSE if a student didnt get a high enough grade, and some colleges offer the EB for one year, but you don't get any choice what to do, it will be English, Maths, a language (probably assigned, not chosen) a science ( probably assigned, not chosen) and a humanity ( probably assigned, not chosen) It helps out those students who didn't quite get the grades to do A levels, but nobody would choose and plan to need to do that emergency patch up year.

Strangeday Tue 27-Sep-16 11:52:13

Idid this many years ago. I was having many problems at school so took year 11 in college. I had to get funding to do it.

From my experience I wouldn't recommend it unless there are dire problems in school.

Cluelessmun Tue 27-Sep-16 11:52:26

Dds friend is just in a normal college for 16-18 year olds doing floristry and her GCSEs . Would like something like that for my Dd ,GCSEs and something like equine management

AndNowItsSeven Tue 27-Sep-16 11:52:36

It is dependant on area

DerekSprechenZeDick Tue 27-Sep-16 11:52:41

Only kids I hear at college atbthat age are the ones who are little shits or can't handle school and need some practical skills.

My brother was in the little shit catergory and ended up doing some construction course

grassroots Tue 27-Sep-16 11:53:13

The University Technical Colleges (UTC) are for students who are 14-18 years old. They are not yet very widespread, but if you happen to live near one they are an absolutely brilliant opportunity. Our local UTC offers Marine Engineering, scuba diving, electronics etc - but all students still study for GCSE Maths and English. Other GCSEs are available alonside different technical options. It is in no way a 'last resort' or for students who are badly behaved. Definitely worth checking out.

Strangeday Tue 27-Sep-16 11:53:52

Derek they're not all 'little shits'. Ffs.

DerekSprechenZeDick Tue 27-Sep-16 11:55:05

Hence why I said 'or'


littlemissneela Tue 27-Sep-16 11:57:40

I was going to say UTC as well, but been pipped at the post! We have one here which is for 14-18 year olds. Ours is more science based and is linked with a local ish uni. Most normal colleges are for after GCSEs for doing A levels and btec type qualifications.

Strangeday Tue 27-Sep-16 11:57:42

Ok well they're not all 'little shits' or 'kids that can't handle school'.

GCHQMonitoring Tue 27-Sep-16 11:57:46

Students attending college at 14 have usually been referred by their schools due to behavioural issues. College is a last resort for many. Personally I wouldn't choose this option for my DC, while it may seem ideal , you would effectively be limiting your childs chances.
Where I worked 14 plus learners are in 3 days a week (considered full time) some do the other two days in school. Some of the brighter students were given the option of studying GCSE maths and english. The rest did functional skills, both options could cause issues for the students especially when they are still doing maths/english at school - different teaching methods, exam boards.

Students spent one day a week doing something vocational, the other two were spent in a classroom doing NCFE or NOCN. Students were often with unqualified, poorly trained staff and mixed in with older students with LD's rather than main cohort.

I'm aware other colleges may do things differently, but not an option I would choose.

AndNowItsSeven Tue 27-Sep-16 11:58:59

The one I linked to is not a utc , is a regular FE college.

Strangeday Tue 27-Sep-16 11:59:33

Anyway like I say op I wouldn't be looking at this option for your dd unless it's a last resort.

DerekSprechenZeDick Tue 27-Sep-16 12:01:31

One brother went to college early coz he was a little shit.

Other brother went early due to severe dyslexia so he struggled academically. He did a mechanic course at college through the last two years of school as practical/manual work suited him better

This is the same for most kids who go to college round her early. Hence the 'only kids I hear about' post I made.

I didn't say all kids.

Cluelessmun Tue 27-Sep-16 12:05:44

Thank you for the responses,I was just looking at links. A UTC would not suit Dd at all ,not into the science ,mechanics etc . Just thought because her friend was doing floristry I could sign Dd up to a college early and do something equine.

myownprivateidaho Tue 27-Sep-16 12:06:08

Wouldn't it be a bit isolating? The 16/17 year olds in her class might not want to be mates with a 14 year old. Surely she can do vocational courses at 16 if that's what she wants? 14 seems very young to be set on one particular path, particularly if it's not the 14 year old herself who's the main instigation.

DerekSprechenZeDick Tue 27-Sep-16 12:06:41

Does your daughter even want to go? Or is it you pushing for it?

SootSprite Tue 27-Sep-16 12:08:32

Some FE colleges offer GCSE and vocational courses for home educated teens aged 14-16 so they're not all 'little shits' or 'can't handle school' hmm

Cluelessmun Tue 27-Sep-16 12:10:38

My daughter was the one who brought it up. We just moved so she isn't in school at the moment ,waiting for schools to get back to us and considering other options

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