Who is right? Me, DH or DD!?(53 Posts)
Can I just say, we are not controlling. Ultimately, it is DD's choice and we wouldn't take that away from her or tell her what she has to do. We are just trying to advise her.
DD is starting an access course next year in science and engineering (I think? Can't quite remember the exact title). She thinks she is more interested in the science, so may change it to just science before then.
She is 18 (hence can't do the course yet) and had been out of education since she failed her AS last year. She got a job in a supermarket and volunteered in shop for a charity. She has saved extremely well and hardly spends her money, so she isn't short for money (I think this is relevant in a sec). She only got Cs in her science for GCSE.
DH thinks she should use the last free year of education she has to retake that so she has the base of science sorted before moving forward.
I disagree and think that the access course will most likely cover the basics, etc.? Also, are GCSEs even funded if you have a C in them? I think she should pick up for shifts in her job until she does the course - hence saving even more money. She is a good saver and has a good few grand in the bank, she could easily save for a deposit on a bloody house!!
She thinks she should keep her 2 shifts and find volunteering opportunities. Things like animal rescue things in other countries... etc. and thinks it's a good thing to spend her money on!!!
Who is right??
You are but get a college careers advisor to give her some impartial advice which will chime with yours!
If the access course accepted her with her existing GCSE grades then I wouldn't bother retaking; however she may find that it is very hard work to go back to FT education after two shifts a week and a lot of free time for the nest 15 months (have I got that right?) so it's not a bad idea to do something to keep her brain in gear.
Rather than volunteering (or as well as), could she find somewhere relevant to get work experience, even as an unpaid intern? This is the time to do it...
I think both you and your DD are right too - to a certain extent.
If your DD could up her shifts that would be good in money terms.
If she can get work experience/practical experience relating to her course/future career plans, that is excellent. However, I'm sure there are local opportunities, rather than travelling to other countries. That would allow her to carry on working, maybe increase her hours, and not spend money on trips abroad. Perhaps she could put some money aside and promise herself a holiday abroad before she starts college?
I tend to agree with DH. C at GCSE isn't great, and Science courses are notoriously hard. She may well be setting herself up to struggle on her Access course. I think retaking her GCSE will give her a better grounding and don't see why she can't do that while continuing her supermarket shifts and voluntary work (if that's what she wants to do).
Thank you!! She says she would be unhappy in her job if she upped it "as there is only so much you can take from rude customers" ￼ @MrsBadger yes, she has the entry requirements already. I don't see the point in retaking. She says she has looked but they are all really hard to get into?
She wouldn't get funded for a resit GCSE and everyone else in the class would have failed, so she might struggle to improve.
What does she think animal rescue in another country would do for her career? As far as I can see it would mean a lot of expense and very little else. She could volunteer one afternoon/evening a week for the Dogs' Trust or similar and get more experience, while working more hours.
MrsBadger and Seeline make good points. Volunteering could be a chance to make her CV look interesting but absolutely no reason it has to be abroad. What an employer will want to see is that she has thought carefully about acquiring relevant skills.
I would have thought some more subject relevant volunteeeing/interning would be a better use of time
She was only planning on doing those 2 weeks abroad so not quitting her job.
Sorry I can't think of the name. Not animal rescue but where they help them in like a centre or she wants to do where they to research underwater. Can't think of what she said it was called.
If she's volunteering can she do something relevant to the course or get eventual job goal?
Has she got maths and English GCSEs at decent grades? If not they are definitely worth retaking. If the access course are happy with her C in science I don't think it's worth retaking as a C or above is seen as a decent level typically.
NB Have I've missed something here - why is she not retaking AS & Alevels now (with funding) and applying to HE in the normal way?
@harderandharder2breathe yes, A in maths, B in literature and C in language.
@MrsBadger there was bad bullying at her sixth form and she felt like she really couldn't continue there.
I think she'll struggle immensely with a science course if she got C's and is having such a long break from the subject, so if not re-doing it she should certainly be studying a lot in her own time.
But otherwise I'd actually encourage volunteering overseas. This is the time to do it if it's something she wants, and travelling is a great use of money. If she's a good saver she'll have no problem saving up for a house deposit in the future.
Engineering is a notoriously tough course if done well, if she is weak on science is she going to a struggle? I would agree with your DH,but there is no reason she can't do both. A GCSE is hardly full time.
Dh used to lecture in engineering and those without strong maths etc found it hard going.
DH is right about the brushing up aspect but wrong in how he thinks it should be done. Re-taking the GCSE when she already has the C is really a waste of that year too. She'd be better off taking extra shifts and using some of them to pay for targeted tutoring in basic science, working from the syllabus for the upcoming foundation year plus going over GCSE ground.
What does she plan to actually do with her science access course? Is she going to want to go on to a degree or similar? Because if so, then she might be better saving her money to go towards her fees, rather than racking up the huge debts that many students do these days (not their fault, I'm talking about course fees, not extra curricular things!)
A good science access course should be able to get her through, regardless of her GCSE - the ones I've been involved in have started from the beginning again, so covering ground that her GCSE would have covered.
But I think she needs to have a proper plan as to what follows the science access course (unless of course she already has one)
I think you are all partly right.
She should continue earning and saving - but perhaps try to find a job more relevant to her experience.
And then volunteer maybe just once or twice a week doing something she really enjoys (which sounds like animal rescue).
At the same time (she has plenty of time before course starts) - instead of the GCSE re-sit, look into doing independent study - perhaps go back over her GCSE syllabus and study up on things she didn't quite get or found hard. She might even benefit from a tutor once a month just to keep her on track and offer practical study advice. No need to re-sit , but prepping well for a Science/engineering course is a good idea!
Just my two pennith worth!
Does she have an idea of what she would want to do after the access course, and ultimately as a job? I would definitely try and get some additional qualifications while still doing some shifts and relevant volunteering. There are lots of introduction-level distance learning courses in sciences/business/healthcare etc. Since she has an aptitude for maths maybe a stats/analysis or IT certificate/diploma?
I don't think any of you are particularly wrong. I do know a few mature students who have had to redo math/English/science alongside an access course as they struggled although am referring to people who either had no qualifications or have been out of work and education for many years as were formerly SAHM.
Can she get some advice from wherever the course is running?
I would encourage her to travel and volunteer abroad.
It will give her a more rounded outlook on life and help her decide how she wants to live.
Time enough when she has a mortgage and/or kids to have a boring routine life.
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