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Depressed 16 year old not being offered a place at sixth form

(5 Posts)
flowerpot779 Wed 16-Mar-16 11:56:43

My DS has been absent from school for 5 months and is receiving weekly CAMHS session. He has missed mock GCSEs and will miss GCSEs but hoping he will recover enough to resume education in next academic year at some point. School are now saying he will not have a place in sixth form due to lack of exams, but I know he will wish to return and try to catch up with studies. They say we will have to find a college for him but this could prove too scary for him. It has been a hellish time for us all but the school seem to be considering his exam potential only, not what is best for him. Intend to appeal this but has anyone else experienced this problem and how did it turn out?

Runningtokeepstill Thu 17-Mar-16 14:45:50

I think this whole area of "compulsory" post 16 education and young people who have disabilities, illness and/or special needs is a complete mess. Sorry, I know that's not helpful and may not be what you want to here but I think you might need to be prepared.

Whereas, with an under 16, the LA has to find a school, once your dc is post 16 there is just a mish mash of provision that they are expected to slot into.

In my area there are no state schools with 6th forms attached so you have to go to college. Consequently I don't know if the school is allowed to refuse your son a place but no doubt someone else will be along with more information on that. Could your ds not take GCSE exams for one year in the lower 6th and then go on to do A levels? Schools used to offer their students a repeat year like this when I was young (in the dim and distant past), does that not happen anymore?

Colleges don't seem to offer complete GCSE repeat years . They have to offer GCSE in English and Maths, and I suspect most do Science but other subjects may not be covered except those that fit into the level 2 Btec category (so ones that can be considered more vocational than academic).

If your dc cannot make the attendance requirements of some college courses due to ill health -(in my ds's case a mix of physical and mental factors) you can be just taken off the course. They basically ignored my ds's needs anyway. My complaint about this is still ongoing.

Courses/schemes for dc not at college tend to be aimed at "work skills" and "basic English and Maths". So my ds, who despite missing the last 7 months of school had managed to get 5 GCSE (including English and Maths) at C+ could have been signed up for a level one course, which I'm assuming would be also highly inappropriate for your ds too as he'd be already working above that level. Or there are very physical "outward bound" type courses for the "disaffected" and so on. So if you are bright but are not well enough to do an apprenticeship or college course there is nothing out there. And home education is only "allowed" for child benefit purposes if your dc started prior to 16.

Sorry, I know this is grim. Hopefully, school will come through for your ds and it may be that your local colleges are more flexible/helpful than our local one.

flowerpot779 Thu 17-Mar-16 16:02:43

Thanks for your advice, think we need to try to persuade the school on this. Like you, first year of 6th form could be a retake year when I was at school, they don't seem to do it now. I need to look into colleges, though whether my son could cope with this when (hopefully)better I Just don't know. Well done to ds for exam results, we have been told that even if son took GCSEs at home the lack of assignment work (40%) mean he would not get anything like a C or above! Will keep digging away at it, think they only want the kids who will get great results and sod the rest!

makati Tue 03-May-16 14:44:49

I don't know if you ever found anything but I looked into this recently for my son...http://www.interhigh.co.uk/?gclid=CMKus6mDvswCFRS6Gwod2FkNUw You have to pay but I didnt think it was too pricey for what they offered.

Bex134 Wed 20-Jul-16 04:37:32

Definitely see if you can persuade the school, it may be tricky as they have no evidence of the level he's currently at as no mocks or GCSEs. Resits seem to be a thing of the past.

There should be a careers advice service that can help you with your options for young people at risk of not engaging post 16.

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