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Sixth Form College Offer Withdrawn.

(71 Posts)
MummysALittleDisappointed Sat 12-Jul-14 23:50:46

NC due to my attempt at keeping my anonymity on MN.

DS applied for Bromley College Orpington Campus and was given a conditional offer (GCSE results); DS was really happy about this and worked really hard on his GCSE exams. He wants to do A levels for Psychology, Sociology and Economics. After that, he wants a University place and then wants to become a teacher. I'm bursting with pride as you can imagine. I'm a fairly uneducated person, single parent and have only had jobs, never a great career, so to have a child want to teach is brilliant in my humble opinion and I've been as supportive and encouraging as I possibly can be. I want for him to succeed and be happy in his work.

I've had a letter (as has DS though he has not seen it yet), withdrawing the offer due to Government changes during 2014/15, thereby cutting out A levels in these fields (and others I assume). They can offer catering and hospitality or media studies 'instead' but I very much doubt this will help him to be an economics and psychology teacher in the future!

I'm really upset and angry for DS and I know that he will feel more than that and extremely let down.

I've had a look on the websites, trying to find alternative colleges for him, but there doesn't seem to be any for all those subjects and I don't know what to do for him. He hated school and didn't want to do sixth form in a school, hence the college application. I'm at a loss as to where we go from here.
Has anyone got any ideas or suggestions please? we are in the Dartford (sort of iyswim) area.

exexpat Sat 12-Jul-14 23:58:45

What other subjects does the college offer? To be honest, if he is aiming for university, that combination of subjects may not serve him as well as more traditional ones anyway.

If he wants to study economics at university level, he will need maths A-level just about everywhere. To study psychology at university, you don't need psychology A-level - he might do better with a traditional science subject, or an essay-based A-level like history or English literature.

kickassangel Sat 12-Jul-14 23:59:34

That is disappointing!

However, it appears that some of the less mainstream subjects are bing supported less and less. If he carries on with psychology he may find that he can't get a job teaching that anyway. Or it could all have changed in 6 years.

Does he have other subjects he may be interested in? Job wise a more mainstream choice is a much better idea.

He can always branch into economics from having maths, but not the other way around. He should try to think about other routes into his preferred job.

Btw, 6th form is very different from main school if he can bring himself to think about it.

exexpat Sun 13-Jul-14 00:00:35

You might find it useful to have a look at this booklet on A-level choices for a better idea of what A-levels are useful/required for different degrees: Informed Choices

RitaConnors Sun 13-Jul-14 00:02:44

Can't they offer him another subjects than the media and the catering?

MummysALittleDisappointed Sun 13-Jul-14 00:06:34

Thank you for your answers.

I have explained to him that sixth form will be very different at school, but he's had such a crap time at school that he just wanted to get out of it.

He doesn't want to aim in a different direction as he really wants to teach those subjects; he's only doing sociology to support the psychology. I don't know about maths as he does not like maths at all!

MummysALittleDisappointed Sun 13-Jul-14 00:07:58

Will check that out exexpat thank you.

Rita that's what the letter says! I'm dumbstruck to be frank!

kickassangel Sun 13-Jul-14 00:11:20

What career advice is he getting? There must be someone at his school to help him. If he doesn't like maths then why economics. I know they're not the same thing but he will need to do maths as part of it. Sociology totally unnecessary for psychology.

How did he make the decision to do these A levels? I think he might not enjoy them much anyway given his reasons for choosing.

Is there another school he could go to for 6 th form?

Just trying to put some ideas out. It's too early to be set on specific subjects at the exclusion of all else.

exexpat Sun 13-Jul-14 00:16:12

I just had a look at Bromley College's website, and it really does not look like the right sort of place to go if he is aiming for university at age 18: it is all vocational training or access to FE courses for people returning to education.

What sort of GCSE grades is he predicted? You have left it a bit late, but I think you really need to look at getting him a place at a more academic sixth form college or the sixth form of a school - obviously not staying on at his current school if he hates it, but somewhere else could be completely different.

exexpat Sun 13-Jul-14 00:18:39

And if he really does not like maths, then economics is going to be a struggle for him. Nearly every university economics course has maths A-level as an entry requirement, and even economics A-level requires a lot of maths.

My DS has just done GCSEs and is interested in doing economics at university; his A-level choices are maths, further maths, economics and history.

exexpat Sun 13-Jul-14 00:19:53

Also, I have never heard of anyone teaching both economics and psychology. It would be one or the other.

stillenacht1 Sun 13-Jul-14 00:20:45

North West Kent?
Leigh CTC?
Dartford Boys/Girls Grammar?

gymboywalton Sun 13-Jul-14 00:34:48

If he wants to teach then he needs to go for traditional subjects. If he wants to teach economics,he will need maths, a level psychology not necessary for doing it at uni. He'd be better doing a science.

gymboywalton Sun 13-Jul-14 00:36:28

The problem with the mix of subjects he has chosen is that universities don't value them and he will find it hard to get on a course, dyswim?

scottishmummy Sun 13-Jul-14 00:42:27

What subjects,grades does he need for uni.presume he'll do undergrad degree then pgce?
To teach psychology,and economics hed need to do social science degree.has he looked into this
Is there a demand for psychology and economics at secondary school?

Cheebame Sun 13-Jul-14 01:06:03

If he doesn't like maths he will not enjoy an Economics degree at all I'm afraid. I did a similar subject at a Russell Group Uni and although some people had got on the course without A-level maths, they had to do extra maths sessions in the first year that brought them up to somewhere between GCSE and A level standard.

I would also worry that wanting to qualify to teach a subject that he cannot get on a course to learn because the funding has been cut doesn't sound like a great plan.

It is of course awful that the changes have an effect on people who have already had offers, and I feel for your DS.

Floralnomad Sun 13-Jul-14 01:16:32

I would encourage him to look at 6th forms in other schools .My DS moved to a different school at 16 because he hated his school and it was great where he went .I agree with other posters that he needs to look at different A levels , what about business rather than economics if he's not keen on maths .

Pangaea Sun 13-Jul-14 02:03:02

What does he want to teach? My DD has a PPE degree and played with the idea of Teach First for a while, but could only do primary teaching because her degree wasn't a NC subject.

I have no idea about the more traditional PGCE route though, my point might be irrelevant.

merlottime Sun 13-Jul-14 08:58:34

It may be too awkward from Dartford, but Croydon College seems to offer this selection - bug I agree with other posters that Economics will be a struggle without Maths.

Lilymaid Sun 13-Jul-14 09:32:55

Our local FE college stopped offering A Levels at short notice a few years ago - very difficult at the time but the students were absorbed into 6th Form Colleges locally.
It really isn't sensible to consider doing Economics at university if you don't like Maths. Even if it isn't a requirement to have Maths A Level, universities run compulsory Maths courses in the 1st year to bring students up to that level or further in Maths. Many universities will also run compulsory courses requiring Maths beyond. Both My DCs have Economics degrees, so I speak from experience ( and they both enjoy Maths and took it for A Level).

scottishmummy Sun 13-Jul-14 12:13:36

To teach secondary school he'll need an undergrad degree followed by pgce
Why economics and psychology specifically as subjects?is he particularly good in these area
I really hope your son gets to fulfil his ambitions.what advice is available locally re career advice?

MummysALittleDisappointed Sun 13-Jul-14 12:49:55

Sorry for late reply, my internet went down.

Ds is very good at Economics and he took to Psychology really well too; the Sociology was to support that subject. Initially he was aiming to teach Psychology, but the GCSE didn't go as well as he'd hoped as the case studies weren't what they'd done during the class studies and there was not enough time during the exam to read through and understand properly the new case studies (I think I've got that right). Anyway, he'd already chosen the three subjects to do at college and was accepted hmm, but thought it might be better to have the Psychology as the second subject instead of the first.
I'm so angry because the school let him down in many ways and didn't encourage him at all and his attitude became quite lazy because of it. It was a big surprise when he started talking about teaching, but he seems so passionate about it and I want to encourage it, not knock it down. This country needs teachers right?

He read his letter and is angry and feels let down by the college. He feels a bit lost now, but has also said it's possibly a good thing and will kick him up the backside. Hopefully, he'll find a place suitable for what he wants to study and who knows, maybe he'll do what Cheebame mentioned about getting somewhere between GCSE and A level for maths. Fingers crossed.

Unfortunately, all the sixth form applications seem to have had a closing date for applications of February. I wonder if they'll take a late application based on the withdrawal of the college.

senua Sun 13-Jul-14 13:00:34

He hated school and didn't want to do sixth form in a school, hence the college application.

... and yet he wants to be a teacher? confused

headlesslambrini Sun 13-Jul-14 13:05:29

Dont worry about 6th form deadlines, still apply.

narries Sun 13-Jul-14 13:05:51

I dont want to throw spanners in works but I teach A level Psychology.

Firstly, as far as I am aware,there are no funding cuts in my subject. I am surprised to hear it.

Secondly, if you want to do Psychology in University, an A level in the subject is useful. Universities do value it (including Cambridge) as generally they have found that too many applicants applying without taking the subject tend to drop out because when they get to uni they find they thought psychology was something different to what they expected. Those who do A level do not have that problem.

Similarly, most universities are not worried about what subjects are done with psychology for mostpsychology degrees. A few prefer sciences.

A good combination with psycholgy for a degree would be biology or maths ( lots of maths in psychology anyway). Then you might take economics. I wouldnt bother with the sociology.Better to take history or Philosophy and ethics ( RE) for reasons explained below.

Thirdly, as a teaching subject Psychology is and will remain a shortage subject. I have been teaching for 20 years (at first part time and teaching A level in FE as a fill in job), and never had any trouble getting a job. I did have trouble getting qualified. In order to doa PGCE for schools you have to have an NC subject to teach ( hence I suggest the biology and history or RE above).

There are very few Psychology teaching courses (except for FE teaching), so you will have to train in a different subject. The most likely ones tend to be history, RE ( PHSME) or Science if you have biology.
Its precisely this that keeps the production of psychology teachers "proper" to a minimum and thus makes it hard to get such specialist teachers for school or FE. That and the fact most psychology graduates do not want to teach! I was a psychologist before marrying.

But there is something not quite right with what the college are telling you.

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