Bullying and depression/anxiety are robbing my DD of her GCSE hopes - creative solutions required...(9 Posts)
My DD, 16, is an able girl who has lost half of her GCSEs this year due to an unholy combination of bullying at school and the severe depression/anxiety it has pushed her into. It's been an ongoing situation for years and her school has been alternately supportive and indifferent. When they have been (verbally) supportive we have stuck with them, believing that they had both a will to help solve a situation which they had created and the inventiveness to do so. She never wanted to leave there in spite of the bullying, which has been extreme, as she had faith in her teachers' faith in her. As GCSEs approach I'm not so sure. They're incredibly busy trying to funnel 250 young people through the academic gates, DD's lack of self-esteem is severely holding her back, and it is very easy not to notice her. We talk regularly as they have been supporting her back into school after a long period of absence due to her depression/anxiety and although individual teachers are sympathetic and supportive there is a lack of co-ordination to help her get the grades she's capable of. She started Year 10 with 11 GCSE subjects, has had to drop six of them and it is by no means certain that she will acquit herself well in the remainder in June. This is not because she's not capable but because she hasn't been taught. In hindsight we should have moved schools in year 9 and I blame myself daily for not doing so but we are where we are. The question now is what to do if the GCSEs go tits up. She's an able girl - used to getting As and Bs until this whole sorry story started - but she won't get into her own school Sixth Form without 5 Cs/4s, or any other local one either to continue with her 16+ education. The idea of settling for less than she's always wanted (A levels and uni) depresses her more and the more depressed she is the harder she finds it to work and so the vicious circle continues. Does the MN hive mind have any thoughts...?
I would take her out after her exams , don't let her go to a sixth form where the bullying will continue
She can resit somewhere else surely and get the grades she needs to follow her dreams
Well if you have money you could get tutors.
Worse case senario is that she takes them again at college before doing a levels etc.
Study leave now.
Tutors for the five she's doing.
Year at a crammer /FE college to do maybe four more.
Somewhere new for A levels after that.
Study leave now.
Non A level course (or A level if results good), maybe picking up one or two extra GCSES at another college in September.
If needs be she can go to a fe or 6th form college to resit in September. What subjects is she now taking?
Get her out of the school. By now she should have pretty much finished the courses.
Look around for alternative sixth form provision; FE colleges, sixth form colleges, even nice school sixth forms (they may want a third year or may just make allowance due to the bullying). Some Universities make special provision for pupils who have been bullied.
But getting her mental health better is the top priority. It is much better to delay going to Uni than going just because it is "the next step".
I know a girl who tried to go at 19 after health issues, and dropped out after one term. She rethought and sorted herself out, went at 23 to start a different course - and has now started her PhD. (And when I was at Oxford the oldest Undergraduate at my college was in his 50s.)
mummytime - yes, she's in no hurry to go to uni and is very much thinking about a later start after a gap year, or two. The hardest thing for her to handle I think is the rage and regret for all she's lost. Time is probably the answer - and a chance of success on renewed terms.
Thanks MNetters for your thoughts and suggestions. I appreciate it!
What about looking into an apprenticeship for her to start after her exams?
This may give her the opportunity to regain some confidence as well as skills that will enable her to sit A-levels/uni at a later date when she will have life skills as well as GCSE grades to support her.
The Big 4 accountancy firms do some fantastic schemes that although highly competitive, are a brilliant starting point for someone who is bright but hasn't been able to fulfil their potential in a school environment.
Maybe you could speak to someone at red balloon. If they can't help directly, they will know of appropriate options. I'd imagine that if dd could be in An environment that supported her emotional recovery the academic side will come back quickly. But without mental health improvements, I'd imagine she will find academics a battle. Get the right environment and worry about exam results later perhaps.
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