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Not going into Education after GCSEs

(16 Posts)
Oliversmumsarmy Tue 26-Jan-16 15:18:41

Dd age 16 year 11, has been looking round colleges for after GCSEs. What used to be purely practical courses are now practical with a substantial amount of academics thrown in. Also a lot of colleges expect you to do 1 or 2 A levels as well as the course. This was not the case when we looked at a lot of the same places the previous year. I found the brochure from one college that the previous year which stated you can if you want take an A level compared to this years brochure which said you would be expected to take 2 A levels. Dd will struggle with her GCSEs let alone A levels and no amount of sitting her in a classroom is going to make any difference apart from to waste everyones time.

Dd is severely dyslexic and struggles to the point of tears to do anything that involves reading and writing and has grown to hate that side of school. All she wants to do is leave and start work. She has some work already lined up and an agent and would be considered as self employed.

I find the government website very confusing it says

"We are not raising the school leaving age, so you won’t be forced to stay in school or college. You’ll be free to choose the option that is right for you – and your local authority is responsible for making sure you have the offer of a place in education or training that is appropriate for you"

Which to me sounds like you can leave school we are not stopping you but you are expected to attend another educational establishment to continue your education.

Can anyone explain how this works

meditrina Tue 26-Jan-16 15:21:51

It means they can stay at school, go to college, seek an apprenticeship or look for a job that has an adequate training programme attached.

What does she actually want to do? Are there any courses at all that she could do part time alongside?

LIZS Tue 26-Jan-16 15:22:55

Do they not also offer level 2 courses, nvq or btech for example? These are gcse level but more vocational in nature.

Oliversmumsarmy Tue 26-Jan-16 15:43:40

She is a singer. That is ultimately what she wants to do she has had paid work from it.
She has been asked to continue an acting job as an adult which involves 1 or 2 days work per month. The problem is colleges won't give you the time off for work.

If she did do a level 2 btech I cannot see what she would get out of it apart from sitting in a classroom so everyone else could tick their forms.

LIZS Tue 26-Jan-16 16:56:06

You can do them in Performing Arts and I suspect they'd be amenable to auditions etc. Will she get Maths and English gcse, ideally plus 3 others.

Oliversmumsarmy Wed 27-Jan-16 09:04:31

She is ok at maths but English is her downfall. + 3 others is going to be stretching it.

Most Colleges I have come across will not let you have time off for work.
I have not come across any PA college that offer a level 2 btech they are all level 3 + at least 1 or 2 A levels. The ones that don't do A levels want you to have at least 5 GCSEs including maths and English.
Outside of school she does dance and is working towards her teaching grades within the next couple of years. Teaching dance is her fall back.

If we could find a college that let you work, didnt need a string of GCSEs to get into and taught PA without any academics she would go for it. At some point someone needs to realise that for certain people sitting in a classroom for 2 years is not going to help them pass an exam in English. She would get so frustrated it would not end well.

LIZS Wed 27-Jan-16 10:11:15

But if she doesn't pass English she would need to retake it or equivalent level 1/2 in literacy. Could she do it by distance learning? Most college courses are not 9-5 5 days a week even if "fulltime". Our local 6th form college definitely does a mixture of A levels and btec including drama etc, I assume you've also looked at fe colleges. Do any dance schools offer apprenticeships?

sashh Thu 28-Jan-16 06:52:14

She is ok at maths but English is her downfall. + 3 others is going to be stretching it.

Is this entirely due to her dyslexia? If so she may get on a level 3 BTEC course - and for PA she can count dance exams, LAMDA etc.

I don't think you will find a completely practical course but some BTEC units are certainly practical including dance.

M area is health and social care - what I know about dance and drama - well I like to go to the theatre.

BUT in my subject you are expected to do a work placement, this can be voluntary or paid. If there is a work experience unit in BTEC then she may well be allowed to take it even if she is the only one doing that unit. I would certainly allow a student to do the accompanying reflective diary as a video diary - BTEC allow it.

I can also tell you that a full level 3 extended diploma does not allow for much other studying outside it.

Rather than look for a course look for a college that can meet needs.

The other thing is that she needs to be in full time education or training but that doesn't mean just at school / college. Her dance classes count. If she can get enough dance classes and possibly attend English evening classes (if she doesn't get a C) to make 16 hours she is in full time education.

Curiousflannel Sun 31-Jan-16 11:03:50

I haven't got any good advice on this. I know the idea is that kids are supposed to be in some form of education till they are 18, be it full time or day release with a job etc, however, from what I've seen, its not set in stone. I know of quite a few kids who started 6th form then dropped out at half term ( one is actually a musician and does gigs now and then) but none of them have got jobs or apprenticeships so far and nobody is chasing them up. I'm not sure the reasons behind this but they are being left to do nothing and nobody seems bothered.

I thought the local authority would be harassing them about it but so far nothing.

I hope you can get something sorted out

Lightbulbon Sun 31-Jan-16 11:08:56

She needs to be able to read and write regardless of her future career.

It's quite dismissive to just say she can't do English.

She should be getting help with her dyslexia but still does need to be able to function in an English speaking society.

WandaFuca Sun 31-Jan-16 12:42:13

Would home education be a possibility? If you post on the Home Ed section here, you might get some more ideas.

RancidOldHag Sun 31-Jan-16 12:51:51

Home Education is not the answer here.

If you have been HEdding up to this point, then you can continue and it will qualify.

But you cannot take up HEdding post-16 (well, you can, but it doesn't qualify under the raising of the participation age) as it was felt to be wide open to abuse.

I'm not sure how distance learning done from home (but with a registration and demonstrable progress with a known provider) would count.

fastdaytears Sun 31-Jan-16 13:00:50

Your daughter sounds very talented and already working hard in her chosen areas, but not having a c grade in English is going to keep being an issue I would have thought, and dyslexia however severe shouldn't be a barrier to that. Is she being adequately supported at school? She shouldn't be left to get this frustrated about it.

I suppose dance schools aren't big enough to offer apprenticeships? I think that apprenticeships are a great option, but as far as I know they all require a GCSE pass in English and if you don't have that you have to work towards equivalent qualifications during your apprenticeship.

WandaFuca Sun 31-Jan-16 21:31:36

ROH - I hadn’t realised that HE couldn’t be started post-16. That’s a pity, because it sounds like the OP’s DD could do with more flexibility in education than she’s likely to get (has got?) through the standard system. Distance learning courses might be a suitable alternative, and the people on the HE section might be able to advise on those.

Oliversmumsarmy - How helpful is the school being? Surely, they should have connections with local colleges and so on, and have some idea of what would work for your DD?

I don’t have much experience of dyslexia, I can barely imagine what severe dyslexia is like – I guess it’s an incredibly exhausting condition to have to deal with. Could the Dyslexia Foundation be of any assistance? Maybe there’s an alternative English course that could lead to the equivalent of a GCSE?

From what sashh and Curiousflannel say, it could be that as long as you’ve got enough on her timetable that could be classified as educational, then the cash-strapped local authority might not bother to get involved too much. That’s risky, I know, but it doesn’t look like the system is working for your daughter. And that’s not how it should be.

Anderson11 Thu 10-Mar-16 15:53:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

LadyPenelope68 Mon 09-May-16 21:06:59

If she hasn't passed her GCSE English and Maths then she will have to retake those, as it's a condition of the post-16 thing whether she is at college/school or taking an apprenticeship.

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