Anyone have Dcs with crappy A levels who are still going to uni?

(53 Posts)
Twistella Wed 22-Aug-18 14:11:24

Dd1s grades aren't going to be stellar. She had glandular fever and only took one this year - a D.

She changed two other subjects after AS and is predicted a B in one and a Distinction in the A level equivalent BTEC. She's desperate to go to uni. She's not stupid, just panics in exams (hence the good grade in her BTEC which is mainly coursework).

She's taken herself off to a couple of open days and fallen in love with the idea of uni.

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Nescafegold Wed 22-Aug-18 15:17:23

I commented about this in another thread. My dd has already gone through this and now 25 years old. She was unable to secure a graduate job for 2 years ended up doing lots of other jobs in the meantime such as Customer service, retail, insurance complaints handler, personal assistant to some CEO guy etc.
She finally found a job she really wanted and having some future career prospects in. Its a government run body. This was through a friend she was working with who's brother a HR guy was desperate to hire a admin staff. She recommended him with dd. She went through the normal channels interviews etc. The rest is history. Job isn't well paid as it's entry level she did it for a year but she has just been successful in securing another job in another dept in the same company with £5k increase will be on £22k after tax.
As she says she could have done all this without a degree with just A levels and work experience. The company gave her the job not because of her degree but because of all the other jobs she had done. Through her work she could demonstrate she could work in teams, Have great communication skills. Work to schedule and demands and is also quick learner. They could see she was easily trainable for their company.
Sometimes a degree isn't always the best way for certain career paths. DD isn't academic also has poor A levels . The degree she did was a poor one too. With years behind her now she is able to reflect back and realise that degree had not helped her in the way she thought it would. But opened her eyes to see how there are alternative ways to get a career by means other than from a degree. But many kids don't know this and feel getting a degree is the best option.
I do feel for you in this situation. But do think of alternative options. So many go on to do poor degree option's just because they want to be free and live away from home. But come down with a big thud when they realise they need to get a job afterwards.

Twistella Wed 22-Aug-18 15:22:25

Unfortunately she's dead set on teaching, which you need a degree for.

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Nescafegold Wed 22-Aug-18 15:30:55

Okay then there's really not much you can do but to support her. At least she knows what she wants to do that's the bright side. There's a clear path on what she has to do to get there so that's a plus. So its all down to getting the experience and the grades. I guess the grades might be her biggest hurdle. There are shortage of teachers so that's a plus too. What sort of teacher? Primary , secondary etc.

Twistella Wed 22-Aug-18 15:53:39

PE! She's done some level 1 coaching courses and shes actually really good at teaching kids. She's also genuinely interested in the human biology side. She wants to do sports science.

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Purplemond Wed 22-Aug-18 16:18:10

my dd had a friends who is currently on a PE teaching course at Leeds Beckett with two a levels grade C/D and a sport related btec, she is about to go into her third year and really enjoying it. Leeds was her first choice but if i remember correctly if she choose a certain uni Sheffield Hallam/Northumbria i cant quite recall which they would of made her offer unconditional without the results but she prefered the course at leeds best.

SleepyMcEdie Wed 22-Aug-18 16:22:08

The problem with PE teaching is that sports degrees are over subscribed and therefore the uni’s set higher entry requirements.

Schools will also want to look at her A-levels results and expect her to be able to teach a second subject.


Purplemond Wed 22-Aug-18 16:25:10

just looking at Leeds Beckett site for PE/Sports science courses and it says

Our typical clearing offer for this course is shown above. However, we are also interested in hearing from students who are passionate about the subject and will assess your application on a range of factors including, but not limited to, your performance in examinations and assessments.

With your dds experience, coaching qualification and enthusiasm for the course im sure University is possible

Does she have any particular favourite places so far, it might be worth checking now to see what the requirements are for the courses in clearing

Peakypolly Wed 22-Aug-18 16:26:17

To answer your question ‘yes’,
There are worse things than uni to do for the next four years and the loan will only be an issue if she gets and keeps a good job. Fingers crossed, she will.

Twistella Wed 22-Aug-18 16:28:37

The problem with PE teaching is that sports degrees are over subscribed and therefore the uni’s set higher entry requirements

Every single sports and exercise science degree bar 5 was in clearing this year.

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Twistella Wed 22-Aug-18 16:33:46

She's also doing a sport based epq about the effect of competition in young children

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SleepyMcEdie Wed 22-Aug-18 16:44:09

Twistella that’s positive then.

Hoozz Wed 22-Aug-18 18:02:19

I think it's PE teaching that's oversubscribed not sports science degrees. Lots of Sports Science graduates want to be PE teachers. Not so many vacancies to train as PE teachers and not so many vacancies for jobs as PE teachers.
Maybe better to consider a primary teaching degree?

Izzidigne Wed 22-Aug-18 18:18:39

Or have a look at the threads in education, the staffroom on mumsnet and see how miserable most/some teachers are. It's difficult to describe how awful being a teacher is. It's not just being overworked, it's being criticised and disrespected every day. I left teaching and wish someone had warned me how awful it would be.

titchy Wed 22-Aug-18 18:40:51

Agree re the PE teacher comments - it's the one subject where supply significantly outstrips demand. Would she consider any other subject?

Nescafegold Wed 22-Aug-18 19:20:16

Umm PE teacher posts is more challenging to find. One of my neighbours son manage to find one but had to move otherside of the UK for it. He has to teach other subjects too because of the schools budget constraints and covering for absent teachers that might be a consideration. One of our friends an assistant headmaster at secondary school had a vacancy advertised for a science teacher. It took over 2 month before anyone applied for it.

Twistella Wed 22-Aug-18 19:23:43

Well if she does sports science I guess she'd be able to look for other types of job too.

I take your point about PE teachers. But there's loads of lawyers but it doesn't seem to stop people studying law!

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LARLARLAND Wed 22-Aug-18 19:27:07

Has she looked at Edge Hill University? It has a great reputation for sport and education and the campus is lovely.

titchy Wed 22-Aug-18 19:31:13

Sports science grads, particularly from low tariff universities, often end up working as fitness instructors though. Which they could have done without the degree. Similarly law grads from low tariff universities often can't find training contracts and end up doing non-grad clerical work.

Teaching pretty much guarantees a graduate level job, regardless of which university, unless you can only teach PE...

Twistella Wed 22-Aug-18 19:32:56

Yes she has larlarland! She liked it.

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Stopyourhavering64 Wed 22-Aug-18 20:18:16

My dd did a Philosophy degree at Scottish University with BCCD at A level (English,Geography,RE,Drama)....then did MSc in TESOL at Edinburgh University (Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages)
She now teaching English in China and loving it...just been promoted after 1 yr in job and getting £1400/month after taxes, accommodation etc)
She has dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia and would love to come back and teach in UK at a specialist school or a PhD in linguistics

TheThirdOfHerName Wed 22-Aug-18 21:20:44

DS1 was initially taking 11 GCSEs and targeted to get A grades. Unfortunately he had health problems which meant he only took 8 GCSEs and got mostly B grades. He was still unwell for most of Y12 but managed to get BBC in his A-levels

He is about to go to his first choice university (not quite Russell group but still well-regarded) to study History and is looking forward to it.

He is academically able and enjoys the subject he's going to study, it's just that he had a tough few years.

I sometimes read on Mumsnet how pupils with B and C grades shouldn't bother going to university and should get a job or do an apprenticeship instead. There are no apprenticeships in History, and he can't do the job he'd like (teaching) without a degree.

Izzidigne Thu 23-Aug-18 09:01:03

I hear what people say about not needing a degree to get into certain jobs but for me it wasn't getting the initial job that the degree was useful for, it was later when promotions were really only available to those with degrees. Easier to do a degree full time than try to catch up later part time when trying to work alongside.

Twistella Thu 23-Aug-18 09:05:19

I hear what people say about not needing a degree to get into certain jobs but for me it wasn't getting the initial job that the degree was useful for, it was later when promotions were really only available to those with degrees

Yes this happened to my dsis

She regrets not doing one when she had the chance as its a pita having to try and do and pay for one when you are older.

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user1471450935 Thu 23-Aug-18 09:51:45

Ds goes to Lincoln, that's university of not the college at Oxford, on either 15 or 16th of September. He got an unconditional offer for criminology. Ended up with 3 C's (History, Geography and Criminology) and a D in World Development. A/s results where C,E,E, for History, Geography and World Development.
The Criminology was done in a year, after abandoning Chemistry after a disaster in Year 11 A/s.
Not sure if they class as crappy, as he was predicted C's, and only has B and C's at Gcse. So for him they are brilliant, he is first on either side of family to get an A level.
University because of wanting to join Police and by 2020 he will need a degree.
By the way we are 2 very proud parents.

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