This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
UCAS help(32 Posts)
Hoping someone might be able to help us as in quite a stressful situation! My ds is ready to submit his UCAS form however his teachers (all of them!) are on strike due to an issue with their contracts and pay following a merger. They have already carried out 15 days of strikes and have another 15 more planned after half term with no end in sight. As a result he has had virtually no teaching this term, no support with UCAS form and no start made on coursework. I have arranged a private tutor to try to get him through but having had some very frustrating and frankly fruitless discussions with his college it seems his teachers are not predicting grades or doing references whilst on strike therefore his form can not be submitted. I have spoken to UCAS who say I could re register him as an external candidate however I am not sure how that would work regarding grades and reference or if the unis would look unfavourably on this?! Super stressed by it all as he wants to do a popular course at either Newcastle, Liverpool or Leeds so don't want to sit it out and hope the teachers are back in time! Any advice gladly accepted. TIA
I thought the deadline was January so I just googled it and it says 15th January. Unless I'm missing something here?
I think it's only Oxford or Cambridge who take applications earlier.
Yes it is January but the strikes have no end in sight so currently his teachers are planning to strike until the end of November but could continue afterwards. Also due to issues with the college management there is no goodwill for them to catch up any work or do anything out of their remit so am worried he may miss the deadline. Also as he is ready to submit we are very frustrated at not being able to so wondering if going as an external candidate may be better.
Plus lots of his friends at other schools already have offers which is affecting his morale.
No advice just sorry. This is terrible. Can he move colleges?
Thanks, we have looked at other colleges but unfortunately as he is in Year 13 and there is a coursework element to two of his subjects none of them offer the same course with the same exam board. I have considered online school but again he can't do the coursework element that way plus he is doing an EPQ via college. I really don't know what to do to be honest. He has had about 5 lessons since September. I have been helping him keep up as much as I can at home and the tutor starts on Monday but I am at a loss as to what else I can do.
(one reason I paid school fees and work full time! I hope they can sort it out)
Such a shame! No doubt the tutor will have an answer for you though!
He was previously at a private school until sixth form but wanted a change and nothing could persuade him otherwise! Hopefully the tutor will help but I am not sure if she can predict grades as she is literally only starting on Monday
Blimey, my DD is in year 13 and I totally understand your stress. I'm sure you know that universities are obliged to give equal consideration and he shouldn't be disadvantaged as long as he applies by 15 Jan. But seeing others getting offers must be demoralising.
Have you tried calling UCAS for advice? References don't necessarily have to be from your school/college (since obviously some applicants aren't at school/college). They may be able to suggest both how to get a reference sorted and how to make sure universities are aware of the circumstances around his y13 education.
Ignore me. You have of course spoken to UCAS and you said so. Sorry, it's Friday and my brain is frazzled. Asking the tutor to predict grades - and providing information about extenuating circumstances sounds like a way forward.
Yes I think that's the only way forward now, am so stressed with it all, thanks for all the replies so far, just hoping for a miracle really
I am a sixth form tutor in a standard Comp. My Oxford/Cambridge/medical students submitted their applications in the middle of October. As for the rest, I think I have only sent 2 forms off so far. We have asked them to complete their personal statements by the middle of November for us to check/write references. Normally we send the majors off in December. The odd few lates ones in the New year.
Thanks I think if I knew the teachers would be back and would do the forms I would be fine, well as fine as I can be when my son is not getting any teaching at all but the truth is things have turned very nasty between the college and the staff and there is a high chance none of them will be in before Xmas and some may leave.
Oh my goodness, this is awful! I have a DD in year 13 and can't imagine how stressful it must be for him (and you!)
Yes the deadline is not until January, but I'd be anxious too in this situation. My DD isn't applying for any of the early entry subjects/unis but she still sent her application a couple of weeks ago as she wanted to get it sorted so she could concentrate on school work, and I imagine your DS is the same. It must be so frustrating.
It sounds like you're doing everything you can do to help him, he's lucky to have you.
I'm worried for others in his cohort with less engaged parents though - what a mess.
Perhaps email a couple of the preferred university admissions departments, explain the situation and ask what they advise?
Other than that I have no idea what else you can do, sorry.
DD's school aren't as helpful as some but at least they're there and available - I have no idea what it would be like trying to navigate all this without them.
and for you.
Thank you!I am also worried about his year group, a lot of them are even talking of dropping out. I have called, emailed and been into the college but so far to no avail. That is a good idea about contacting the universities directly, I will do so on Monday. Really appreciate all the replies and support as I am tearing my hair out here!
Could your DS join year 12 at another school? Its not very late into the first term when you consider that he's already learned the year 12 material.
I have thought of that but he is already 18 as his birthday is September so not sure if he would be allowed?
18? I don't know - is that the point schools can't get new funding or something?
But didn't you say you could afford to go private for GCSE, so could you stretch to another two years at a sixth form?
If you can afford fees I would be looking at independent sixth forms/ tutorial colleges somewhere like Mander Portman Woodward , CCSS or Davis Laing. Not sure where you are but we know someone who had a good experience with CCSS after their son had to miss part of year 12. At the very least I would call a couple and get some advice on what could be done
I'm not sure I just assumed most schools wouldn't allow him as next year he would be 19 in a class with younger students, I will ask though as it's a good idea. Would definitely pay private but he won't go back to his old school and there aren't many other choices
The independent sixth firms will have lot of nineteen year olds as they have resit candidates
Ah ok will definitely look into that then, thanks
I think they can receive funding for Level 3 courses (e.g. A-levels) until the end of the school year in which they turn 19, providing that:
- They haven't already completed Level 3 qualifications.
- They are studying full-time (e.g. 3 A-levels or equivalent BTEC course)