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Worried, child benefit etc... Un-schooled 16 year old.

(28 Posts)
Feminine Fri 13-Feb-15 10:15:14

So, to make this quick.
If l had known how things would have been for my eldest in school, l would have home schooled him from the start.
Unfortunately, we can't go back.
Anyway, this year he will take a few token GCSE exams. Afterwards, he wants to be home schooled...more un-schooled really.
I have no idea what to do about tax credits, child benefit. How can l prove he isn't working, and just teaching himself what get needs to know
We don't have a massive income, and we will still need the money to help support him.
The only thing that consoles me, is that he is very good at learning and teaching himself what he wants to know wink
I am also hugely worried that he won't have anything on paper to give to a prospective employer.
When he did his work experience he did amazingly well, and his 'employers' were more than happy with him.
Although he now "hates the industry" He has a talent for computer/tech Hardware.
So many questions, l have been sticking my head in the sand for ages.
Thank you. smile

littlejohnnydory Fri 13-Feb-15 15:47:42

Is he home educated at the moment? If not then unfortunately you won't be entitled to child benefit post-16, as only teens who have been home educated before they turn 16 are eligible Try asking on some of the home ed facebook groups (there's one called 'help dealing with officialdom') - there are some very knowledgeable legal bods on there as well as those who have home educated post-16.

Feminine Fri 13-Feb-15 16:51:10

Oh no. That is what he told me, when trying to leave school earlier in the year. sad
Thank you for your help though...

cdtaylornats Fri 13-Feb-15 17:46:16

Do you have a local computer shop? He might be able to persuade them to give him an apprenticeship, a small shop isn't exactly industry and he might be able to build a career.

Feminine Fri 13-Feb-15 19:34:01

That is where he did his work experience actually. smile
I don't know, l will ask him.
I'm worried now, as l have no idea what l am supposed to do with him?
He can't work, but wants to.
If he can't (or doesn't want to) find an apprenticeship... Will he really be allowed to sit at home for the next two years? Thanks for the idea though.

Saracen Fri 13-Feb-15 21:20:34

"He can't work, but wants to."

Why can't he?

TheIncidentalGoat Fri 13-Feb-15 21:29:17

He can be at home but you won't be able to claim any benefits for him if he's out of education or training. He has to be home-ed before 16 to claim to e home-ed post 16.

Why can't he work?

Feminine Fri 13-Feb-15 21:52:28

He can't work as he is only 16.
His school have said as much.
So child tax credits will also go then?

TheIncidentalGoat Fri 13-Feb-15 22:04:48

Ah yes he has to be 17 now I think, unless it's work with training.

He'll just have to stick school or go to 6th form college for another year or get an apprenticeship if you can't afford to lose his benefits.

CTC will end in August if he's not in education or training.

Saracen Sat 14-Feb-15 00:29:02

Your son's school is quite wrong. I'm shocked that they are giving kids such bad advice. The raising of the participation age doesn't stop young people from working!!! It only means they must remain in some form of approved education or training until they are 18.

Have a look at the child labour laws. There are age-linked restrictions on the hours young people can work and what types of job they can do. While your son is still of compulsory school age - until the end of Y11 - these restrictions are considerable and he could really only do part-time work. After that it is much more relaxed, though a very few restrictions on type of work remain until age 18, basically banning ultra-hazardous work. The law on that was unaffected by the RPA.

So your son could be working part-time now if he wanted, and can increase to full-time in June. He does have to be in some form of education or training alongside that. (Home education qualifies - but if it wasn't started before the end of Y11, it doesn't qualify for benefits.) If he is doing paid or voluntary work for at least 20 hours a week, the education/training only has to be part-time.

Feminine Sat 14-Feb-15 06:14:18

Thank you so much...
Is it too late to take him out now, so we qualify for benefits... Or as he turned 16 in November, is it already too late?
I Really appreciate the help.
My son has been working towards not getting any qualifications, as a way of showing how much he disapproves of mainstream education.
What l am wondering about it, how on earth anyone will employ him?
He thinks he has that covered by becoming self employed.
Luckily he does have skills (with computers) that would make him very useful to a company... But with nothing on paper, l just don't know?
It isn't obvious that he will flunk his exams because he is very savy, and articulate.
What a mess!!! Thanks again.

Feminine Sat 14-Feb-15 06:20:07

Sorry, what l meant by the savy bit, is that he comes across as very smart. Not your typical 'drop out' kid.
People assume he will be doing a levels etc... It is not obvious that he is sabotaging everything.
He is not allowed back in 6th form as he received two exclusions (much to his delight) over the past year. They were not horrendous crimes, just things he knew his very strict school would have to take action on.

Footle Sat 14-Feb-15 06:35:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Feminine Sat 14-Feb-15 08:04:29

Thank you footle
Your post has really helped.
I've only ever tried to 'hear' him, and sometimes l think that wasn't the smartest plan.
You are right though, l can't change him . I just want him to be okay.... smile

Nigglenaggle Sat 14-Feb-15 08:10:48

Many employers value skills and personality traits over actual qualifications anyway. It sounds like he has good work skills, when he is motivated to use them. I think he will do fine. Have you discussed your financial issues with him?

Feminine Sat 14-Feb-15 08:30:48

I have told him.
Unfortunately he thinks it isn't up to him to worry about it. For example:
"you shouldn't give me the pressure of your finances, my other friends don't have this problem "
Indeed this is probably true, we live in an affluent village, and his friends have wealthy parents ... However... That isn't our situation.
We are not 'poor' but like most families every penny is accounted for.
When he makes silly claims like that, it illuminates his age and lack of true understanding of how the world works.
I am trying to remember that he is extremely entrepreneurial, if he wants something he gets it!
This has worked for him, as he can fix unusual things.... Then sell them for a profit.
He is like those 'lucky chancer' type characters you see from time to time.
Typically (for those types) he presents himself as much older, so l am hoping those charming coaxing skills will be useful in the workforce .... Luckily he isn't work shy at all. smile
My goodness.... ;)

YoullLikeItNotaLot Sat 14-Feb-15 08:45:27

OP, can I just say your son's school is talking utter bull shit.

The raising of the participation age to 17 IS NOT a raising of the school leaving age. Many head teachers have deliberately and disingenuously interpreted it this way to keep bums in seats (and therefore funding). What this means for the student is that they can waste a year on a wholly inappropriate course. When they then go elsewhere at 17/18 their options are far more limited due to the funding mechanisms.

This is compounded by the disbanding of Connexions, as the funding for advice & guidance has been given to schools who are duty bound to provide an independent service. But guess what, they have a completely vested interest. Hopefully this will change now sixth forms have their own ofsted grades and are judged on numbers who achieve compared to numbers who started the course. I won't hold my breath though.

I would get your son to make an appt with an FE college or specialist apprentice provider. These will still provide routes to university (if that's what he wants) but are a million miles away from school environments.

MinceSpy Sat 14-Feb-15 08:51:03

How does he plan to support himself or do his antiestablishment principles mean he's happy to let you take responsibility? At the beginning of your thread I had a lot of empathy for your son, not all 16 -18 year olds are suited to 6th form or college but your extra info has lessened the empathy.
Maybe an apprenticeship would suit him.

Feminine Sat 14-Feb-15 09:21:46

Yes mincepie
You can see why l am worried .
But, he does work hard
That is all l have to go on.
Unfortunately, he had never liked school... Reception through year two, he'd cling to me, cry etc..
Makes me think l should have home schooled years ago.
Academically he always did very well. Until he decided not to
I think his comment about our household finances verges on typical teen. Although unacceptable and makes him look daft.
He has never had any pocket money, and yet he has a room full of bits from 'trading up' and perhaps swapping a gift. Fixing something and getting paid.

Feminine Sat 14-Feb-15 09:23:03

youl Thank you for your detailed help.
I will certainly do that.
Very interesting...

Heels99 Sat 14-Feb-15 09:34:49

He seriously sounds like he's a kid who needs to be out in the world doing something. A job, an apprenticeship, are there any princes trust courses in your area, a college course, national citizen service, voluntary work? Sitting in the house for two years may not be the best option. He will also find that most employers will want a school reference and will expect him to comply with their rules. I think he probably has messed up a bit here but he does have options if you can persuade him to think about them sensibly rather than him thinking he will sit at home 'learning' by himself for two years AKA being a NEET. Unless he can turn that learning into qualifications he isn't going to be any further forward with that plan.
Good luck, he does sound a little precocious?

Heels99 Sat 14-Feb-15 09:36:31

Just to add an 18 year old in our town started his own IT fix it business and is doing well, but car needed for that.

Feminine Sat 14-Feb-15 10:32:26

Thank you both for recent replies.
We have agreed he will set himself up in business fixing and trouble shooting computers. Ad he already has a moped he'll start off in the local villages. This is a skill that he has been trying to not use, as he acquired it very young. At ten, buying broken computers on eBay and fixing them etc... Then swapping them for a 'better' thing/piece of technology. Luckily he can also build them...he didnt want to sit in the house for two years (l know l said that) but... That was all l could see him doing.
What is a NEET ? l am quite ignorant about most courses etc... Thanks again.
I have been able to have a very productive conversation with him steming from this thread. thanks

YoullLikeItNotaLot Sat 14-Feb-15 12:13:39

NEET - young person Not in Employment, Education or Training.

So long as he knows there are other options out there - it's not school or nothing as far as training/education goes.

Saracen Sat 14-Feb-15 13:11:12

That sounds really positive!

IME employers do care about young people's school references, but only when the young person has nothing better to show! Far better indicators of potential in the workplace are work, voluntary work, and relevant hobby experience.

If your son does end up applying for jobs, anything of that sort will be useful. If you are concerned that his new venture will see him sitting in the house too much, why not suggest to him that he combine it with developing some other interests outside of the home? Those will help him develop as a whole person, while also networking and laying down some visible proof of his talents.

Perhaps he and you would be inspired by reading biographies of entrepreneurs. (I haven't read any, but I bet they have some very interesting stories to tell, and will reassure both of you that there are many ways to go forward at this stage.) I'm thinking of people like Richard Branson. If I recall correctly he scraped a few very poor O levels and escaped from school at the earliest opportunity.

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