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Need advice please.

(3 Posts)
PhilPhilConnors Fri 12-Feb-16 10:01:01

I've started this thread in chat.

I'm really not sure what to do for ds.

Does anyone know how to find local HE groups so I can find out more about it?

Saracen Fri 12-Feb-16 11:37:56

It sounds like school is just not the right place for your son. He is really incredibly unhappy, there's no easy solution to the bullying and the courses aren't suited to a less academic kid anyway.

I can totally relate to your reluctance to have three kids around all the time when you need time alone. And it's true that if the other two dislike school then they will be wanting to be HE as well. That's hard. If it's just you and the one son, you'll probably find it easy to work something out whereby you both get some time alone. More people makes it more challenging. Still, if there are issues at school for all of them, and coming out of school makes them happier, they may be easier to be with than they now are. Are they mature enough that you can say to them, for example, "10-11am and 3-4pm are times when everyone does something quietly alone. I don't want you to come into my room unless it's an emergency."

The doom and gloom view about young people who don't get qualifications at 16 is complete nonsense. It's very blinkered. It does not apply to optimistic teens who have had an education which suits them, who've had the opportunity to get relevant experience either at home or in a paid or voluntary job, and who aren't hampered by the idea of doing everything at the same age as everyone else. It is entirely possible that your son will discover at some point that he needs a few GCSEs. He can do them then, at college or at home. There is no age deadline, except for the benefit of schools who need results in Y11 for their league tables.

My 16yo is not working toward qualifications at the moment. She does all sorts of hands-on things and has dabbled in plenty of paid and voluntary jobs over the last couple of years. She already has the makings of a decent CV. Since she has no idea what career she wants, she may well find herself doing a few GCSEs later on to get onto a course or land a specific job. But neither she nor I see any point in doing GCSEs now "just in case". You might just as well insist "everyone must learn to drive a motorbike by the age of 18 just in case they find that useful later".

It's also possible that your son will be just fine without qualifications, so long as he can get some experience. Which he already is. Restoring engines is fantastic. He'll eventually find opportunities to work on engines alongside other enthusiasts, if he wants to do that, even in a rural area. My dh learns all manner of obscure things about fixing engines from YouTube and spends ages in consultation with tinkering neighbours.

I used to work in the software industry and my husband is in the building trade. We both agree that when hiring, we have almost no interest whatsoever in academic qualifications. They are slightly useful IF the candidate has no experience to show (i.e. if we have to choose between two candidates with no experience, then we might prefer the one with a qualification), but really we want people with experience and interest. They win hands down. Ideally that experience would come from a paid job, but hobby and voluntary experience is also good.

PhilPhilConnors Fri 12-Feb-16 12:38:13

Thank you, this is very helpful.

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