Home Ed post-GCSE(9 Posts)
DC would like to home ed post-GCSE for a year before going back into mainstream Sixth form. Has anyone else done this?
How did your DC spend their year?
I should have added that they will still be compulsory school age until next June so we will have to officially deregister.
Not me - mine is just finishing Y11 but hasn't been to school beforehand and has no plans to go to sixth form after.
So, is your teen in the year above their chronological age? For a child who is in the "usual" year for their age, compulsory school age ends after they've done GCSEs in Y11.
The world is your oyster. Your young person could do some academic study in more depth than is usually possible, or branch out to do non-academic things such as sport or music. Or what about exploring career options by getting some paid or voluntary work?
If work is a possibility, be aware that restrictions on what time of day children can work, how many hours per day/week etc are still in force until the end of compulsory school age. So it would have to be part-time.
They could do some outdoorsy stuff if that appeals, Duke of Edinburgh award for example. My teen has been on several tall ships sailing trips with other home ed kids, and there's a group that does caving.
Saracen, I believe the compulsory age went up to 17 in England and Wales a few years back now?
No, there are two separate things.
The end of compulsory school age hasn't changed. In both England and Wales, it's the last Friday in June of the year in which the young person turns 16, which would be Y11 unless a decision has been taken somewhere along the line to educate them out of their usual age group. During compulsory school age, parents have a legal responsibility to ensure their child receives a full-time education (at school or elsewhere) and there are criminal penalties for noncompliance.
In England, but not Wales, there is now also an increased participation age, which places a duty on young people (rather than on their parents) to continue in education or training longer. This age was raised in stages and is now the 18th birthday. Young people can choose between full-time education or training, or part-time work plus part-time education/training. Home education qualifies. There are no criminal sanctions for failing to comply, but teens who aren't complying cannot claim benefits.
Anyway, the reason I was being so nosy about the exact age of the OP's child is threefold.
First, as she's aware, if her child leaves school while still of compulsory school age, she'll need to deregister properly or face fines for truancy.
Second, child labour laws relax significantly after the end of compulsory school age, so that affects opportunities for volunteering or working.
Third, while the child is of compulsory school age, they automatically qualify for benefits such as Child Benefit. After that, they only qualify if in full-time approved education or training - and though home education is eligible, that's only the case if the home education started before the child turned 16.
Without wanting to go into the reasons for it, DD will not reach her 16th birthday until Summer 2017 but will complete all of her GCSEs next month so will definitely still be of compulsory school age until the last weekend in June 2016 according to the rules I read on Education Otherwise. We are already coming across issues with being under 16 as it seems to restrict opportunities for volunteering/ work experience in some of the areas she's interested in. She is interested in a couple of Open University modules but her age may be an issue there too and we don't want to do formal A level-type course, just bits she likes (history mainly). Does anyone have any recommendations?
The outdoorsy stuff sounds good Saracen. Is it best to try and link up with a local home ed group to find those things? We're completely new to this and I feel I have to really start putting some plans in place as I suppose we'll have to deregister in early September. It's DD's last week in lessons this week, it'll just be the exams after that. DD can't wait to leave school and is excited to have the option of home ed for (at least) a year.
Sorry- I meant to say she'll definitely be of compulsory school age (5-16) until the last weekend of June 2017 according to the Ed otherwise website.
Yes, it's definitely worth networking locally, and nationally if you have time and don't mind travelling. There's so much stuff on, and no "one stop shop" to find out about it. You could join a local Facebook or Yahoo group and just lurk there making notes of things which may be of interest so you can ask later.
You could also ask local people about voluntary opportunities. Like you, we found 16 to be an age barrier for a lot of more formal voluntary work. Some charity shop chains (including Blue Cross, PDSA, Sue Ryder and Barnardo's) will take volunteers who are age 14+. Small local organisations sometimes aren't sufficiently clued-up to realise there may be liability issues with younger volunteers, so if you're satisfied that your teen will be safe there, you could take advantage of the fact that they haven't thought of banning child volunteers! This is the main route to volunteering which the HE kids I know have used. They hang out at places which interest them, chatting with the staff/volunteers, and eventually start helping out. Often parents are on hand for the early sessions, and then melt away as everyone gets to know each other and becomes comfortable with the arrangement.
Here's some stuff about getting onto OU courses under the age of 16: he-exams.wikia.com/wiki/Open_University
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