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GCSE options appeal

(23 Posts)
musicislife Thu 06-Jun-13 11:34:08

thanks gillviola I will see what they can come up with.

gillviola Wed 05-Jun-13 19:53:04

Not all schools are large and can offer the range of subjects that marriedin whiteagain requires. (My school has 500 pupils). If the member of staff is willing - could they teach it afterschool? I did this for 20 pupils who could not fit drama into their timetable.

musicislife Mon 03-Jun-13 11:47:30

So noone has gone through the Complaints Procedure for this sort of thing?

musicislife Mon 03-Jun-13 11:45:55

Thank you all, it's a big enough school but the pupils clearly are not informed enough about how important it is and I do think the teacher was good - lots of stories about experiences in Spain. I will be fighting for a change!

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 26-May-13 16:17:53

I agree tiggytape but you know when my dd attended a state secondary (OK - we pulled her out after two years and yes I accept we had the choice) school meetings/PTA were attended by the same dozen sycophants day in and day out all brown nosing the very inadequate head for the personal benefit of their own children. If parents actually stood up and would be counted and pulled together and told the truth then state education in this country would be so much better.

We voted with our feet because we could; if we hadn't been able to I think I would have become a governor; I would certainly have written to the LA and Michael Gove.

And GCSE options should be a deciding factor and no comprehensive, imo can call itself a comprehensive without offering three sciences, two mfls and a classical language. Comps are supposed to cater for all; this one like man others clearly doesn't; therefore it is not a comprehensive school.

tiggytape Sun 26-May-13 15:43:47

married - it isn't always that simple re choice of schools. If it is the only school OP can get a place at, GCSE options really aren't a deciding factor. Where I live for example, there is no choice of secondary school at all if you have to remain in the state sector - which most do.

However, as a parent, you reasonably expect any school to offer the basics. And the opportunity for your child to take the only language they've studied to GCSE is part of that. I do agree though that it is worth exploring other options such as paying a group tutor if the school really won't budge.

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 26-May-13 15:26:36

You must have known the school didn't have a brilliant language provision when you sent your child there. The dice have gone against you. Can the five families whose dc want to do Spanish come to a tutoring arrangement with the Spanish teacher and pay for her to teach it after school. Just because the school isn't offering it doesn't mean your dd can't do it at all.

ravenAK Sat 25-May-13 21:58:21

Unfortunately this happens quite a bit in smaller schools; the staff have to be deployed to teach according to the demand.

We often get round it by running twilight sessions (I've taught Latin on this basis) - it's not ideal, but sometimes the only way to offer a subject. However, that sort of solution is dependent on staff goodwill/availability.

I actually can't see any real reason why it'd be an insuperable problem to do GCSE French from a standing start after 3 years of Spanish, mind you - in fact, I'd be quite keen on that option for my own dc.

gallicgirl Sat 25-May-13 14:14:40

Oops, sorry, missed that.

Seems odd that they can't get enough students and perhaps they need to examine the quality of teaching if students aren't motivated to continue. Alternatively maybe there are simply timetabling issues. I remember I had to take Classics after school and was forbidden from taking art too because I was forced to waste timetable space with some useless vocational module that didn't even give me a qualification.

lljkk Sat 25-May-13 14:00:43

Is this a very small school, OP?

JWIM Sat 25-May-13 13:14:20

OP - could the school look at sharing the course with another local school where there might be low, but some, demand but together would make the teaching cost viable?

tiggytape Sat 25-May-13 12:09:34

I think the point is that DS doesn't have French already. Half of year 7 chose French and half chose Spanish - her DS chose Spanish. Now, 3 years later, the GCSE Spanish class is cancelled so OP's DS cannot take a MFL at GCSE at all.

Assuming it is an average size school - 200 or so in every year group it is pretty shocking that they are happy to allow 95 students to choose to drop their only MFL option when such emphasis is placed on having a laguage GCSE. You'd think they'd be able to muster up more than 5 and, if they can't, perhaps they should be advising students (expecially those who want to continue to further education) of the benefits of taking a language GCSE.

gallicgirl Fri 24-May-13 23:41:46

Could your DD pick Spanish up at college? I did Spanish gcse in 2 years while I did my a levels. It's pretty easy if you have French already.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 24-May-13 23:41:25

Yep, dd did Latin from a standing start in two years 8-10!

cricketballs Fri 24-May-13 23:38:18

It is not financially viable for a school to justify a qualified teacher for at least 3 lessons a week for 5 students no matter the instances that have happened beforehand. If less than 12 student's chose my subject then I would fully expect it not to run as the expense could not be justified.

It is possible to pick up a language to GCSE level in 2 years (as many schools have shown given that most languages are only available at KS4) just as 'new' subjects are covered in a 2 year course with no prior experience.

musicislife Fri 24-May-13 22:54:28

Thank you to tiggytape and annh, yes annh you got that exactly right and they say there are 5 students and they can't run it for less that 10, there are so many arguments for this but the Department for Education say that the school make the decisions on subjects, just waiting for the Chair of Governors reply according to the Parental Complaints Procedure but been waiting for 9 days now.

tiggytape Fri 24-May-13 22:32:04

That's quite shocking really - there's obviously no way a child can take French if they've done Spanish since Year 7 so then they'd have no MFL option at all.
I know MFL isn't compulsory but it is seen as a very desirable GCSE to have - a tiny step below core ones really hence its inclusion in the EBacc when that was first discussed and even its inclusion in some university requirements (UCL for example requires a GCSE grade C or above in a MFL for all degree courses and others don't require it but definitely favour candidates who have a GCSE MFL)

I would definitely challenge this too. Apart from limiting your own DC's options, are they really O.K with half of Year 10 not even attempting a language GCSE?

annh Fri 24-May-13 22:25:53

So the school only offers French or Spanish, everyone in Yr 7 has to choose one and in Yr 9 they choose options for GCSE. Not enough people what to continue with Spanish so they will run only French in Yr 10. Have I got that right? Seems unusual you wouldn't have at least enough interest to make up one class, given that there isn't a huge range of languages to choose from. How many want to take Spanish?

musicislife Fri 24-May-13 22:19:45

Just French, they choose one of the two from Yr 7, seems this isn't the first year they've stopped it for Yr 10's either

annh Thu 23-May-13 20:46:00

What other languages are offered?

musicislife Thu 23-May-13 14:01:12

Its Spanish and they go on about how important it is to choose a second language, there are so many reasons why they should make it happen, even for a handful of students, they can put money into apprenticeships and run small classes of subjects such as Citizenship - which the Unis then dismiss - my DD really wants to take the GCSE and I think its worth fighting for, any sories from anyone who's tried?

titchy Thu 23-May-13 13:52:12

What subject? Assuming it's not one of the core ones not sure you have a leg to stand on tbh - I mean if it's not viable to run it's not viable! Where would they stop if they did offer everything - put on a class for just one of two kids?

musicislife Thu 23-May-13 13:24:45

Does any one have experience of challenging a secondary school over their refusal to run a subject for Yr 10 due to lack of numbers selecting it? Currently waiting for a reply from Chair of Governors would appreciate advice

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