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Dd refused GCSE class need urgent help

(48 Posts)
Izzywizzy75 Wed 25-Sep-13 20:22:28

My dd is year 10 secondary education.
During year 9 assessments took place in order to allocate placements for relevant GCSE subjects. In May 2013 straight after these assessments the sch decided on whom who be in the btec class and who could be in the gcse class. My daughter scored below the threshold to be able to be out into the gcse class so was placed onto btec in this particular subject.

The classes were made up and started to learn in separate classes of btec and gcse before they broke up for summer in July 2013. They have now been running for 8 weeks in total.

At the end of the year July 2013 further assessments were carried out and my dd scored a much higher mark , a level that was sufficient enough for her to be in the GcSE class.

My dd has only been at the school since oct 2013 ,therefore it is possible that as she wa not fully settled and that she had previously come from a full time drama school where the academic subjects were not prime concern in some ways that her true ability was not realised in the first round of assessments in may 2013. By July her level had improved greatly.

As I was not aware of her new levels until the test marks were sent home In july i did not voice my btec concerns to the school during end of year 9. It was not until then that I realised and so did my dd that she was definately cabable of being in gcse class. Fellow pupils scoring lower marks had been placed into gcse.

At this point after a discussion with me at home and upon my advice My dd went to see her subject teacher twice and told her that she didn't understand why she was in btec , and that she wanted to do gcse and that she should be able too as she had scored above the level threshold in her more recent test. My dd tells me that the teacher agreed and said she would look into it. It was then the end of term for summer.

In sept at start of year 10 I asked dd what was happening and had she heard anything. Then as she hasn't I called the school 2.5 weeks ago to investigate myself. I spoke to the head of the subject whom said he knew nothing about DD wanting to be in gcse and that it was too late as the class was 5.5 weeks in.

I informed him that she had scored highly enough to be in that class and that he should move her immediately. He asked me to write in. I did.
Two weeks later I contacted the head about not hearing back and now 8 weeks in he finally writes back to me still saying that dd can't be moved as too much time has passed. He stalled for 2 weeks. Also because I should have contacted him back in may and that the teacher whom DD spoken too says she has no knowledge of this conversation whatsoever.
This is not true and the discussions where in front of the whole btec class whereby my dd clearly asked to go to gcse.
Over half the btec class has now been moved up to gcse because their parents complained before the end of the summer term. I did not because it was not until July that I realised they had been wrong and that dd had scored much better in tests and I asked my dd to talk to teacher.
I feel that my dd has the potential to be in the gcse class and te school know this as her level reflects it. They have fobbed me off with a letter to say that she will achieve a distinction in Btec, that no concerns were raised a d that it is too late.
My dd needs her science gcse in my eyes it is a basic core subject that nowadays a student cannot afford to leave school without if they are cabable of doing so. If there was a good reason for her to be in btec science I would understand.
Sorry for the essay please let me have any views thanking you in advance. I'm going to call an urgent meetingg with the schoo tomorrow.

noblegiraffe Wed 25-Sep-13 20:57:03

Can you say that you will hire a tutor to cover the missed work?

Izzywizzy75 Wed 25-Sep-13 21:27:12

Yes noblegiraffe I'm thinking to say that although I can't afford it I can do it for a few months whilst she catches up. Thx . Do you understand my point , I'm not being totally unreasonable am I? Plus my dd wants to get into the cosmetic industry so she needs her science gcse, science behind the cosmetics etc

CaptainSweatPants Wed 25-Sep-13 21:30:29

God the school sounds crap
Could you change schools?

TheFallenMadonna Wed 25-Sep-13 21:35:16

What assessment did she do after the split between BTEC and GCSE was made? What did it cover?

You need to make an appointment to speak to the head of science, and ask them to explain their rationale for choosing the BTEC pathway.

lborolass Wed 25-Sep-13 21:35:48

I wouldn't be communicating with the school via letter or email, I'd get in there and speak to someone (HOY?) with the authority to get your daughter moved asap. I can see why they would worry that she'd missed too much and that their results might be adversely affected but the difference between the two courses can't be that great in only a couple of months can it?

Izzywizzy75 Wed 25-Sep-13 21:38:01

Crazily this school is one of the best on the area perhaps that why they fiddle with pupils basic rights so they can keep their high grades in check.

noblegiraffe Wed 25-Sep-13 21:38:18

No, izzy, not unreasonable at all. If your DD is capable of GCSE, then she should absolutely be doing it instead of BTEC. I'm not sure why the school did further assessments in July, but they should have been able to see for themselves that she should have been promoted (before Y10, like the other students who were also promoted) without the need for a parent to get on their case.
If it was possible to promote her then, along with the other students, why didn't they do their job and do it? would be what I would be asking them. And how they are going to make up for their blunder.

Izzywizzy75 Wed 25-Sep-13 21:39:16

It is the head of science I have been dealing with and I'm going in to see him tomorrow I'm thinking of not leaving until he agrees to discuss face to face. I have days to get this sorted.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 25-Sep-13 21:40:32

The person to speak to is the head of science. And ask them to explain their reasoning. I don't understand why, several weeks into running two different courses, the department would run a common assessment across the two cohorts.

Izzywizzy75 Wed 25-Sep-13 21:41:11

Exactly noblegiraffe this is what I will be asking them tomorrow.
End of year tests were all round tests for reports. Think may tests were interim .

Izzywizzy75 Wed 25-Sep-13 21:42:51

I think the end of year tests are standard. I'm not sure why they did tests in may and then again in July. Maybe they did the may one to start setting out the gcse groups etc

TheFallenMadonna Wed 25-Sep-13 21:45:11

Do you have an appointment? It's hard to see a parent who just turns up. I manage a Science department, and I have talked to a lot of parents about setting and different Science qualifications. Science is always a minefield (see also triple vs core and additional). An important part of my job was to communicate it all to parents.

Mind you, if they have moved a large number of students between pathways so soon after starting them, I wonder if they have the courage of their convictions when it comes to the decision making process.

TheFallenMadonna Wed 25-Sep-13 21:47:46

In year 9, the May tests are probably to determine the end of key stage level. We certainly use this as a basis for selecting qualification routes. Was the July test on the work done on the BTEC course only, or more wide ranging. That's a question for the HoD!

Izzywizzy75 Wed 25-Sep-13 21:48:43

I feel she should have been moved automatically after her level improvement. Parents who complained were told that if their child improved in the July test they would be moved, and they were. Some parents kicked up such a fuss that even a few who didn't achieve the grade still got moved from btec.
My dd told me. Her btec class is mostly children with learning difficulties - and others with low grades in both assessments. I am not being offensive, I have a son with asd. I just know my dd had more potential and should be in gcse. I should have called them in July before break up however my Ds recent diagnosis took over I hope my dd would be listened too.
Fingers crossed for tomorrow that's all I can say.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Wed 25-Sep-13 21:51:16

The secondary school I went to did this to me for the science subjects. I was scoring 90% in the tests but they wouldn't move me up to the top group as there was 'no space'. I achieved a 'CC' (it was double science rather than combined), which was the highest in the class, and I went on to study biology and chemistry at A'level but I failed both as I didn't have the right foundations to be able to study them at a higher level.

I really wouldn't do nothing about this, your dd may not know what she wants to do when she leaves school but there will be more doors open to her if she gets a GCSE.

Izzywizzy75 Wed 25-Sep-13 21:53:00

The july tests were end of year exams in all subjects. Not btec. HoS said It was not possible to select the class list from these exams due to time restraints. However they did make exceptions where parents had complained after these exams.

Izzywizzy75 Wed 25-Sep-13 21:56:50

I could give in and do nothing more ladymary but I feel it's an injustice. It's so important nowadays to get as many gcse as possible especially the core subjects.
Why should she not get her basic right. If they can do it for others they should do it for her too. 8 weeks can be caught up on and had they have moved her off there own accord realising their mistake it would be nowhere near 8 weeks or even 2 weeks ago when I wrote my first letter.
I will call to make an appointment tomorrow but I will be going in if he refuses to see me

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Wed 25-Sep-13 22:03:28

It's so important, Izzy. She's lucky that she has you to fight her corner. smile Wishing you both all the best with this.

Izzywizzy75 Wed 25-Sep-13 22:10:42

Thank you ladymary - I hope I wake up with my strong articulate head on tomorrow haha

Shazy123 Wed 25-Sep-13 22:19:15

I wouldn't be happy with this situation either. The only thing I would say though is that GCSE science are quite difficult. My son had grade 'D' in biology in year 10, so I got him a tutor. He re-sat and had an A* in the same module. If she does do GCSE I highly recommend a tutor.

Izzywizzy75 Wed 25-Sep-13 22:32:15

Thanks shazy. That great to hear your son got an A*
I will get her a tutor I think. Inhabe told her that she will have to work her littyle socks off. She has maths and drama, the drama tutor may have to take a rain check for a year. She's very good at drama.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 25-Sep-13 22:36:24

I'd move schools. I wouldn't even consider a school where they routinely enter children for btecs instead if gcse unless its for a small definatly non academic group.

Tinlegs Wed 25-Sep-13 22:37:59

So she has, arguably, only missed a few weeks of a 2 year course? Some of that time missed is due to the school not listening, stalling etc. you should not be paying for a tutor to help her catch up, the school should be facilitating this (extra homework, after school study). I am a teacher and would do whatever it takes to ensure a cock up like this was rectified.

Izzywizzy75 Wed 25-Sep-13 22:43:32

I know picturesinthelight tbh I'm shocked. The school has such a high rep and is so over subscribed I felt privileged to get my dd in there. It was only because she joined in year 9 or we would have never stood a chance living not close to the school. They are one of the top 3 schools in the county. I can't move her she has already moved one sec school. She has lots of friends. She used to go to a full time stage school which was miles away and now she has lots of friends who live close by. Half of the reason for moving her from the drama school was due to worrying about her academic studies. She would have got gcse maths, English, science, language there tho. It's really appalling. It sounds as though the remaining students left in her btec class are non academic. I'm really not giving in. Do you think ofsted could help?

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