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Daughter with academic scholarship deliberately not doing well

(43 Posts)
Rosetti Tue 02-Dec-14 19:41:24

My DD is year 9 started at mixed boarding school in September with an Academic Scholarship. Since she started things have just gone downhill - she is deliberately not doing well or trying. I have heard from her friends that she thinks if she does well she will be seen as swotty by the other children. She has a boyfriend in year 10 who I now find out she sneaks out of prep to see. We also had an issue of self harming which the school said was caused in part by her feeling under pressure. We have no idea what to do - we have left the school to deal with things as requested but the latest set of exam results show her marks going further down - any help or advice really welcome as I'm going crazy and just want to bring her home!! Thanks

noblegiraffe Tue 02-Dec-14 19:57:37

Why don't you bring her home?

3littlefrogs Tue 02-Dec-14 19:59:51

Take her out.
She is not happy.
This will not end well.
She will probably do better at the local school and coming home to her family every evening.

AddToBasket Tue 02-Dec-14 20:04:37

Was she at single sex schooling before?

Bonsoir Tue 02-Dec-14 20:07:54

Agree with PP. Bring her home ASAP. Tomorrow. Self-harming is very serious.

usualsuspect333 Tue 02-Dec-14 20:11:03

I think you need to deal with the self harming, not the school.

Bring her home.

Purpleroxy Tue 02-Dec-14 20:12:52

Get her home. She is not coping with being a boarder at that school. Boarding is fine for some kids, not others. A have an adult friend who went to boarding school and she loved it but said the kids who didn't had an absolutely monstrous time - scarred by it.

Rosetti Tue 02-Dec-14 20:18:16

thank you everyone - I wanted to bring her home but she says she loves boarding and if I sent her to another school she would get expelled in the first week!. Hence I feel as if I'm going in circles. School claim there's been no more self harming for 3 weeks now - I won't see her till next week to find out for myself.

Rosetti Tue 02-Dec-14 20:19:11

AddToBasket no she was at single sex till year 7 then 7-9 at the schools prep school.

AddToBasket Tue 02-Dec-14 20:20:30

There are probably ways to work through this without bringing her home but you need to get to the bottom of what's going on. I think it would be disruptive to bring her home unless absolutely necessary. Don't change school again unless necessary - it will damage your relationship.

What reason does your daughter give for her results?

Purpleroxy Tue 02-Dec-14 20:21:21

How far away is the school?
Can you get her back for the weekend?

ICanTotallyDance Tue 02-Dec-14 20:30:14

Do you think she would be better in a single sex environment? Girls schools often have less competitive entry so there may be places available at a girls boarding school.

Has she had any troubles when she as at the (attached?) prep?

Don't worry about year 9 marks in and of themselves, marks before GCSE are frankly unimportant, but obviously they are an indicator about whether things are going well.

I guess the only thing you can really do now is monitor over the Christmas holidays and come to a decision.

If she is feeling under pressure than an ultimatum might not be the best thing, but on the other hand it may be what she needs. Is her scholarship is danger i.e. will it be revoked if she continues to under perform?

MajesticWhine Tue 02-Dec-14 20:30:39

I agree with not changing schools unless absolutely necessary. She has only just started and things might settle down. The message about doing too well being swotty obviously needs to be changed, but that is partly up to the school to help with. I would give it time and keep the pressure off for the time being.

Rosetti Tue 02-Dec-14 20:31:02

AddToBasket we got the results sent this afternoon after housemistress told us they were bad. Haven't had a chance to speak with her yet - were planning to speak next week as its end of term.
Purpleroxy she has refused to come home for exeats since she started - she won't even meet me for a drink/cake - its as if we almost cease to exist or if she is scared to leave the school in case she misses something. I was very close to her until she went and she used to talk to me about all sorts of things - I get one word texts now.

derektheladyhamster Tue 02-Dec-14 20:33:00

I'm going to go slightly against the grain here as I deal with yr 9's who board. Firstly she says she loves boarding. This is great. In fact it's the most important thing I think. If she loves boarding then you can sort everything else out.

Self harming (in it's various guises is very common, probably more common than you think). It means she is troubled. I would make sure that's she's is seeing either one of the school counsellors or a private one on a weekly basis. If it is happening on a regular basis rather than a one off, try and see if the school can find a spare room for her to sleep in, without anything apart from her bedding in. Just beware that if it's on a regular basis there may be no option but for her to become a day pupil, especially if she's upsetting the other girls with it.

Is the school a very academic one? If it is then this is possibly a blip - new school/boyfriend distraction - could happen anywhere. What happens at prep? Hopefully now the school have realised that the kids are skipping prep they'll clamp down and supervise it better. At our school it's cool to be clever, maybe she needs an older cool clever girl to almost mentor her.

All this is to reassure you. The most important issue is, what are the school doing about it? You've not mentioned that. (or possibly have in the epic time it's taken me to type this!)

derektheladyhamster Tue 02-Dec-14 20:34:52

Doesn't the school close for exeats? where is she going?

Rosetti Tue 02-Dec-14 20:37:03

derektheladyhamster can I PM you?

derektheladyhamster Tue 02-Dec-14 20:39:23

of course

Bonsoir Tue 02-Dec-14 20:39:59

I am shock at the advice to pursue with boarding. Your daughter has stopped communicating with you (withdrawn from her hitherto loved mother), is self-harming, not performing academically and playing truant to see her BF?! Get her out of there now.

senua Tue 02-Dec-14 20:42:49

I wanted to bring her home but she says she loves boarding

Be the parent. Tell her that the decision is yours. If she doesn't buck up her ideas then you are withdrawing her from the school.
Is it likely that you will actually withdraw her? if so get your notice in now, before the end of term.

Starlightbright1 Tue 02-Dec-14 20:43:04

I am guessing there is a reason why you sent her there.

I think you need to be clear on conditions she can stay there if that is where she wants to be.

summerends Tue 02-Dec-14 20:46:09

She may say she loves boarding as she is besotted by this boy and does n't want to leave the school. If she has stopped self harming the urgency to make a decision to bring her home is not so great however hormones and teenage angst aside I would n't be overly happy with a school where she feels peer group or boyfriend pressure to do badly. She may feel differently at the end of the Christmas holiday so you can reassess then. In the meantime why don't you go and visit and talk to the housemistress and tutor to find out as much as possible about the pastoral care in place for her. That will help you make a rational decision over the holidays.

senua Tue 02-Dec-14 20:47:38

You could point out to her that it may not be her / your choice - the school may get rid. Why would they give away scholarship money to a non-performer? They will probably replace her with a full fee-payer in Y10.

Buttercup27 Tue 02-Dec-14 20:51:01

If she really wants to stay, it's really in her hands. She needs to understand that if she doesn't do well she will lose her scholarship and will have to leave whether she wants to or not.

Rosetti Tue 02-Dec-14 20:53:04

No the school has a lot of international pupils so they can chose their own exeat weekends - she seems to think she will miss something if she isn't there. School aren't doing much to be honest - just saying they will have a talk to her about her exams!!

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