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What happens to kids who don't get any GCSEs - experiences appreciated

(36 Posts)
Lupinsarefab2015 Tue 13-Oct-15 13:24:53

DS has special needs and is in year 10 at a mainstream school. He is not statemented. He is very behind academically, level 2/3 for maths/english.

I'm worried sick about his future and have had numerous conversations with school about what his options will be if he fails all his GCSEs. They are non-commital, saying oh he'll be ok, he tries hard etc etc, but that doesn't really help.

He can't be the only child in this position - so I'd appreciate some happy ending stories please. I thought most colleges and 6th forms needed at least maths and english GCSEs to get in.

LisbethSalandersLaptop Tue 13-Oct-15 13:30:26

well my DD16 has just started a college/training course in which she can resit her Maths and English. So there are opportunities out there, do not despair.

LisbethSalandersLaptop Tue 13-Oct-15 13:31:17

She was also unstatemented with learning difficulties...
What does level 2/3 actually mean?

Wolfiefan Tue 13-Oct-15 13:32:16

TBH the school sound a bit rubbish. Why no statement? What help are the school providing?
What does he want to do?

Pointlessfan Tue 13-Oct-15 13:35:00

There are different levels of college courses (vocational) so he might be able to do level 1 or even entry level. Have you considered an apprenticeship? There are loads out there in all sorts of lines of work.

TalkinPeece Tue 13-Oct-15 13:37:43

Lupins
Your school are being useless.

They know full well what happens.
They will get marked down massively for not getting him through the GCSE English and Maths ( those are the two that matter ) if he has not already been exempted from it with a statement or SA+ type classification.

What courses is he doing?
Are they appropriate for him?
Is he on the vocational college track where he goes to college one day a week to do BTEC rather than GCSE
if not, why not?
Which FE college will he be going to for year 12 & 13 ( as school / college / training is compulsory to 18 ) ?
Go and talk to them about what he enjoys and is good at.

Basically he'll keep retaking the Maths and English GCSE till he scrapes them
but in a good supportive college environment, will build up a portfolio of other skills and certificates that will give him possible routes into work.

NewLife4Me Tue 13-Oct-15 13:39:54

Hi OP, do yo mean level 2/3 at KS1 because the other level 2/3 is GCSE/ Alevel. unless there are others I don't know about.

If it's the former then there isn't a problem honestly.
Maybe the academic GCSE's and A levels are out of the question or your ds may struggle but there are so many alternatives.
Vocational qualifications are far less academic and colleges often offer entry and level one courses that don't require GCSE's and in fact can lead to the equivalents if that makes sense.
The school should be explaining all of this to you, I'd make an appointment for a meeting tbh.
What subjects has your ds chosen?

ReallyTired Tue 13-Oct-15 13:45:58

In my area there are a range of college courses depending on quite how severe your son's special needs are. It really sounds like your son needs an educational psychologist to advise him of his next steps and help secure funding. Some severely disabled teens concentrate on learning basic life skills as they will never work. Other teens with less severe disablities are able to enrol on a level 1 course and just take that bit longer to get a vocational qualification. Often challenging behaviour is more of an issue than lack of qualifications.

Kids with moderate learning difficulties can become independent and employable adults with the right advice and help. I know a lad who had no GCSEs because of learning difficulties has become a tree surgeon.

IrianofWay Tue 13-Oct-15 13:50:06

DS1 got C in maths, C and B in science at that was it! He got a college course to do furniture making and had to his English GCSE again. He got it after two further attempts. However he is now unemployed and looking for apprenticeships and had had three interview so far.

Oh BTW my DS is special needs just spectacularly lazy hmm

TalkinPeece Tue 13-Oct-15 13:50:22

I know a lad who had no GCSEs because of learning difficulties has become a tree surgeon.
Agree

Several of my clients are illiterate - no academic qualifications -
but they earn enough to hire an accountant grin

IrianofWay Tue 13-Oct-15 13:50:26

ISN'T not is!

LisbethSalandersLaptop Tue 13-Oct-15 13:51:01

That's right - no GCSEs is not the end of the world.
my own DD16 might have a low 'IQ' but she has a high 'EQ' and is v good at getting on with people.
She has a BTEC Science award and a D in Art grin

LisbethSalandersLaptop Tue 13-Oct-15 13:53:07

when I say 'low IQ' I should say she is far from 'stupid' just that she would score low on a Standard IQ test

GlitteryShoes Tue 13-Oct-15 13:53:58

My ddis unlikely to pass any GCSEs but is being set up with a supported internship at the local Uni librar. she will be fab at filing books and will love the quiet ( she is autistic). I have lots of hope. School have been fab though. Don't despair. Does he have any strengths or interests that could be developed?

PeterParkerSays Tue 13-Oct-15 13:56:34

I would also look at this from the other side and get in touch with some local FE colleges and ask them what they'd offer to a 16 year old without GCSEs - could he still do an apprenticeship, for example. What interests does he have that he might be able to build on?

TalkinPeece Tue 13-Oct-15 14:04:11

Peter
ask them what they'd offer to a 16 year old without GCSEs
They have been forced to make the kids keep retaking those two GCSEs till they pass : hiding to nothing does not come close.

But they will have lots and lots and lots of courses for non academic types.
Here are a couple of my local colleges that welcome kids like OPs son ....

www.sparsholt.ac.uk/qualifications-explained/
or
www.southampton-city.ac.uk/courses/?term=

fresh Tue 13-Oct-15 14:06:14

DS was offered both a L2 and L3 on Art and Design at our FE college, on the strength of his portfolio but conditional on 4 D or C grades. He got terrible GCSE results and is now on the Level 1 course instead. He too has a specific learning difficulty and an Ed Psych assessment. (However, I'm not convinced that the Learning Support people have been doing their job in, you know, supporting him as he's apparently spent 4 weeks hiding his face behind his hand and doing the absolute minimum. If they'd read his assessment they might have spotted the bit about severe social anxiety!) But, back to the OP, Level 1 courses generally don't require GCSEs, just an interest in the subject area. Depending on the GCSE grades they will either need to do Functional Skills or re-sit the exams. And good completion of an L1 course (no exams, just coursework) gets entry to a L2, then L3 etc etc. HTH

Ladymuck Tue 13-Oct-15 14:46:46

TalkinPeece, my understanding of the new rules is that pupils who haven't passed a GCSE in maths or English have to continue studying them if they are on a funded course until they are 18. They can take a stepping stone qualification, rather than a GCSE, so in fact they can study at below a Functional Skills certificate level. They only have to retake a GCSE if they got a grade D at GCSE/iGCSE in that subject previously.

An individual institution can of course determine its own rules, but the government isn't forcing students to retake GCSEs until they pass, unless they are already capable of getting close to a pass.

Lupins, you may find that there are some fairs aimed at current year 11s in your area around now covering colleges, apprenticeships etc such as this one. If not, then you could contact your closest 6th form college to see what they have to offer.

ReallyTired Tue 13-Oct-15 14:50:32

My understanding is that children with Sen study maths and English, but aren't forced to do exams that they have no hope of passing. in fact this has been the position for children with severe Sen for years.

brokenvases Tue 13-Oct-15 14:55:25

Thank you for this thread. We are in a position that dd is looking at getting D or Es.
She wants to be a doctor. That realistically isnt going to happen sad , shes also looking at technical theatre. The course at sixth form shes seen needs 5 x Cs so im using the years we have to get some RL experience and trying to find a lower start course.

RockinHippy Tue 13-Oct-15 14:57:18

In my experience they...

DB - End up working in & then running his own betting shop for a few years, followed by a career change prompted by a move to another city, which saw him working as a sales rep in a carpet shop, after a stint working in a warehouse he ended up running. He move on to be area manager fr anther flooring company, after he was head hunted - he now runs his own flooring firm with his old boss who s a partner.

Cousin - (who sounds exactly like your DS, though these days may have a AS spectrum diagnosis) Ends up working as a gardener for years, managing the gardens of stately homes etc etc . Becomes heavily involved wth conservation work, takes over gardening firm when his boss retires & continues dong a job he loves whilst saving our red squirrels amongst many other things.

Leeds2 Tue 13-Oct-15 14:58:37

A friend's DD with no grade A* - C GCSE grades went to college to do nursery nurse/childcare training. She did though have to carry on with the maths and English.

RockinHippy Tue 13-Oct-15 14:59:30

Oh & friends sons...

Run a successful night club

Become a quite famous musician

Kez100 Tue 13-Oct-15 15:19:58

One thing - do all you can to encourage the things he is good at - be they in school or outside. Keep his self esteem and attendance up. There is nothing worse than going through the indignity that is year 10 and 11 knowing all the time you are not going to get those precious C or A* grades. If the child knows they are good at something then its a whole lot easier.

Then look through college prospectuses for courses he probably will be able to do and that might spark his enthusiasm.

LIZS Tue 13-Oct-15 15:39:53

They can continue with courses at entry level /level 1 and even some level 2 while working towards a level 2/gcse in maths and English. Check what your local college offers in terms of vocational courses and apprenticeships at this level

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