A'level options: top grammar school. Mtg headteacher(8 Posts)
We meet the headteacher tomorrow to discuss not one, but TWO, options that our daughter has chosen to do at A'level but have been withdrawn. One was withdrawn (Latin) much to her dismay, then Classical Civilisation. It's one of the best grammar schools in the UK with not shortage of cash (at least, they can fund astro turf football pitches, new buildings, etc) but say they are not cost effective to run. They are running others on fewer pupils than who opted for the two withdrawn. No doubt we will be unsuccessful in persuading them to change their minds but if anyone can advise on something that would be great.
We approached the school about her choosing 3 instead of 4 A'levels so that she could do one of the others privately if they were no longer running them. We were told no, because she'd then be classed as a part time student. Despite the fact they can drop one A'level after a year if they wish.
I've never worked in education so any insights/advice would be so welcome!
If it is a maintained school then there is a shortage of cash, especially at 6th form - funding will be flat for the next 4 years despite costs, especially staff costs, continuing to rise. Capital expenditure comes from a different pot to revenue expenditure, so ironically it is perfectly possible to have cash for astroturf but not to be able to afford specialist physics teachers. You should be able to examine the school's accounts online.
What do you know about their classics department? I assume they are losing or at least redeploying a member of staff? Do they get good results? It may be too early for them to see what GCSEs their pupils further down the school have chosen - if fewer take GCSEs in Latin/Civ then would there be the possibility of changing the timetable and reinstating A Level.
Being deemed part-time by only taking 3 A levels sounds odd, and would worry me about how many hours teaching your dd would be getting in each subject, as this can seem to vary between schools, so if you're not already aware of the teaching hours, it may be worth checking.
Another example of the state system - and the privileged element of the state system at that - lacking the resource to offer "minority" subjects at A level. And then they criticise University classics departments for only admitting students from the private sector.
Are there other schools in the area which offer these subjects at 6th form? Is private/state boarding an option?
Seems to be little point in your DD staying on at a school which does not offer the subjects she wants to study.
Or can you divert her into other subject choices?
occurs to me that schools should be looking at partnerships with other schools to provide these subjects - one class for a local area drawing students from all the surrounding schools. You could get round the timetabling issues with a bit of imagination, use of Skype etc.
Is there a private school in the area that might allow her to join their Latin classes? Might tick their community contribution boxes.
Thanks all. I like the idea of imaginable timetabling! There is another school that does classics but it's the pros and cons of staying where she's happy and doing great, for the sake of one preferred subject really.
She wants to do Classics at Uni. They're not losing/deploying staff - in fact, one at another grammar school in the consortium has been coming in to teach....
Are you going to ask the Headteacher what s/he thinks will happen to recruitment at Y7 when word of this gets round the community. Especially as there are alternative schools within the consortium for parents to consider instead ...
Which subject(s) will be next?
<stirs some more>
Have you looked at UCAS? I've done a quick scout through some respected Universities and only found one so far that demands CC/Ancient History/History at A Level. Most of them say 'any old subject as long as it's not Crit Thinking or Gen Stud'.
So you can't use the argument of 'she has to have this subject at A Level' which will put you on the back foot a little.
Can the school support her to do a relevant EPQ?
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