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6th form problems

(5 Posts)
Jux Tue 15-Mar-16 14:19:27

DD is in first year of 6th form. The problems are numerous and feel intractable. We have a number of issues which date back a long time, probably to year 8, but which were not addressed adequately at the time, mainly because we were all still grieving (8 significant bereavements in less than 3 years) and I suppose because once we started recovering, it seemed too late to 'make a fuss' or because talking things through with dd it seemed that getting involved would only make things worse.

So, we now have a very bright 16 yo, who is on the verge of school refusing. A child who loves learning, is ambitious, works very hard and takes her studies and future seriously, wants to go to a good Uni. But who now wants to leave school. Now, as soon as poss.

She is miserable, and of course this exacerbates everything - any dip in her health is worse, any pain she has is worse, any problems are worse. She is not the sort of girl who generally exagerates or magnifies. It is just harder to deal with anything when you are miserable.

We have made an appointment to see her HoY, who seems a nice enough man, who is competent at the least and probably very good. Despite that, I expect no joy from this meeting; we had a meeting a few months ago with him and the Deputy Head, and that was pretty ineffectual.

What she wants is to self-educate, but go into school 2 days a week, take her exams there. I'm not sure about whether she wants to be able to collect work and have things marked. She thinks that remaining at school, albeit p-t, they will continue to recieve funding for her.

Does anyone know if this is possible? DH and I have no idea what to do for the best. She was a model student with her teachers heaping praise upon her, and getting good results at GCSE.

noblegiraffe Tue 15-Mar-16 17:42:43

She has to have a certain number of timetabled, teacher-directed hours to receive funding. I'm not sure turning up for a couple of days a week (to attend lessons?) would count.

As a teacher I wouldn't be happy at setting work and marking for a student who wasn't attending my lessons, or only attending odd lessons and missing others.

Why don't you home educate if she doesn't want to go to school?

Jux Tue 15-Mar-16 18:14:44

We don't home educate because neither of us know enough about her subjects to teach her ourselves, we don't have enough money to hire 3 tutors for her, we don't have the wherewithal to provide the equipment she needs to do one of her subjects properly and would have to hire it or buy time somewhere which is equipped. She would also miss other things like trips to relevant places, advice from experts, the kind of pep talks, interview practise etc. It has been a bone of contention between dd and us for years. This is the closest we have come to agreeing to it.

I am sure you are not the only teacher who would feel like that, and I'm pretty sure I would feel the same way too. I imagine the school will not like it either. I think they'll say no. It is just horrible to see her so miserable, and be unable to do anything. I would be OK to move her to another school, if there are places, but her current school is the only local one which does one of her subjects, the one she's most likely to make a career of. It's a bloody mess.

LadyMacnet Tue 15-Mar-16 18:26:16

Your poor dd - she has had to confront a great many challenges and I am sure her Head of Sixth will want to do all he can to ease things for her so she can complete her courses and keep doors open for uni next year. The problem is that Y12 and Y13 students are required to attend school full time or their sixth form place is not funded by the dfe and she cannot stay on the school roll.

Do you live close to her school? Perhaps just attending for her lessons but working from home in her study periods might be a short term solution but I'm not sure the school would be able to support that in the long term. I am a Head of Sixth - this is the sort of thing we might put in place.

Jux Tue 15-Mar-16 19:27:02

We're not really close enough for that, Mercet. You have hit the nail on the head though. She does work much better from home. She is more relaxed, her bf comes over, and his mere presence makes her feel calmer. Her health recently has been pretty bad, nothing serious, but enough to keep her home; her bf was round a lot - spent his breaks here, and every evening, and she got so much work done! As a result, her attendance record is shit so far.

This applies only to this year, though. While she hasn't enjoyed school, she has had a pretty good record until now. Even with this, her report (just got it) is fair. Not great grades, but her teachers are all saying nice things about her. Even the one dd thinks hates her!

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