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Can DD drop out of sixth form and continue a levels at home?

(17 Posts)
namesstress2323 Wed 25-Jan-17 09:06:08

she is in the first year of A levels has been struggling with depression and anxiety and eating disorder for years, she says school only makes it worse. She got all As and A*s in GCSEs despite all this, is she legally allowed to drop out of school (at least for a few months preferably forever) and do her a levels at home? Do i need to tell tell the council or anyone like that? I really can't find much on the matter. Is being suicidal and depression a "good enough" reason to leave school?

I used to think staying in school would be good but she doesn't get along with anyone as she is very mature and school is very small. Also it has not done anything for her good mental health for the past 5 years.
What are your thoughts and any advice please?

she really wants to leave and thinks she will be happier at home doing her a levels to get her out of that environment and give her time to get her life back on track.

BigSandyBalls2015 Wed 25-Jan-17 09:10:00

Sounds very hard for both of you. I'm not 100% sure about this but read somewhere that the council aren't usually that interested whether teens drop out of years 12/13, it's the younger ones they are more concerned about with attendance etc.

Plus your DD won't be 'dropping out' but continuing studies at home. She sounds very bright and well motivated so what is there to lose? I'd def do it.

BigSandyBalls2015 Wed 25-Jan-17 09:11:28

I also have a teen with anxiety issues and struggle to get her to school some days (Year 11) so you have my sympathy, not easy. Def take her out.

RancidOldHag Wed 25-Jan-17 09:12:20

Possibly not.

With the raising of the participation age, it was laid out that DC who had been HE when compulsory school age could continue and it 'count' but that starting HE at that point would not 'count' (because it was wide open to being abused).

But would anyone actually find out?

OurBlanche Wed 25-Jan-17 09:13:24

How old is she? Until she is 18 she is supposed to be "working towards a recognised qualification" which most schools interpret as "Be in school" The sixth form will stand to lose a good chink of money and points if she leaves att thois time of year, so be prepared for all sorts of pressure to be applied!

The difference between GCSE and A levels is one of application, hard to do without a clear epxlanation and practice. So she would have to find the right online support, OpenCollege and ICS are the 2 big providers, but your local area may have another.

It isn't impossible or illegal and, if she has the right support could bethe right move. But you have to be really careful she doesn't simply isolate herself making her life so much less fulfilled and happy!

Good luck!

Berthatydfil Wed 25-Jan-17 09:15:10

How will she actually continue her studies ? Will it be possible without tuition? In principal I suspect it would be ok if you were to get her a tutor and required materials. She would also need to get a local school to act as an exam centre for her to sit independently.

However will this solve her issues. Would it be better to look to see if there is a different school or college somewhere that can support her better. Are a levels for her ? Would a different type of course be better.

titchy Wed 25-Jan-17 09:15:13

Rather than home ed can she change providers? If she hasn't been happy there for five years I'm not sure why she stayed tbh. A college could be a much better choice.

namesstress2323 Wed 25-Jan-17 09:15:32

BigSandyBalls2015 hi, sorry to hear about ur situation it is such a horrible situation. Another problem with our situation is that it is a private school and we would lose a lot of money if she were to stay at home as we have already paid, it is a really tough decision but i want whats best for her. I'm still unsure. sad

namesstress2323 Wed 25-Jan-17 09:19:30

She is 16 and wants to continue her a levels, no other schools available do the courses she has already started and doesn't want to be behind. Plus she would be out of place with friendship groups.

She is already isolated at school or she says she is forcing herself to hang around with people she doesn't like an that is only making her feel worse faking being happy etc. : /

BigSandyBalls2015 Wed 25-Jan-17 09:25:05

That's a worry I think, isolating herself at home but if it improves her mental health then she will be better placed to join things out of school in the future and make friends, rather than feeling out of place at school

gillybeanz Wed 25-Jan-17 09:41:26

The council wouldn't know if she has come from the private sector anyway.
It's your right to home educate and young people don't have to be in school until 18 or even on an approved course.
There's a 17 year old who works with me, no college or school for her at all.

I can see that you will lose money from fees and of course you will have to pay for the A levels and any tutors or resources she will need, a lot to consider, but if you think it would be for the best, then why not?

Rueben Wed 25-Jan-17 09:49:18

Hello - I'm a first year uni student, so not much older than your DD. I also struggled with anxiety and found going to sixth form very draining and hard. (Hence my attendance suffered hugely, and understandably students with low attendance don't get grades as good as their counterparts.) I definitely didn't reach my full potential!
I would say it's worth considering your DD dropping out but at the same time, I think she'd need a tutor. Also, is she getting any help for her anxiety? Obviously don't know how your DD feels but the psychologist I visit has said avoidance of certain situations isn't going to help in the long run. (At the same time forcing your DD to go somewhere she feels uncomfortable isn't helpful either.) Perhaps, you could speak to the sixth form and reduce the hours DD attends?

Sleepysally Wed 25-Jan-17 10:51:26


As the participation age is now 18 I presume the home Ed rules now apply until 18, which I think basically state that so long as a child is being educated that can be at home. Most schools and colleges will allow people to sit exams as an external candidate if they run the same specification.

Is there anyway that you could negotiate with the school that she just goes in for lessons? That way avoiding unstructured and social times.

Mary21 Wed 25-Jan-17 15:20:37

Interhigh does A levels now

ErrolTheDragon Wed 25-Jan-17 15:34:34

Sixth formers can redo a year - so might it be worth considering if she can study at home this year and then start afresh at a different school or sixth form college in September. There's a bit of a disconnect between 'she would be out of place with friendship groups. ' and 'She is already isolated at school or she says she is forcing herself to hang around with people she doesn't like an that is only making her feel worse faking being happy' ... maybe starting again in a place where there's lots of new people might help? (or it might be a bloody awful idea)

Chapultepec564 Wed 25-Jan-17 15:36:27

You will get better practical advice on the home ed board.

I have name changed for this as very identifying. I think that before you withdraw her, you need to be very sure that you can still access support from school/gp/camhs. Because withdrawing her will not be a solution unless you address the underlying problems, and they are likely to go beyond an incompatibility with the peer group at her current school. I have a relative who was withdrawn from school at 15 for similar reasons. He has now spent the last couple of years at home pissing about being home educated. The LA do not give two hoots and the school was delighted to see the back of him. His underlying mental health problems have not been addressed and he is now completely isolated. There is no obvious solution in sight.

Zinkies Thu 26-Jan-17 14:48:23

She can do whatever she wants.

The sections of the Education and Skills Act that would have made her liable to fines etc if she didn't continue in education have never been commenced (meaning they are not yet law), and your parental educational obligations stopped when she reached school-leaving age.

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