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Alternatives to A-levels?

(16 Posts)
Noitsnotteatimeyet Mon 19-Jun-17 22:39:31

Ds is in Y12 and it's not been going well. He's found the transition to sixth form trickier than expected and he's utterly miserable. I'm not sure if putting him, his teachers (and us) through another year of this is going to be particularly productive. Unless something changes dramatically he's looking at less than stellar grades at the end of Y13 and at the moment I can't see him going to university and it being a successful experience.

If he were to decide to throw in the towel with A-levels what are his options? Currently doing comp science, psychology and maths (but now hates maths) and will probably want to do something 'computery' as a career.

He's got ASD and dyspraxia and despite being bright, he underperformed at GCSE

clary Mon 19-Jun-17 22:43:58

College and a more vocational qualification? Ask your local one what they do. Or apprenticeship? He is obliged to pursue some education for another year as I expect you know.

clary Mon 19-Jun-17 22:44:16

College and a more vocational qualification? Ask your local one what they do. Or apprenticeship? He is obliged to pursue some education for another year as I expect you know.

clary Mon 19-Jun-17 22:46:08

Sorry for double post!

TeenAndTween Tue 20-Jun-17 08:41:18

@Draylon has a DS who after AS levels switched to doing a BTEC in Computing which has been much more successful for him, and they are now looking at universities for him.

The BTEC support Thread has bits of info to give you an intro to BTECs. Note most/all BTECs now include some level of exams.

FozzieMK Tue 20-Jun-17 11:44:42

My DD went to college to study a level 3 BTEC in IT. It turned out to be a much more successful way of learning for her as she did not do too well in her GCSE's. She achieved 3 D* grades in her BTEC and is now at Uni studying for a degree in IT.

LIZS Tue 20-Jun-17 11:49:09

NVQ or Btech level 3 at 6th form or FE college? Apprenticeship which combines learning and working?

Noitsnotteatimeyet Tue 20-Jun-17 22:01:14

Thanks everyone - will have a look at that thread too

I don't think he's ready for an apprenticeship yet and suspect that he'd find a smaller sixth form easier to navigate than a college

lacebell10 Wed 21-Jun-17 14:30:40

Look at college as although bigger the Disability Officer provision traditionallly will be better. And more representative of the provision at university such as learning mentors

Tinty Wed 21-Jun-17 14:39:36

My son struggled with A Levels at 6th form. So at the end of yr 12 we looked at the options for College and he chose to do a BTEC in Forensic and Applied Science. It was a level 3 extended diploma and he worked really hard and got the top grades. So he is now at Uni studying Forensic Science and he got a scholarship because he had the same UCAS points as 3 A Star A levels by doing the BTEC. He is also Dyslexic and has Dyspraxia. The College were absolutely fantastic at supporting his Dyslexic issues. He is sharing a house next year with some students who are doing Forensic Computing. Maybe that would be something that your son might be interested in.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Thu 22-Jun-17 16:55:29

sadnowhere reasonably locally offers the BTEC extended diploma in computing - the only thing on offer is the IT practitioner BTEC which doesn't cover the same kind of ground so we're back to square one ...

TeenAndTween Thu 22-Jun-17 17:03:42

How far away have you looked?
My DD travelled for an hour door to door to get the course combination she wanted. Not ideal, but better than a less suitable course nearer. She only had to go in 4 days a week which helped.
IT practitioner doesn't sound nearly as suitable.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Thu 22-Jun-17 17:23:49

The only places I can find are literally the other side of London so could take up to 2 hours each way - nearer places which say they offer it on their website don't actually offer it in reality ...

My next step is asking the SEN dept at our LA to see if they can suggest anything

TeenAndTween Thu 22-Jun-17 17:29:05

Other side of London? That's rubbish for you.

I wonder whether Pearson who certify the course, would be able to tell you the nearest current providers?

Noitsnotteatimeyet Thu 22-Jun-17 17:32:25

That's a good thought!

catslife Fri 23-Jun-17 13:08:38

They are also Cambridge Technical qualifications that have a similar structure to BTECs but are slightly less well known. They also have courses in IT/Computing.
The main difference really is that BTEC is run by Pearson (parent company of EDEXCEL) and Cambridge Technicals are run by Cambridge Assessment (parent company of OCR).

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