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sixth form not a huge success so far, is it possible to start year 12 again a year older?

(20 Posts)
sothatdidntwork Sat 02-Dec-17 20:58:26

Name changed as might be identified! So, ds started Yr 12 of previous school in september, all fine academically but socially far from it. To the extent that we now think it might be better to cut losses and start again. (Obviously realise some issues may transfer with ds, but a fresh start would help in some ways)

Ideally ds would carry on with Yr 12 next term but that would involve lots of catching up with different syllabuses and I'm not sure if any school would allow it.

So, drastic option, is it ever possible to join a school in Yr 12 if you are a year 'too old'? Or a sixth form college (not the preference here, but would consider)? Or do you have to go down a different route for A levels once you are 'out of year'? And if so, what would that route be?

DoreenDonut Sat 02-Dec-17 22:13:59

I asked the same questions in respect of DS a couple of weeks ago to the school career adviser. I understand that it’s now too late to switch courses. If your DC wanted to stop everything and restart in September, that is certainly possible at college but may not be in school, it depends on their policy. If your DC does stop school now, they either have to get a job, an apprenticeship, or do volunteer work until next September. The career adviser suggested looking for a level 2 apprenticeship, as a DC capable of level 3 should be able to complete a level 2 in 8 months, which then allows them to start afresh next September.

Fortunately my DS has now turned a corner and settled in at college! Hope you get something sorted.

DullAndOld Sat 02-Dec-17 22:14:55

I know somebody that made her child do sixth form twice and the school were OK with it.

sothatdidntwork Sun 03-Dec-17 08:09:49

thank you both! so some schools will take a new yr 12 in even if they are actually yr 13 in age that September? I wonder if this depends on the lea funding policy (or are the 6th form academies self-determining)? Dullandold (I'm sure you're not dull btw), was that at the same school? Here the aim is to leave the school, so it may be different I suppose.
Doreendonut glad your ds has turned a corner, that is good news. Not looking likely here, sadly! Was your ds' problem with the courses, or a social one?

Babypythagorus Sun 03-Dec-17 08:17:43

6th form funding is done centrally. Kids can be funded up to 19 (I think - it’s been a while since I did it as part of my day job!) so one retake year is usually funded, unless they’re already old for their year. Easiest way to get an answer is just ring round local places and ask for their policy. Make sure you speak to the right person - general Admin ppl won’t necessarily know. Ask for person responsible for enrolment, or student support services people (who tend to be helpful). Good luck!

Crumbs1 Sun 03-Dec-17 08:22:12

From friends and acquaintances children, Several did restart the year and found a college environment better for them. Many who didn’t enjoy A levels did BTechs etc which still gave them university entry qualifications.
If it’s really difficult socially you might want to look at reasons and work on any problems before starting somewhere new.
I suspect it’s easier to go to college having worked for a while than back into school environment too.

BigSandyBalls2015 Sun 03-Dec-17 08:23:13

At my DDs 6th form students are made to repeat year 12 if their end of year exams aren't good enough. So yes it is possible.

DangoDays Sun 03-Dec-17 08:33:41

Year 14ers receive 75% funding so this puts off some sixth forms but not all. Being a year older can be tough in terms of out growing school and expectations of sixth form. In this sense perhaps seeking out a college, which tends to allow for more independence would be best.

Might be worth considering a college where larger no. Of students means any social issues aren't so intense.

It is a bit of a gamble to restart. I have seen some students head off to Bristol or Southampton but others drop out of sig. Underachieve. If work ethic is good though then success tends to follow. One my greatest success stories was a student who restarted and is now at a Russell Group uni after getting 1 B and a few Cs at gcse (proud teacher brag).

Is there a way to work through social issues? Can the the school help?

Some schools do mid year transfers if you can marry up exam boards...

Good luck.

GreyMorning Sun 03-Dec-17 08:44:15

I did, but it was nearly 20 years ago.

Left 6th form in April, worked all summer and went to college in September, I'm a summer baby so one of the youngest anyway.

Didn't help me a huge amount as I didn't really start to 'mature' until my mid-20s.

sothatdidntwork Sun 03-Dec-17 09:11:01

Thanks so much for all your replies, you are all so so kind! Mn at its early Sunday morning best!.
Ah, DS is old for year, so funding may be difficult once 19 in state. I will ring round, but may be looking at independent 6th form colleges i suppose.
Re the suggestions of working through the social issues - they aren't new - this term was last roll of the dice on the basis that '6th form would be different' (yes I hear what you are thinking, why didn't ds move after GCSEs, but ds didn't want to and we are where we are!) and it is indeed different, but not in a good way!
So i think working through them at current school is not possible even if school were to have an input (which I doubt could help - have become a realist about how much a school can do!) I do agree need to look at the reasons for that, but at the moment priority may be to remove ds from this environment. So grateful for all your replies which I will now reread!

TeenTimesTwo Sun 03-Dec-17 10:53:21

3 years of 6th form funding.
A new start is probably better than 'staying down a year' socially if nothing else. They may require a change of subject.
Really consider why he's not succeeding, and whether a change of subject / qualification is going to be preferable. There is a BTEC Support Thread on this board which might give you insight to BTECs, and there is an Apprenticeships board under education too (though tumbleweed often passes through).

If 'dropping out' now for 9 months, use the time usefully, e.g. part time job, volunteering, learning to drive.

Glumglowworm Sun 03-Dec-17 12:29:21

It’s over ten years ago now, but my sister dropped out part way through year 12 and started again (in year 12) the following year due to MH issues. She stayed at the same sixth form college and had no problems either from the college or from university. Only issue was my dad would only pay child maintenance til she was 21 (agreed as part of divorce proceedings, not CMS), so nothing for her last year of uni (summer born)

sothatdidntwork Sun 03-Dec-17 13:46:39

Thanks again, so grateful to people who are replying!
The subjects/courses aren't a problem in fact, ds likes and doing well at those - it's the social issues, so the change of school/college is the key thing. If the new place were doing the same courses as the current, that would be ideal (but unlikely, I realise)!
Agree a fresh start is definitely best. Also agree that we must really consider why it hasn't worked out socially long-term though - not easy to know!

shivermytimbers Sun 03-Dec-17 13:53:55

I've had some great successes with restarters but it's largely depended on the reason for restarting. If they are motivated and hard working but just weren't in the right environment then it normally works out fine and if they've filled there time wisely before sept, that's even better - lots of voluntary work etc can build a great cv!

sothatdidntwork Sun 03-Dec-17 14:00:33

Thanks shivers yes at the moment ds is motivated and hard working and doing well, no problems there (at the moment!). And I think would be able to fill a break constructively.
Without outing yourself (which I realise may mean not answering at all!) are you able to say what sort of institution you're in that accepts new yr 12 starters a year late (even if old for year, so will be 19 pretty soon into the 'third' year)? Private/state/school/college? Don't answer if you prefer not to!

LynetteScavo Sun 03-Dec-17 18:42:24

It's definitely possible. Our local collage have many students who mess up Y12 and start again.

It's not true that if they drop out they have to be doing something...they can sit in true bedroom playing guitar to themselves until next September if they want to...they just can't claim benefits like they could a few years ago.

I know this because my DS did just that a couple of years ago.

My local state schools are 11-19. I don't know if anyone testing a year without changing schools...I'm guessing that's a social thing.

The problem we found was option blocks, rather than examining boards. The FE college DS wanted to move to (from school) didn't offer the same option blocks so he couldn't continue with the same subjects.

Funding is definitely there for three years post 16, thankfully smile.

sothatdidntwork Sun 03-Dec-17 19:38:11

Thanks Lynnette that is useful to know! Yes, option blocks can make things difficult.
Good though that the system allows for the fact that it won't work for all students first time - thank goodness!

endofthelinefinally Sun 03-Dec-17 20:01:06

6th form college could be a great new start. Much more flexible with subjects and timetabling too.

Iprefercoffeetotea Mon 04-Dec-17 15:35:11

Our local 6th form college isn't very flexible, so I think it depends - and it's all down to funding. A friend's son wasn't happy with his chosen subjects - but in his case, he suddenly decided that he really really wants to go to university and that has motivated him to put the work in now he's in year 13 so it looks like things have resolved themselves.

I stayed at the same school for sixth form, and it was ok - people do grow up a lot once they start sixth form so some of the issues I'd had lower down the school went away, so I can understand why you wouldn't necessarily move.

However, I will be encouraging ds to make a clean break when he goes to sixth form college. Most will go to the aforementioned inflexible one, there are a couple of other options that are relatively local and feasible and a few people from his current school may go to them, but the numbers will be so diluted in a large college it shouldn't matter. I am hoping a fresh start will make all the difference for him - as it happens one of the alternatives seems to offer courses that are more in line with his interests anyway so it may well work out all round.

Good luck OP - I hope you find a solution.

sothatdidntwork Mon 04-Dec-17 18:04:55

That's interesting iprefercoffee, yes I do know people who say sixth form is different, but perhaps it varies depending on what the previous issues were!
I do think there is a lot to be said for the fresh start socially (obviously some issues go with you, but not all) - and if your ds' preferred subjects are at the other college, even more reason to do it!

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