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What to do with DS!(24 Posts)
So my DS went to his catchment secondary in year 7 transferred because of bullying to another school a few months after. Stayed there for a few years but had a lot of attendance issues, and in year 10 just stopped going so he moved to a tiny private school.
Was really thriving, and I felt really secure leaving him there, but it was a 4 hour round journey and he just couldn't cope with it. Decided he wanted to try and get back into the first school but they didn't have a place.
He went to the school the LA offered and we realised he wasn't getting into the first school so decided to homeschool. I was just really tired of it all honestly, it was awful trying to get him to go in everyday.
It's been working great! DS is so happy, and is about to take 2 exams this year. But now I have to think about what to do after next year!
Option 1 is to keep homeschooling and transfer programs because ours doesn't go to A levels. DS doesn't want this because while he enjoys homeschool he gets really lonely and wants to socialise every day. Also thinking that real school offers more opportunities and subjects etc.
Option 2 is to to try and get back into the catchment school, but because of the bouncing around curriculums and schools DS went into the year behind when we started homeschooling. It would be such a fight to get them to acknowledge this and let him into the year behind. Also I'm terrified he'd School refuse again because of the bullying, the kids from that school still try to bully him online sometimes and it's such a risk.
Option 3 is to go private, I'm not even sure anywhere would take him at this point but they're more likely to let him move year and be flexible.
DP wants DS to go to boarding school, but I definitely think they wouldn't take him, he's too much of a risk. And it's just a bad idea imo, but open to any opinions!
Honestly any help is really appreciated, I've had such a huge hassle with schools over the years and I just want the last 2 to be okay! Thank you so much!
Private sounds like the best option to me.
Whilst the local state might br able to manage bumping him into the year below, it may open another can of worms.
You could look at the 14-19 provision at local FE colleges too.
You don't say how old your ds is now but if I am right in thinking he has completed year ten then have you looked at any colleges for him? He might find the atmosphere different than school and enjoy it more.
DS is 15 right now and will be 16 at the end of year 11. I'm just thinking ahead to year 12 beginning in 2019 because I don't want to be caught out! And i know applications have to be in after summer for private.
I think I'll enquire at the private schools near us and just explain the situation, and see if they're willing to put him in the year below.
I didn't think about college! The environment change might actually be really good, I'll check them out and ask DS about it. Thank you!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Over the years I have seen and worked with school refusers being sent to boarding school, one parent even didn’t tell the school her DD was a school refuser hoping it would all just magically resolve itself on its own and that her DD would happily skip off to lessons. The staff to pupils ratio in boarding means that it functions on a degree of basic compliance, your mate goes to lessons you go with him you mate goes to games you go with him etc this is grea for the disorganised who want to do the right thing but not great for those who don’t want to participate.
Basically I have never seen it work all left some within weeks some months some after a couple of terms. Please think very carefully about the boarding option.
soursprout - that's a really good idea! Thank you!
happygardening - I think the main problem for DS was the anxiety of travelling to school, being that he was great when he got there, attended lessons and games etc. no problem once he was with friends. Just envisioned it as something awful and had a lot of anxiety linked to the building and going inside as he would be alone and have to find friends or just stand by himself for an hour. I don't think the boarding idea is a great one for DS, too much of a risk that he would just not go to lessons, have to come home, and we'd be back to square one!
No problem with the school not knowing, we went on a visit to a school with regards to a day place and they asked us all about why he left etc. Even knew our catchment school without us giving our address! That's why I'm afraid no school will take him, if they already know it all I wouldn't want the risk either!
Boarding also requires quite a degree of resilience the sensitive will struggle. Boys living together in groups usually are about each deeply but alsobanter, roll on each other, jostle usually in a good humoured way but they also overstep the line into unkindness often unintentionally they’re just thoughtless at times, so I think as you say you’d be wise to skip the boarding option.
I used to be heavily involved in the pastoral side of an independent school you really mustctell them. A school that’s doesn’t want to know or help is the wrong place for him,they are not going to put in the necessary arrangements you need a school that takes him as he is and genuinely help. There is nothing more worrying and annoying for a school than to find or literally not find a child is exceedingly anxious and not attending lessons and no one has warned you in advance. Knowing you can put support and if necessary alternative measures insitu. A colleague at a school had child who was terrified of large busy spaces like a whole school assembly he had a massive panic attack which to the untrained eye looked like a seizure frightening both his peers and staff. On enquiry she was told this was a regular event at his previous school if the school had known they would executed him from assembly!
Are you saying that your Ds would ideally 're-do' Y11?
I can see that being a problem in most schools - even private, as they will all be really piling on the work for GCSEs. It's all mocks, extra revision classes and then no school from May onwards as study leave kicks in. depending on the school and student's future plans, many do not go back to school after that except for actual exams.
Is he receiving any help for the anxiety?
Also don’t forget independent schools can ask a child to leave or advise parents to find a more suitable school much more easily than a state school. If you do t tell them and they then say they can’t gelp that would’ve very unsettling for your DS and your choice may be even more limited. It’s also a smallish world in the independent sector we were meant to take a child and the previous school rang up and warned us that he had very significant behavioural concerns parents had totally glossed over it so the place was retracted .
seeline - no, DS missed a lot of work in yr 10 so redid it. We're in Scotland so he's the correct year group for English schools (they have a year more in secondary) and would start sixth form in 2019. He's a year behind though in Scottish schools, and I don't think the state schools would be willing to accommodate that.
greentulips - we were referred to camhs and it was decided that he didn't need further help. Because we'd taken him out of school they didn't see a reason to work on it I think as the anxiety was no longer affecting his education. I'm open to getting private help though if it would help him to get back to school successfully.
happygardening - I'm slightly worried about actually finding a suitable school though, all the ones round here are selective and I doubt would want to take DS as they have other applicants without the added risk of school refusal! There are 4 within commutable distance I think, so I'll just explain the situation really and see where we stand. Boarding just added more options so maybe more chance he'd be accepted somewhere. If he doesn't get in anywhere then I'm not sure I'm really happy with him going to the state as he got bullied so badly before and everyone already knows him. There just doesn't seem to be a clear path here!
Can you say what area you live in OP?
Have you looked at Quaker Independent Schools?
Sorry just saw you’re in Scotland.
I don't like in Edinburgh or Glasgow but I'm planning to transfer if we decide private is the best option and find a good school. So both of those are options if that's helpful!
* if the school had known they would executed him from assembly!*
That sounds a bit extreme!!!!
I have no ex experience but have you looked t online schools?
Might be an option till college
Also s you home school do you meet up with other home schoolers?
He actually goes to online school right now! He enjoys it but doesn't want to have to continue after year 11. He finds it hard not having a real teacher to ask questions to and I think that will get worse at A level.
We don't meet up with other homeschoolers, I looked into groups but it was all for younger children sadly.
What about a college, not a school, to do further education? What qualifications is he realistically going to get at 16? Is he academic enough to get into a private school? Why not look at BTecs?
I tend to think you have made your decisions down the years and this has closed off avenues now. I strongly concur that boarding would be frought with problems because your DS is really used to doing what he wants. He has not engaged fully with what has been offered although I have to say that a 4 hour round journey to school was just ridiculous! What were you thinking?
At the end of day, children have to apply themselves to school. Not walk away. I also know of children who have arrived at boarding school with a hidden history and all of them failed fairly soon after arrival and were asked to leave.
bubblesbuddy - we don't have Btecs in Scotland unfortunately! And sixth form colleges aren't a thing either, only schools. There are colleges, I'm going to look into them as I'm not quite sure how they work. DS is bright, the schools we've visited seemed to want him because of reports and expected results but he's just too problematic with his history.
I agree the journey was ridiculous, I was just very stressed as he hadn't been at school for months and the school was willing to take him asap. I know I made a mistake with that, but I can't take it back now. Much too far sadly and it has closed off avenues, which is why I need help figuring out where to go!
I know he has to apply himself, I can't make him go to school and work hard. But he has to do something after GCSEs and the state school doesn't seem like a good idea so I'm not sure what to do with the options we have now.
I would look at further education colleges. They may not be ideal, but they may be a way to continue in education. Surely every child cannot do highers? Sorry about my ignorance but there must be options for more practical children. What about an apprenticeship?
I am afraid plenty of intelligent people don’t reach their potential at 16 or even 18. They might do a bit later when it means more and they mature.
There are 46 colleges across Scotland apparently. Surely one is within reach?
DS wants to go to university to study psychology so more practical qualifications aren't what we're looking for I think, definitely wants to do highers! I think there will be a College within reach, so I'll have a look at what they offer. It won't be an all day program though so I'd be worried about all the travelling he'd have to do to complete 5 subjects! I dont know much about colleges though, so I'll definitely have a look at what they offer.
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