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Can private school force you to continue with a GSCE that you are strugging with?

(10 Posts)
HomeWorking Tue 09-Oct-18 21:09:52

My DS is due to be sitting 9 GSCEs in May 2019. He has always struggled with French and we approached the head of learning who said we could review progress after 2018 exams with a view to stopping. He achieved an E in his summer exams and following our discussions with school we advised our son to concentrate more on the other 8 subjects. We confirmed to school he now needed to stop in September as per our summer agreement and they are now refusing. The member of staff who agreed has left and there are new members of staff. They are making him continue even though he has been working til midnight, has been in tears over it (he never cries), he does a lot of extra-curricular we are dropping commitments rapidly but the main problem is French. Mocks are next month, it doesn't seem right for school to go back on their word and advice for him to stop and to then in the month before mocks (end Nov) make him attempt to perform in this gsce when we have been advising him based on school discussions to focus on other subjects. But they are now saying he must continue and that it will be fine. Can school force him to continue? Do parents get a say? Does anyone have any experience of this? Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
oneteen Tue 09-Oct-18 21:50:52

We had a similar issue with DD - the subject was also French and she also got an E in the summer exams Yr10. We had a meeting with the school in early December (about dropping French - our request) after the meeting DD agreed to continue lessons with more support because the school felt it was a confidence issue (where in fact it was more of an issue with the French teacher and the support promised did not actually happen). Following the meeting I found a local French tutor who quickly established DD was very capable, there were some weak area's(tenses) but also strengths too (Vocab was very good). I think DD sat her mocks 4 weeks after starting with the tutor (January) and the grade E turned into a C and she actually achieved a grade A in the GCSE.

So I would not give up at this stage because that grade E can be turned around and its NOT too late, but I would try and find a tutor to engage with your DS - DD spend 1 hr with her tutor and NOT every week (tutor had also not taught GCSE but just was able to build DD's confidence).

My opinion is that it would be better to sit 9 GCSE's if you can because there can be the odd surprise (DD got her lowest grade (B) in a subject we least expected given it was 60% coursework).

HomeWorking Tue 09-Oct-18 22:29:13

Thanks Oneteen. Very similar situation. Great outcome for your DD! Maybe a glimmer of hope for our DS. Not confident for his outcome tho.
Anyone else had this? and what was the outcome?

OP’s posts: |
Fucksgiven Tue 09-Oct-18 22:34:23

Why on earth would you need a tutor on top of private schooling? shock

oneteen Wed 10-Oct-18 11:41:04

Fucksgiven If you read my post you will see that there were issues with DD and the teacher.... therefore I sought a tutor to build DDs confidence which worked -just because children attend private school doesn't mean they don't need additional help coming up to our case DD was much better in a 121 situation than in a class because she did not feel imtimidated. If you don't have anything constructive to add to a thread why post!

Walkingdeadfangirl Thu 11-Oct-18 00:18:03

Can see why the school isn't keen on him dropping French. It will hit their EBacc and possibly P8 stats.

bpisok Thu 11-Oct-18 08:47:22

Identical situation here - I went to the school stated that it was causing DD unnecessary stress and impacting her other subjects.
They allowed her to drop it straight after mocks (she didn't do any revision for French and got 10% which influenced the school's decision!)

OutwiththeOutCrowd Thu 11-Oct-18 12:14:30

Just to add my anecdote …

My DS, also attending a private school, was struggling with Spanish GCSE. He felt intimidated by his teacher, who was quite a robust, no-nonsense character, not averse to shouting. He was doing 10 GCSEs - 11 if you count Further Maths. We asked if he could drop Spanish, since he was already doing another language. The school wasn’t keen at all, said it was character building to persevere with a weaker subject.

In the end, we got a once-a-week tutor for him for a couple of months before the exams and he improved a lot in that time – particularly in speaking.The tutor was very patient and DS's confidence grew. He ended up getting an A in the actual exam.

BubblesBuddy Thu 11-Oct-18 18:30:06

Why is it always a language children cannot do? However, I wouldn’t drop it and Private schools can do what they want. It’s poor form to change their minds but they can. It’s not a given that independent schools have better teachers. Top end ones probably do, but often lowly day schools don’t and even those in the middle can struggle!

Fucksgiven Thu 11-Oct-18 22:51:16

Bit touchy! I'd feel exploited if I'd paid for school fees and then needed a tutor as well. That must be a lot of money!

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