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Scottish system - can she do highers at college?

(8 Posts)
vivariumvivariumsvivaria Mon 20-May-19 21:52:36

DD is 15 and in 4th year. Miserable in school - self harming, withdrawn, deeply worrying. Doesn't seem to be anything in particular at the root of it - school have been really supportive and keeping an eye.

My working theory is that she just hates school, says "it's full of dicks, and it doesn't teach me why I need to know". Fair point, I guess, she's academic and gets frustrated with the kids that muck about. She's interested in a niche area of science and they don't cover that in school.

Can she leave and do highers in college? She'll not be 16 til the term she sits her highers. Am wondering whether a change of scene, with older students and no uniform requirement would be possible.

We're waiting on CAMHS input. She's in a pickle and I'm worried sick.

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wigglybeezer Mon 20-May-19 22:01:19

It depends where you live, there's not usually a big choice of Highers at college although there's more choice of science subjects usually. When I looked into it there was more choice in Edinburgh and Glasgow but thinner pickings in other areas. Colleges are keener on access courses and National certificate courses than individual subjects, I suppose it's the funding model.

vivariumvivariumsvivaria Mon 20-May-19 22:12:27

Ok, that is really helpful, thank you.

I'm meeting her (amazing) guidance teacher after the exams. I'll have a look at the college offerings and ask him what we can do.

Funding model - you mean as far as the statutory obligation goes? Because I'm thinking the provision is at school, and unless there is significant ASN she'd have to suck it up.

She's not got ASN, no bullying, no illness, just anxiety which she masks and that is why it's a worry - there's been serious self harm and thoughts of doing worse.

Thanks, I really appreciate your advice.

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alovelywhitebed Mon 20-May-19 22:17:47

I'd be concerned that the peer group at college would be a further negative influence. They'll be older and generally haven't achieved their Highers first time around.

I'd personally look for a school which is more suited to her rather than college.

vivariumvivariumsvivaria Mon 20-May-19 22:27:31

Thanks, Lovely. That had crossed my mind. The school is great, the staff do have a good handle on her and they manage her really well. So, I'm thinking she'd have to start again with building those relationships and there's maybe an element of "better the devil you know".

Really, she has to get well. And that means doing stuff she doesn't want to do.

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youllhavehadyourtea Mon 20-May-19 22:27:45

Our local college only does Highers in the evenings , and some revision courses on Saturday mornings.

The Scottish system isn't really set up for what your looking for - we looked into it too. I went through similar with DS. Hated school, self harming, CAHMS.

We got through it, he's now at Uni and seems to be ok.

Good luck, I do feel for you and your DD. It's not easy.

wigglybeezer Mon 20-May-19 22:44:57

By funding model, I meant the college's get more money for full time students and so don't offer individual subjects that people might do part time. DS has had dealings with three colleges and my observation is that the younger students are generally on vocational courses and those studying individual subjects are older.
Honestly, having allowed DS to leave school as he was struggling mentally I would not do it if I had my time again, I would have tried harder to find a way of making school work. Trying and failing to make college work was not good for his self esteem, he was lonely and it was expensive and very inconvenient! He finally ended up with one extra NAT 5 and a couple of SVQs after three years of trying different options ( distance learning worked in the end, but I effectively home schooled him). However, DS is not academically inclined and did not have strong ideas about what he wanted to do...

vivariumvivariumsvivaria Tue 21-May-19 16:48:00

Thank you, tea - glad to hear your son came out the other side. I do think this will pass, she's a resilient character, just really very lost just now. She say she has no idea about why she's doing it, lots of memory blanks, lots of feelings of being overwhelmed. It's hard to be patient and supportive when she stonewalls!

Wiggly, yes, that is what I think too - if she leaves then it's going to be harder. Best thing is to ride it out, I think - I really don't think I have the skills to home school! Hope he is doing well now.

Ok, well, I'll chat to school. And keep on keeping on.

Wearing, this, innit?

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