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Shall I move DS,13, state to private because he's doing nothing?

(72 Posts)
Literallynoidea Mon 29-Jun-20 14:43:03

Bit of a panic here. DS is at a top state secondary - one of those ones parents fight to get their DC into. He is very bright and good at rugby and loves school normally.

But during lockdown he has successfully managed to do fuck all. Despite my best efforts (I also have a full time job as does DH, plus other children so can't be all over him as I have zoom meetings for much of the day) he has done the minimum and I am worried about his future.

The school does one or two zoom lessons a week and the rest of the time, the children are just set work by their teacher and they have to do it. He is late on submitting it and spends most of his day surfing the net, apart from the ten times a day I come in and read him the riot act/say let's go through what your plan for the day is.

Should I send him private? It would kill us but we could just about do it with some work behind the scenes.

Are private schools seeing places open up that weren't there before because (eg foreign) parents are pulling out? Or will there not be the places.

Would it be a mistake because his (usually fabulous) school will improve by Christmas? And I might only be able to get him into a second rate one?

Anyone else in the same boat? I'd love to hear.

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MarshaBradyo Mon 29-Jun-20 14:44:38

Your best bet is to call private schools close to you as it will differ. See if they have a place.

Not sure re worth it, it may be much better in September

LIZS Mon 29-Jun-20 14:50:23

Why do you assume his work ethic will change overnight if he moved. Most schools are winding down except for exam years. Is he doing the work set, attending zoom. You may need to write off any extra.

Year 9 spaces will be allocated now and he would still need to meet academic criteria to take up a place. Does not sound like he would be motivated to take any assessments etc.

RedskyAtnight Mon 29-Jun-20 14:51:47

I'm not sure why you think sending him private will improve his poor work ethic (which is what this sounds like)? Is he normally good at doing his homework/revising for tests etc?

jessstan2 Mon 29-Jun-20 14:53:36

I think your son will get back into the swim of things when schools go back properly so wait and see.

He is not the only one doing nothing during lockdown! However it's nearly over now.

blackcat86 Mon 29-Jun-20 14:54:38

Would you consider private tutoring online until he can return to school given that he got on so well there? It sounds like he would benefit from some structure from taught lessons online and I'm sure there will be tutors out there to do that for his key subjects etc. Maybe have a look into hobby based online classes like languages etc to. Even practical skills like learning first aid online or whatever could be good and I'm sure you could buy a fair amount for a lot less than the commitment of private school tuition.

Literallynoidea Mon 29-Jun-20 14:59:52

PS I don't mean will his state school improve by Xmas, I mean will he be back at school full-time in which case this horror show will end by then.

I am just worried at the prospect of remote learning for say another year, by which time he'll be the world champion at computer games/watching YouTube and a year behind his contemporaries at everything else.

PPS in terms of geography we are in London but could move elsewhere thanks to remote working - something we had thought we would do ten years down the line.

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Angelonia Mon 29-Jun-20 15:01:43

I think this would be a knee jerk reaction and things will (hopefully) get better soon. It sounds like you can't really afford private school.

Literallynoidea Mon 29-Jun-20 15:02:46

Thanks all for these replies. Yes for sure it's his poor work ethic that's to blame, which is why I think online zoom lessons would be much better than just setting him work and letting him get on with it (or not).

I would prefer to stay as we are as his school is great and he's doing so well there. (And I would prefer not to scrape the barrel financially too).

Private tutoring is a good shout - we have one tutor for him already but I think it's an excellent idea to look for more and will do that.

Thank you

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LimeTreeGrove Mon 29-Jun-20 15:07:44

I mean will he be back at school full-time in which case this horror show will end by then Have the government said all year groups will be back full time? I thought it was just all year groups will be back (although I hope it's full time

CMOTDibbler Mon 29-Jun-20 15:08:01

Mine is doing his work satisfactorily and on time (as we now check it before things are handed in), but is getting very, very little feedback (only technology and english lit have given any specific feedback or encouragement). So as of today he has a maths tutor starting in RL as thats the subject that he needs pushing in the most.
I wouldn't move him, esp as you have other children. I would come down on him like a ton of bricks for not doing his work though - mine shows adequate (volume and quality) work each day, or his wifi goes out of school hours. He has to show it to us now before submitting

ekidmxcl Mon 29-Jun-20 15:08:32

If you think his work ethic is to blame then it will not help to be in a private school compared to your top state secondary. Kids can successfully avoid work wherever they are. You will end up struggling financially and he may not work any more than he already is.

Literallynoidea Mon 29-Jun-20 15:09:25

No that's my point really @LimeTreeGrove - what if it's only say a day or two per week for another six months or so?

That's my worry. His school is very gung ho which is great but they can only do what they're allowed to do.

And glad to know I'm not alone @jessstan2 - I'm hoarse from shouting YOU'RE SQUANDERING YOUR FUTURE from the next room while I've muted my zoom!

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theproblemwitheyes Mon 29-Jun-20 15:13:21

I think rather than financially crippling your family to afford private school you need to step up the discipline and get your child in line. I'd sit down with him and say you're not happy with how everything is going, lay out new rules and consequences for breaking them. If that means that he has to sit in silence in the room with you or your husband while it gets done until he can prove he can be trusted, so be it.

If I'm being brutally honest, sending him to private school sounds like an expensive way to get out of parenting.

LimeTreeGrove Mon 29-Jun-20 15:13:42

Sorry Literallynoidea i read it has "he will be back" when you actually wrote "will he be back"

Literallynoidea Mon 29-Jun-20 15:24:25

Trouble is I have three children, two of whom are being lazy like this @theproblemwitheyes

My husband is back at work and so am I from next week, albeit for only two days. And when I'm at home I'm on zoom most of the time, so having them next to me isn't great for me and would be distracting for them.

I have sat down with them, explained things (they are both very clever and at the top of their classes), and they get it and swear they will amend their ways. Then a week later I discover they've been missing homework, etc. They literally need someone with them 24/7 - me popping in every hour is not cutting it.

They are lovely charming boys, polite, involved in sport, etc, but fuck me they are lazy and I can't do it for them.

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Wishforanishwishdiash Mon 29-Jun-20 15:44:12

I would like to do this for my kids too, and looked into it. My year 9 students could not be doing less right now, but he is very cheerful. His state school one of the best in Wales, which still means it is merely adequate. It is not aspirational at all. He is a straight A* student and achieves this with fuck-all effort. In Wales, no one is pretending schools will open properly in autumn. They have three weeks now to "get used to" the inadequate socially distanced school that will be their future. Wales teacher unions and resistant-to-change LA are powerful. They wait out Education Ministers with their slugged incompetence. (Wales tanks PISAS every year, but I digress)

Year 9 student really does not want to go to state school and I suspect if we move him he will self sabotage and I will spend £15k for nothing. We have talked about this often, and his opinion is firm.

I also looked into it for primary child, and private can offer 2.5 days a week compared to the .5 day offered by state school. But then tuition is my entire childcare budget eaten up for 2 days a week.

It is so grim. I wish we could get out of Wales.

Instead, we will hire tutors and nannies in the autumn term, which is much less expensive than private.

theproblemwitheyes Mon 29-Jun-20 16:01:46

@Literallynoidea so when they don't do the work, what happens?

Literallynoidea Mon 29-Jun-20 16:55:25

Not much @theproblem. That's the problem! We occasionally get emails from teachers saying BTW he's missed all the Latin lessons bar two since lockdown, but apart from the odd sharply worded message on Show My Homework, the teachers seem to be going pretty easy on them which doesn't help. I suppose they're less scary when dealt with remotely - normally this school is super hot on discipline which is why I love it.

I suppose this is because I'm sure there will be families where the parents aren't there - are out working all the time or something, so the teachers feel they can't come down too hard due to family circumstances. But it is no good for us.

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DragonflyInn Mon 29-Jun-20 17:25:49

Have you spoken to his teacher or head of year? Explain your concerns and how little he seems to be doing and see if they have any suggestions or can be a bit more on his back? A synchronized effort from you and the school might help?

The trouble is if you go private for him, when schools are back to normal will you feel guilty that your others aren’t getting the same opportunity (if I’ve read it right and you’d only just be able to manage fees for one?). I agree with pp that money spent on tuition now would be better than money spent on private school going forward.

theproblemwitheyes Mon 29-Jun-20 17:26:05

@Literallynoidea no i mean what do you do? Are there any consequences, from you, their parents, for them not doing their work?

LIZS Mon 29-Jun-20 17:29:22

But how has he missed these lessons if they are live? Are you aware of the timetable and removing distractions when he is due to attend? Does he lie that he did?

PermanentTemporary Mon 29-Jun-20 17:32:24

I would just ask, how is he actually getting on? Is he worried? Are his teachers worried? What evidence have you got pre-lockdown that he was or wasn't achieving?

It sounds like he is in good shape as a person to live with. As if he gets on with family members, is self-motivated enough to do something that you can do your jobs, is staying in touch with school.

What about trying to get a bit more home involvement out of him - cooking dinner, chores without being reminded?

For sure talk to his teachers but I really wouldn't panic. I dont think remote schooling will look like school. Frankly I hate the idea of my ds being glued to 6 hours on Microsoft Teams at the moment and that's what some privates are doing.

Lightsabre Mon 29-Jun-20 17:33:46

I also think you need to contact his tutor/head of Year outlining your concerns. They will hopefully monitor him more closely and this will give him the kick up the bum he needs.

MarshaBradyo Mon 29-Jun-20 17:34:11

Looks like change is happening in September anyway if leak is to be believed. Another thread on this.

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