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I've just taken my Year 11 son out of school before he got the chance for them to expel him

(15 Posts)
fedup4 Thu 18-Nov-10 13:39:50

We got a phone call yesterday to say my son was being excluded from school for the third time this year – the first was for smoking cannabis at school in January, the second was for pushing a female teacher when she stopped him from playing pitch and toss (which is gambling) in early October and on Tuesday he was verbally aggressive and intimidating towards a teacher.

If he had gone in and apologised on Wednesday it might not have come to an exclusion but he didn’t, he verbally abused and was aggressive towards another female teacher.

We got a call to say if he continued like this he would be expelled.

We know he won’t change so didn’t want to give him a chance to let this happen so we told the school it was his last day yesterday and went to collect him.

He has been hanging round with a bad crowd for 2 years now, lots of them have been excluded and I think they are trying to outdo each other. There is no “street cred” in your mum and dad taking you out of school, but there is if you get thrown out.

He is bright and intelligent (he passed two GCSEs last year a year early) but everything went downhill when he was 13 ½ - we have had nothing but problems since – including a full 14 months of truanting.

The drug problem is no longer there, he comes from a good home, two parents together, no money worrries – I have thought for the past few months now that he has a conduct disorder. He has a problem with authority, although things did improve 75% at home over the last couple of months as he had been a nightmare to live with.

My husband has recently lost his job and £20K along with it, his mother is in a nursing home with final stage Alzheimers but this pales into insignificance compared to the stress we have been under this year with our son.

Strangely now I feel very calm although my husband wanted to kill him yesterday.

There is the possibility of him going to a local sixth form to complete his GCSEs. He said he still wants to do A levels even though he has continued with this behaviour in Year 11.

Has anyone else had experience of this? The school said they will sort something out but should I be contacting the Education Committee? It is not an option for him to go to another school as there is only 20 weeks left of his school year.

I don’t know who will complete the college application forms now. He needed a report from school for two of them.

I have just phoned the Educational Psychology Service – I don’t understand why someone wants to throw their life away like this – surely it can’t just be down to peer pressure?

maryz Thu 18-Nov-10 21:52:35

I'm really sorry I can't help you or give you any constructive advice, but we have been through this with my now 16 year old - he was just 15 when we removed him from school (having been on the verge of it for a couple of years). He was out of school completely for a year which was a nightmare, but is now on a youth training course, so at least is out of the house.

Are you absolutely sure about the drugs, because the defiance and aggression sounds like ds when he is using cannabis a lot - he is either unable to concentrate when he is on it, or he gets completely out of control and almost psychotic about 36 hours after a heavy session.

ds has a diagnosis of Asperger's, but I suspect ODD possibly. How old is year 11, is it 16? I'm not sure how the UK system works but I think that at 16 they can leave school so the authorities may not be interested.

I would be inclined to look for two things: one a school that will take him (6th form or whatever your call it), but at the same time look for some sort of youth training course. If you get a place on one, he will see the type of kids who leave school at 16 and what happens to them. It may be enough to give him a kick up the backside.

Sorry, this isn't much use, but I didn't want to leave your post unanswered sad. There are a few of us around here with very troubled teens - if you search for a few of my posts in teens you will see a fair few people going through this.

GypsyMoth Thu 18-Nov-10 21:59:18

My dd is looking at being sent to pupil referral unit...... She has bad Stryker in school and has just this last 2 weeks begun truanting.

So far her grades haven't suffered, we have a caf asessment done, waiting to hear back.

I too am tempted to remove her from school to save her from herself, but what are legalities of thus? She is yr 10, age 14.

She has anger issues.... Have suspected odd, doctor didn't want to know, even when I said she had been sexually active ( which I think she deeply regrets)

It's hard!

maryismisspiggy Fri 19-Nov-10 12:11:01

Hi Fedup4- speaking as a teacher (and mum!) you were right to take him out of school before he was expelled. Given what he has done however i would say that the school are doing what they can to support him- It might be worth a meeting with the head to see what your options are-they will be glad to meet you and will spell out all the options- they could even allow you to keep him at home and send work out/ go in to sit exams + do controlled assessments. Or maybe offer 1/2 days or a 2 or 3 day week- these are all options we offer to keep children on the roll. No school wants to expel children- it is seen as a failure- so they will be glad to talk to you. Is there no other school he could go to ? i would say that if you moved him to a school which does the same exam boards then his last couple of years- modules/ assessments- wouldn't be wasted, and he would probably pass most of them- he should have done enough to basically pass by now- the final exam is only about 25% for most boards and subjects anyway, so failing the exam might still give him a C. His teachers will be able to fill you in on how much he has accrued so far and wether or not another school could take the assessments.....unless he has not done particularly well so far with keeping up with coursework/controlled assessments or missed some? Not sure if staying out of the schooling system is good until June- that is a long time to stay out of education- also he legally has to attend until the summer AFTER his 16th birthday (it's not when you hit 16 anymore) . You therefore have a responsibility to have him in some form of full time education till then or the education welfare officers will be out with you (once attendance hits less than 85% the school has a legal duty to report it) which means possible court cases etc. Sorry to tell you this, if you don't already know it; but really- the school should have told you. As far as i know 6th form centres won't take anyone till they have completed the GCSE year; ie sept after they are 16. As he hasn't been excluded he will have a great chance of getting into another school- the one he is leaving will write him a good reference (if they are keen for him to leave) and you can just say he was getting bullied or something. The other option is alternative education but don't let anyone talk you into that even until june- he is a bright boy and these are only places for children to spend their time, under the umbrella of 'education' until they hit the summer past 16.
As for the A'levels- at his age he won't be able to do them until he has a GCSE in the subject- If he already has two you are only looking for him to get another couple before the summer and then he will be equipped for tech or 6th form......we are a secondary and ask for a minimum of 5 passes before our current students can even come back to do 2+ a'levels......andwe are way down the list of good schools in our area- last choice for most actually. There is every chance he wouldn't get in to the 6th form with only two GCSEs and a gapn in his education (ie bad attender from now till june).
I hope i haven't droned on too much- I hope you all find some peace.

CarGirl Fri 19-Nov-10 12:15:02

If your dh is at home now due to redundancy you could home ed him or if the school will allow it, part home ed and part school attendance.

Just think of his street cred if you dh accompanies to and from school each day and offers to stay with him in school to ensure no further abusive behaviour......

maryz Fri 19-Nov-10 12:22:21

maryismisspiggy has given you some good advice, but do be careful of having him at home full time if he is going down the unsuitable school route.

ds was home from February to Christmas the year he was 15 and it was a complete nightmare. He was supposed to be doing some work but did very little up until exams in June and nothing thereafter.

What he did do is meet all the local gougers - all the mitchers and hangers-around and the drug dealers and the wasters angry.

Be very, very careful of believing he is no longer into drugs - even a quiet suggestion of a home-test while gauging the reaction might be an idea.

Boys of that age need something (almost anything is better than nothing) to do. Hanging around at home, especially if your dh has lost his job is is probably unhappy at home anyway, could be an absolute disaster sad.

maryz Fri 19-Nov-10 12:22:53

Sorry I meant the "unsuitable friends" route in my first sentence.

sleepingsowell Fri 19-Nov-10 13:23:41

You've had some great advice here, I would say that it seems to me that now is the time that you need your DS to work with you as a team. Don't let him cast you and DH as the enemy. Make clear that you are on his side and are basically now at the stage where you are just looking for practical ways to support him to access some qualifications.

Bear in mind (if it would suit you all) that you have a perfect right to home educate him and that can be done in very very many and flexible ways, have you googled home ed? You will find tons of really helpful sites. You don't need to have a parent sitting with him for 6 hours a day being a teacher. Home ed can be done for as many or few hours as you need; remember 1 to 1 attention means you can cover in probably an hour what might have taken you all day in a class of 30.

I'd say your role now is to help him and support him in planning his pathway to some qualifications. Doesn't matter too much what they are even, just stuff that will open doors for him in terms of A levels and giving him options.

Also I would talk to your local colleges, perhaps he could access evening courses for GCSEs. Perhaps he will respond much better to the self direction of college or HE than he did to the heirarchy of school.

Good luck.

fedup4 Fri 19-Nov-10 13:38:13

He can't be doing drugs (cannabis) on a regular basis as he has limited money and I would spot the signs. He did con £15 out of us last Friday by saying he was going to the cinema and then spent the lot with no ticket to show. And when he comes in at 12.15 (way past his curfew of 11) it is not the time to launch a full scale investigation.

Maybe he had cannabis at the weekend and this contributed to his behavour at school this week, I really don't know. I've bought home testing kits in the past and never actually used them as he just wasn't bothered whether we knew or not. He just didn't care.

I can't see him going to another school as there is only 20 weeks left realistically of year 11. I know all about the legal implications of what we are doing as we thought about it in July after 14 months of truanting but we felt we had no option.

Maryimisspiggy - what do you mean about not letting them talk us into alternative education? Do you mean the college place they have suggested (which may only be for 3 days a week)may just be for problem kids in a special unit of the college?

He has so much hatred for certain teachers (he thinks it is their fault he has had exclusions) that I don't think it is possible for him to spend any time in school - he would cause so much disruption.

His best friend at school has just been given a 5 day exclusion - this is what we are up against - I think they are trying to outdo each other.

We are having a meeting with the school next week - we will just have to make the best of a bad situation.

fedup4 Fri 19-Nov-10 13:40:50

I have over the last few months been thinking he has a conduct disorder/ODD but I actually managed to speak to an educational psychologist yesterday who said we need a referral through our GP rather than school.

She thinks as his behaviour has improved at home it can improve at school/college and he may not have a conduct disorder. I would still like him assessed as this "phase" has gone on long enough.

WelshCerys Fri 19-Nov-10 14:18:33

Of statutory school age - the LA should make some provision - do they have out of school provision - ours has online teaching and tutors if things are long-term. (The online group teaching (ie at scheduled times in the week) is called Accipio and I think rolled out over quite a few authorities. Have a look at /www.accipio-learning.com/ and if you like it, see if your LA subscribes.)

When of my my dss went to sixth form college, they didn't ask for a reference which was just as well as his attendance had been very poor for health reasons, but nonetheless poor. So, don't worry too much about references for FE or sixth form colleges - in any case, they should understand all about fresh starts.

maryismisspiggy Thu 25-Nov-10 18:41:03

I don't know about the place they have suggested....there are schools and then there are 'alternative education' places where the kids go and do more practical skills- i dont think if it is in a proper college it is anything like this. the 'alternative education' route is where kids go when the schools can do no more for them- we send them for maybe 3-6 months; a term maybe.the school has to pay and it is very expensive. They learn how to conform and anger management. We have just had a boy come back from 8 weeks there in may/June, back into school in sept and he is great- no anger and not in any trouble at all. It really worked for him but he was not in GCSE year and will only be doing 1 or 2 anyway. For other kids it does no good at all- those that have severe problems with background/personal loss etc (unlike your son
Another option the school should offer is a home tutor- this is cheaper for them than alternative provision so they might go for that.
Only you know what is right for you and your son- but know the school must help you provide for it until the end of the year. There is a strong possibility that they are not actually able to exclude him at all (have you seen the paperwork? it is crazy what you need to do it) and in this case they will pay for an alternative. What about talking options with the Education Welfare Officer? they will tell you your rights.
Best of luck

oneflewoverthecuckoosnest Sat 29-Sep-12 11:26:24

Hi I felt that I could have written your post about you removing your son from Year 11. My son is refusing to go to school as he hates it. He is also in Year 11 at a Grammar School and is bright but basically doesn't think he needs to do any work and also thinks it is acceptablle to be aggressive and abusive most of the time. We have a meeting with the school on Monday and I would be really interested what happened to your son and what alternatives were offered to take his GCSE's.

tethersend Sat 29-Sep-12 11:43:24

As he is still on roll at the school, talk to the head about a managed move to another school. This can happen relatively quickly and is definitely worth pursuing. Managed moves are often put in place when a student is at serious risk of permanent exclusion; they are often moved to Pupil Referral Units, but can also be moved to other mainstream schools.

It is also worth contacting the LEA and discussing whether your DS meets the criteria for the Hard to Place panel, who could allocate him a school place for the rest of Y11.

Don't underestimate the importance of him being in school for the rest of Y11.

Maryz Sun 30-Sep-12 11:47:37

oneflew, this is a very old thread and I don' think the op ever came back.

If you start a new thread you will get some advice - there are a fair few of us who have gone through this.

Keep him in some sort of school if you possibly can. tethers' advice is good, though if he has been aggressive to teachers it will be very hard to find another school.

Do you know why he "hates" school?

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