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My dd may end up in a pupil referral unit - would you employ her when she leaves?

(190 Posts)
Minifingers Wed 25-Sep-13 09:40:30

Have posted about our current crisis on Chat and Secondary Education. Things have moved on since yesterday.

My dd in year 10, who left primary with level fives in all her SATS, and a stack of reports describing her as 'a joy to teach' and 'a lovely person to have in class', is now facing permanent exclusion and a move to a pupil referral unit in January if she doesn't stop arguing with teachers and walking out of lessons. The school is being great - they are doing all they can to address her behaviour, and we are supporting them every inch of the way. She has 12 weeks to turn her behaviour around, according to the school, and they are monitoring her every step of the way.

The problem is that dd seems to live on a planet - planet teenager - where she is involved in her own odd little drama that none of us can understand, and there are no consequences for failing exams or leaving school with a terrible report from your teachers. I've got a horrible feeling she quite likes the idea of going to a pupil referral unit, where she'll be mixing with a peer group which will consist primarily of disruptive boys from very disadvantaged backgrounds, children in care, and children with special needs who can't cope in mainstream. She comes from an educated middle class family, has no learning difficulties and according to CAMHS, who we were referred to last year, no diagnosis of any mental or developmental disorder. She is just a very, very difficult teenager who is giving everyone the run about, despite loads of support from home.

The only things she has ever said she wants to do is work with children, in childcare, or get into social work. I was thinking this morning about how I'd feel about employing someone to look after my children straight from school (because at the rate she's going university will be out of the question) who had attended a pupil referral unit. Also, if I was a nursery manager how I'd feel about a job applicant with this on their record.

I'm wondering what the general view is - it'd help me know whether saying 'this move might make it impossible for you to have a good career in the fields in which you're interested in' would be a reasonable thing to present to her to persuade her to rethink her choices over the next few weeks.

Minifingers Wed 25-Sep-13 09:48:48


hiddenhome Wed 25-Sep-13 09:50:38

It depends on the reasons why she's there in the first place I suppose. I was sent to a special unit because I had 'school refusal'. I was actually being very badly bullied and had PTSD from my years of being abused in care. Nobody ever addressed these problems and I was just labelled as 'difficult' hmm I went on to go to college, nursing school and I'm doing well in my life.

Has your dd had counselling to find out why she's behaving like this? She really needs a thorough assessment to get to the root of the problem.

A huge amount can happen in the next few years and there's no reason at all why your dd shouldn't make a success of her life, but she does need to realise that she needs to make an effort and help herself too.

I think a criminal record is what holds people back when it comes to employment. Difficulties in school are very common and can be worked through.

BarbarianMum Wed 25-Sep-13 09:51:03

It wouldn't necessarily make it impossible though, would it. I'm Chair of a Preschool and although I doubt we'd take on someone who'd just left a pupil referral unit (they'd be a bit young in any case), someone who'd once attended one but then sorted themselves out, gone to college and had a good reference from the college, yes they'd certainly be considered.

I can see why you're worried understatement but honestly take some comfort in the fact it won't actually ruin her life. My uncle was a horrendous, multi expelled teenage nightmare and is now a very good social worker specialising in troubled youths.

MotherOfDragon Wed 25-Sep-13 09:52:48

I know it's awful but I wouldn't. I employ staff and a number have 'issues' that would be the cause for others not to employ them but I am a big believer in second chances. I'd like to think if be better than this but sadly I think my perception would be that she is a troubled person for things to have gone that far and I would not even interview her. Especially for role with children. Sorry hmm

RedHelenB Wed 25-Sep-13 09:52:51

Thing is "you can't make her"! And actually, if she does go to the pupil referal unit it will give her good experience in youth work perhaps, when she decides to straighten her life out! As long as she doesn't get a criminal reference, take drugs or get pg, then I don't think it wiull really alter her life that much, she will just take longer to get her exams, go to uni etc.

She presumably has had the talks from you & the school, she's not listening so all you can do is to encourage her to behave herself!

wispawoman Wed 25-Sep-13 09:52:55

If she wants to work with children she could go to an FE College who will take students from all backgrounds, although she may be put on a probationary contract if she is known to have had behavioural issues. Not getting any GCSEs will mean she has to start on a level 1 course and it will take her far longer to get the qualifications she needs for a career in childcare. The thing that seems to really cause a problem in Childcare courses is students with a police record, even for a relatively minor offence, as Nurseries will often not take them for work experience which is essential to pass the course.

MotherOfDragon Wed 25-Sep-13 09:53:43

My sister had school refusal. I feel for you

Nerfmother Wed 25-Sep-13 09:55:09

Does the school have any links to colleges? Could they be persuaded to allow her to follow an entry level child care / development course on day release? Some schools have links with local colleges and can send pupils at fourteen. It's less common than it was but could you find out?

teenagetantrums Wed 25-Sep-13 09:55:47

I might ,but only because my DD was your DD two years ago, Luckily my DD managed to stay in mainstream education and is now in 6th form college and loving it, although did badly in her exams. Have you been to the PFU? School sent my DD there for a day so she could see what it was like she hated it and with much begging including her crying in front of the board of governors she stayed where she was. The problem with PFU is that she will be such bad influences, I would do all you can to keep her out of there. In year 10 we were offered the option of part home educating my DD, she would just go in for things she couldn't do at home , like photography and art. Would this be an option for you?

ToffeeCaramel Wed 25-Sep-13 09:57:12

It might put me off employing her straight from school and being put in sole charge of my children, but if she were to go to college and qualify as a social worker or childcarer I would be ok with it I think.
Has she had a happy childhood and good relationships with family members? No traumas in early or later childhood etc? Just wondered if there is anything at the root of this that might she might need help with.

JustBecauseICan Wed 25-Sep-13 09:58:13

If being told she will be unemployable gives her the short sharp shock she needs then so be it.

If all other avenues have been explored and there are no mitigating circumstances, then tell her her life is likely to get even shittier than she already thinks it is. Because it isn't.

FWIW, my best friend at secondary wasn't excluded but had appalling behaviour and literally just never turned up for the last 4-5 mths of school. She works for the NHS now, in administration and looks back and says what an arse she was.

My Half-sister was expelled from 2 schools and has run her own petrol station, and pub, and now has a wee shop.

But, personally, no I probably wouldn't have employed either of them at the time they left school. They didn't deserve to be employed back then. And they would both be the first to agree with me.

IneedAyoniNickname Wed 25-Sep-13 09:59:46

My younger brother was in a pupil referral unit. Like a pp it was partly due to bullying which led to his bad behaviour and school refusal. He left school with no gcses, and everyone said he'd never be anything.

He's never been out of a job, owned a pub for over a year, and is (arguably) doing much better than me.

noblegiraffe Wed 25-Sep-13 10:01:23

I haven't read your other threads, but why would she be going to a pupil referral unit and not another school? Why are they not offering her a fresh start somewhere else?

Ilovegeorgeclooney Wed 25-Sep-13 10:03:34

I would see if the school would organise a day at the PRU for her asap. Pupils do sometimes have this image of them that are quickly dispelled when they get there. She will be very much at the bottom of the pile when it comes to disruption and as an intelligent child will soon find it infuriating. I would imagine as a able pupil the only real disruption she has experienced is her own. It might be a wake up call.

utreas Wed 25-Sep-13 10:05:16

She's going to find it very difficult but it depends on whether going a PRU leads to her improving her performance and so get better grades and qualifications. The reference from the school would also be critical which from the OP will probably be quite poor.

CupOCoffee Wed 25-Sep-13 10:06:57

'this move might make it impossible for you to have a good career in the fields in which you're interested in'

I would say that to her as long as you are sure she's not being bullied or anything like that and is just being difficult.

It sounds as though she doesn't respect authority, what with arguing with the teachers. Is she like that at home and in other situations?

bababababoom Wed 25-Sep-13 10:12:18

Have you tried changing schools? Would you consider taking her out and home educating?

I can also see why you're so worried - but I know many people who have had difficult teenage years who have turned their lives around, I don't think employers would hold a teenage experience against an adult, and it might even be valuable experience in the field she wants to work in. If it helps, I know a psychiatrist who was expelled from several schools as a teenager.

MrsCakesPremonition Wed 25-Sep-13 10:12:51

I think it would depend on what she did with her time in the PRU and immediately afterwards.
If she could sit in front of me at interview and reflect thoughtfully on her experiences and why they might make her a better candidate for working with children and if she had knuckled down and got decent, relevant qualifications then I would be prepared to give her a chance.
Sometimes the people who struggled with the system themselves are the best placed to support other children going through tough times - but only if they have the self-awareness to understand their own situation first.

Jellybeanz1 Wed 25-Sep-13 10:12:54

I agree with the idea of a visit to the PRU. The deadline of 12 weeks might swing it as often teenagers rage where they feel safest sad you and school. At nearly 50 I'm writing application for jobs wanting details of my education and exam results from 11 on. I know that there may be a pile of over 100 to wade through so anything might be used to reduce the pile in light of competition. Good luck to your daughter, she needs to be her own best friend; and flowers for you. You sound the most supportive wonderful mum.

insanityscratching Wed 25-Sep-13 10:13:31

My sister's daughter (dn) went to a PRU for pretty much the same reasons that your dd may be placed there. Dsis has had an horrendous time because dd's behaviour wasn't only awful at school either. Dn is 19 and still on the road to self destruct so whilst the PRU got her out of school and so made it better for other pupils and the staff it didn't inspire dd to change her ways.
I'd say that it would be worth considering that when dd leaves school or the PRU that she still might not in a place where she is employable or even wants to be employed. Dn's current interests are socialising, drinking and drugs and employment or education would get in the way of that so I'd be pushing for more counselling and a referral for a second opinion on her dificulties.

Lj8893 Wed 25-Sep-13 10:18:34

It won't make it impossible to gain employment, but she would most likely need to attend college, perhaps to do a childcare course? But of course, if she doesn't have her gcses or the right grades, it will make her course much longer. (Which might not be such a bad thing as it may give her the extra time to grow up a bit)

My dp was sent to a "school for reprobates" as he puts it. He has very few gcses and not one above a d. However he went on to college (had to take the longer route) and is now a very talented successful chef (and he's still young) and you would never imagine that he was a bad or difficult student, he's one of the politest and intelligent people I know!

Minnieisthedevilmouse Wed 25-Sep-13 10:21:54

Is it possible to visit one of these centers? Show her the potential reality she's presently aiming at?

Also could you, with the school, approach a nursery manager to explain that area/visit maybe a morning? Seeing two sides of what life could be might help.

Many of us have been naughty as teens. It might not ruin her life, just make it a bit tough. Mostly many of us are still successful via different paths later. All experiences make you what you are. Ultimately there is excellent chance she will be ok. Easy for me a stranger to say tho!

My dds teachers had issues with her attitude in one day I turned up completely unexpected, popped my head around the door and said 'I've heard dd has been having a bit of a problem with her attitude lately so I've come to see what's been going on and we can work through it'. Then plonked myself down and started chatting to her mates.

DD >> shock

Her friends shock grin << no doubt inwardly thinking thank fuck it's not me >>

DDs teacher shock grin

Me angry grin

It fecking worked, she had a complete turnaround, mainly because I still pop up on occasion just to see how she's getting on, which keeps her on her toes........the effect of parental humiliation is underated imo.

Theas18 Wed 25-Sep-13 10:28:32

I feel for you OP.

As an employer I'm afraid I'd like to see some sort of track record- either turning herself round in the PRU, getting a glowing reference and brilliant attendance stats from them, or voluntary work showing commitment and a good work ethic.

I have no idea where your DD finds a "worth ethic" though if really she's one of the kids that " the worlds strictest parents" take on. She needs to grow up and survive the drink/party/world owes me a living thing first. Interesting to note that I haven't watched an episode of that that hasn't "worked" though!

as the poster who has a chef hubby, a job that requires long hours of commitment often is the " turning point" but the teen has to WANT to to that.

There are a lot of teen girls who seem to want to work in child care with a very chequered educational history (I meet a lot of teens at work) and most I think, wouldn't survive a day in a nursery setting. Can your DD get some work experience? As an employer at work or a mum seeking childcare I'd love to see that on an application.

(NB my DS did post GCSE work experience in a nursery, he has a work ethic and it nearly killed him! He was so tired he was watching wimbledon without even moving his eyes. No grandkids for me he said hmm)

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