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Schools still breaking the law

Discussion in 'Education news' started by David Getling, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    And yet again I get a message from a parent telling me that a school is pressurising their kid (and other students) to drop one of their A-levels or retake Y12. And yet again I have to give the school a good kicking. I have informed them that I have advised the parent to report them to the Department of Education (not LEA, as they are an academy - surprise, surprise), and take legal action, which they would most assuredly win.

    One would have thought that after the well publicised case of a head losing his job for this, that the rest would learn their lesson, but they still try it on.
    needabreak, Mrsmumbles and install like this.
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I have seen both sides.
    As an A level teacher I have seen youngsters struggling and not enjoying the subect and needing to find a subject where they have greater success. I usually only encouraged them to move if I thought there was no hope of an A level. It was easier when they got a U in the AS exam!
    I also recall a girl who took a while to academically mature, She restarted year 12 a changed character and eventually achieved 2 or 3 grades higher than we initially feared she would get (and left having enjoyed her A level chemistry).
    A friend's daughter was given a hard time at one of the prestigious schools around here. They weren't going to allow someone who might "only" get a D stay on their physics course and they didn't! There was a lot of heart-searching, she changed to a very "soft " A level.
    However today she's off to her first choice university to do the degree of her choosing.so it didn't end badly.
    needabreak likes this.
  3. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    There is nothing wrong with pupils changing A Levels early on, or dropping one, if that is in the best interests of the student. Alternatively they can soldier on, struggling, perhaps becoming unhappy and losing confidence in other subjects as well.

    FWIW One of my children first changed a subject after 3 weeks, then later dropped the new subject. Went on to get amongst the best 3 A Levels in the school that year & a First Class degree at a Russell Group University.
  4. gainly

    gainly Established commenter

    Sometimes retaking year 12 maybe a good thing. Many years ago I had a student who got an E in her AS maths. She repeated year 12 and got an A with her marks in all modules well over 90% and carried on to do maths at university.

    It's hard to judge this particular case without knowing the details.
    needabreak and SomethingWicked like this.
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    I think pressurising is wrong . When a school's wrongly used agenda takes priority over individual students then there is a problem. Time to bring back the Every Child Matters approach :cool:
  6. scilady

    scilady New commenter

    It's hard to judge this particular case without knowing the details.[/QUOTE]
    Exactly....for some pupils 2 A levels are enough, and some do suddenly reach a ceiling in anything involving maths. In general if you cannot get A at GCSE you will find STEM subjects very hard.
    needabreak and phlogiston like this.
  7. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    nonsense, it is often in the student's best interest to drop one subject, or start again with different subjects. It is a complete waste of a precious year of funded education in a young person's life to push on when they are getting nowhere and are going to fail,

    They would be more likely to win legal action if they hadn't been advised their child was heading for a fail
  8. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    In my son't school, it is often the other way around, students trying to drop a subject, staff advising against it.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  9. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Yes, this is precisely my point. If a student wants to drop or change an A-level that they are (genuinely) struggling with then that's perfectly OK. I too would probably encourage a student, who didn't have a prayer of getting even a C, to carefully consider their options. But what's not OK (or ethical) is for a school to put undue pressure on a student, who wants to continue with an A-level. All too often it's more about league tables than what's best for the student.

    Also, dare I say it, a school might have some bloody awful teachers, and a good tutor may well be able to turn things around for a student. This is not just conjecture.
    needabreak and install like this.
  10. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Thanks for this, David. I have had an experience with one of mine students being warned off doing an A level she wanted to do because she was a grade off. Horrible...they’re trying to put off any possible C graders or below at A level from even starting the blooming course, Disgraceful. And it shows how thick and ignorant of student pedagogy and intellectual development rates over two years these jokers are...only an edu manager would have suggested this. So what if a kid is keen and may end up with a C? They’re keen! Let them on the course! In my experience, it was often the kids with lower GCSE predictions who did better at the end. The examiners are not exactly all on task these days, are they? Fair access for all, I say.
    needabreak, camillagallop and install like this.
  11. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith Occasional commenter

    There are times when it is a good idea for a student to drop an A-level or repeat Year 12 and times when it isn't (the difference generally amounts to whether or not the student is enjoying the course and has coped well with the transition to A-levels). The decision should be made by the student (with advice from school & parents) with the aim of furthering his / her best interests.

    The problem occurs when the decision is made by the school with the aim of increasing their point score and place in the league tables. Still it keeps happening and still no-one in the DfE laments the unintended consequences of league tables.
    chelsea2 and install like this.
  12. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Yes the more canny, though just as evil, now know that they will be in big trouble for messing with students who have actually started a course. From what the mother tells me her daughter is very keen to continue with her maths and her physics, and getting quite stressed about the pressure this school is putting her under to quit. Her mother also thanked me for explaining the legal situation. Many schools prey on students and parents who don't know that what they are doing is illegal.
    install and Mrsmumbles like this.
  13. yorkie63

    yorkie63 New commenter

    The legal position is not so easily defined. Any good basister will tell you. Guide lines yes. But I have not seen a binding judgment yet in tort.
  14. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    My son did poorly in two of his AS levels. The sixth form college said he couldn't repeat the year as the government wouldn't pay for a student to do the same courses a second time. Was this true? We assumed it was, but from what some of you are saying pupils do retake year 12 doing the same subjects again. It would have done my son a power of good. He just wasn't ready for A levels, being young in the year and immature with it, and it didn't help that the college insisted on everyone doing four AS levels which wasn't appropriate for some children.
  15. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    I’d like to be bound up in a torte. And preferably a chocolate one.
    bessiesmith and needabreak like this.
  16. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    You used to be able to. Can be maybe enter privately via his college as an independent candidate? The school could help him with classes and a tutor could supplement the lessons.kids can sit the actual A level at a number of local venues.
  17. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Indeed and as a consequence I know some schools who simply won't allow them to do A'level maths, physics and chemistry without A's or above in them at GCSE, some are insisting that physics students must also have an A in maths and recommend doing them both at `A level, which appears logical and is a clear indication that lower GCE result will be damaging for the school, even though they can still calculate their predicted grades to explain their ultimate grade

    . I have mentioned before the case of an A grade GCSE student doing the old AS/A2 and still struggling (with a fairly inexperienced teacher) who along with their peers of the same calibre were ushered off the A level courses quite late into the term which was unfair as they would have to pick up later on the replacement subject, it was a sorry state of affairs but the academy came up smelling of roses on results day.

    @David Getling was your student who is being pressured to leave the GCE an A/A*/A** grade (1-9)/GCSE student?
  18. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    It shows what the motivation is. Over in HEI we are giving out unconditional offers and schools hate it.
    Truth is, though, once you’ve seen they are good enough you don’t need a grade. The same goes for you. I could take you down to a Year 11 class and say, right, this lot will all be wanting to do A levels. Which ones would you say -I’ll take you, doesn’t matter what you get, I’ll take you.
    Exactly, all the decent ones.

    And here we’ve got schools pushing children out for the lack of a fine grade. Not for the child, not for us in HEI, but for the school. And that shows how perverse and broken the system is.
    Mrsmumbles, Scintillant and dleaf12 like this.
  19. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    I don’t blame the schools. I blame the system.
    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  20. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Occasional commenter

    The sixth form college was partly correct - he would not be funded to do the same A levels at the college but would get funded to take them at an alternative provider

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