Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England, easily locatable by Google
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Gentle advice- I know your DH is a long way away but your DSS's life is going to be much, much harder if he doesn't get at least a C grade in maths and english, preferably five of the things. This may be a good time for your DH to get more involved and pushy, kwim???? Most GCSEs still have a strong coursework component (over years 10 and 11), but even if he didn't do well last year he can get things back on track. Seriously.
As far as plans and commitments go, there is a service called connexions (google his local area) who will talk young people through these kind of decisions. They're good. Insist he talks to them.
Basically, there are several options available for 16-18 education. AS and A2 levels (traditional academic routes), NVQs in both academic and non-academic subjects at level 2 and sundry other trade diplomas. As a general rule, sixth forms run as part of schools will offer mostly A-levels. Sixth form centres will offer mostly A-levels with a handful of NVQs, but will offer a greater degree of freedom for their students and it's a more adult environment. Both of these anticipate that the majority of their students will go on to higher education, and adjust their learning style accordingly. Colleges are, by and large, an adult learning environment. They will offer both A-levels and NVQs, he will likely have at least some mature students in his class and he will be given more freedom to learn/ mess things up on his own than elsewhere. All are free at point of access for 16yos, and all will give him the option of retakes, if that is necessary. But, again, it would be easier if that wasn't, kwim?
Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.