Education issues - any advice welcome

Hi there,

My son started his GCSE course this September. Due to his Asthma and numerous hospital appointments he has an attendance of around 50%. He spent 3 weeks in the Brompton in September which was a planned admission which the school knew about but they failed to provide any work for that period. He caught a chest infection whilst in hospital and needed another 2 weeks off school on top of it. Still no work! In total he only had 4 weeks in school during the Autumn term. A meeting was set up with school and health professionals in Feb as they decided he wasn't acheiving his potential (suprise suprise) and it was decided that both my son and the subject teachers would try to remember catch up work. Well I know my son is rubbish at remembering anything like that especially after time off so had hoped the teachers would be a bit better, but to no avail. Still no work provided at all since September. He is sitting a science unit for GCSE in May and has no idea what it's all about. I would have expected some form of revision or catch up class for him but the school have done nothing. After talking with him he said he doesn't want to get the work he has missed because it seems so much on top of what he is doing and he doesn't understand it all.

I have spoken with the education department and asked if he could drop a couple of subjects and have some free lessons during the week where he could access some form of tutoring, either at home or maybe access the hospital school so he could at least have a teacher to explain the work he has missed as he is falling behind so much with science and maths. I was told home tutoring was only an option if someone is to unwell to attend school and the hospital school is only for inpatients. So as the school are saying they don't have the resources to give him extra help (as he has no special educational needs) and we can't access help through the education service then I don't really know where to go from here.

Anyone else been in a similar situation? I actually considered withdrawing him from school and paying for a tutor just to give some continuity to his education. At the moment he is just completely lost.

1 Reply

  • Hello, I'm sorry the school is so unsupportive, that makes no sense to me as your son's performance in exams will reflect on them in the league tables!

    Would it be possible to find out the exam board he'll be taking the exams with? If you can then it would be possible to get a syllabus yourself. There are also the 'Letts' exam revision books which would give you and your son a good pointer on where to concentrate on working. Does the BBC still have its 'Bitesize' section of the website? For Maths, languages and Science they were very good at covering material at GCSE level when my neighbour's son was doing his GCSEs.

    I don't I do know that a decent tutor found through word of mouth can work wonders, especially since your son wouldn't have to compete with the rest of the class for attention. I know some kids have them on top of school hours one or two evenings a week and if he or she were informed ahead of time it might be possible to negotiate them helping your son while he's off either at home or hospital.

    I hope my suggestions offer at least a starting point for you both.

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