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Teenage Problems/My daughter has made a mistake that could mess a lot of thiings up

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QUESTION: Hi
I am hoping someone can give me some helpful advice, and help.

My Daughter has just been given an exclusion form school till the end of term, 20/12/12 pending further investigation, she was caught drinking alcohol in school.

I believe the that staff had seen her behaviour go down prior to this, but die to staff sickness nothing was acted on.

She is usually a good kid and other than the normal teenage issues she has not been in trouble.

The big problem is that she is now 18, and has a drama a level exam this Thursday, she needs to get just an E in this exam to gain a scholarship to Birmingham Music Conservatioire,

At this moment she will not be able to take this exam, I am wondering if she can take this module at another time, or if not and can get back into school, and does the rest of the modules will still be able to get the a-level, she already has a C at AS level, so to gain an E should not be a real issue.

We have a meeting on Monday to discuss everything with the head,
She has not really been in trouble before,

This is a UK school, I am not sure if this is a USA site.

Can anyone please help,
I am preapred to do anything to help my daughter.  

Please help desperate Parents.

Thanks

ANSWER: Hi there Paul,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me and I hope that I can help.

Let me apologise for the delay in getting back to you, I meant to reply on Sunday but I have commitments to my paid job that I could not shift, so apologies all round.

From what you have described to me, your daughter seems like a bright young woman with a bright future ahead of her, but, for whatever reason, she has made a mistake and she probably only now realizes how severe it is now that things have got this far; with her place at Birmingham in jeopardy. That said, we all make mistakes and there will be little that can be said to her that she will not already have said to herself. Her future is still bright and positive, this set back just means that she may work that little bit harder to get to it.

From what you have described, you will have already had a meeting with the school and what they should have explained to you is that there may be the possibility of your daughter still sitting the exam as long as she is sorry for what she has done but they may delay her taking the exam on Thursday if they feel that it warrants such a punishment. Schools do not usually like withdrawing pupils from exams because it looks bad on the school and affects their pass rate so they will usually do all they can to allow a pupil to sit it. They do, however, sometimes request that the pupil takes the same exam at a later date or that they sit the exam during the re-sit period (which is usually around September). Either way, they should have discussed with you and your daughter the various options available but in the worst case scenario, they may have advised that she forfeit the exam completely; but this should be unlikely given that they know how bright your daughter is.

Regardless of the situation, even if your daughter fails to get the requisite marks for entry to Birmingham, she may still be offered a place or asked to wait until clearing. If Birmingham have met your daughter and accepted her application with a conditional offer that she obtains set marks, again, this may not necessarily mean that she will not get in if she has to sit the exam at another time. Colleges and Universities go through some thing called 'clearing' towards the back end of July and August whereby they look at all of the places available on the courses and whether or not they are at capacity and then they look to fill these places with students who have some but not necessarily all of the required criteria. Clearing places usually require an interview at the college which allows the candidate to explain why they deserve a place over someone else but it is a chance to clear up any concern over the candidate's application, including explaining why grades were not obtained.

If you are still not sure on whether or not she will get in given her situation, the best thing to do is to ring the admissions team and explain the situation to them. You do not need to go into detail about how the situation arose but an explanation of your daughter's concern over her grades should allow them to give you a good indication of whether or not they will still accept her.

If the school does decide to delay her sitting the exam (or performing in it) then this does not have to mean the end of her entrance to Birmingham but it might delay their decision to offer her a place. In either case she should be told (if she has not been already), the terms of any acceptance and this is usually one of the following if it is through UCAS:

1 I - Informal offer, an offer made that is pretty much guaranteed unless cancelled at the pupil's request.

2 F - Formal offer, where a space is reserved for the pupil on the course and the university expect that the pupil attend as expected.

3 C - Conditional offer, whereby set pre-requisites are required in order to offer the candidate a place because these are deemed to be necessary for a good understanding of the course.

4 U- Unconditional offers - whereby a place has been guaranteed and the candidate is accepted without question.

If anyone you speak to talks about these, it is a good idea to have an understanding of which offer is being made even if they do not use the exact terminology, as this will allow you to prepare for every eventuality.

If the school plays hardball and decides to ban your daughter from sitting the exam then it could mean that she has to defer her place at Birmingham until she does get the required grades which is an option but does mean that it could be next September's intake that she joins and not this one.

There are appeals procedures in place if you think that the school is being too hard and if the school wants to play hard ball then it might be that you threaten them with taking this kind of action; but I would suggest, given the time frame, that this is not something you pursue unless you can get her in on the exam re-sits towards the start of next year if they have any.

I have put the contact details for Birmingham below in case you do not have them to hand but have a think about the best way forward and consider contacting them so you at least know what to expect should the worst happen.

I have had a look at the number of UCAS points required (each qualification is allocated different points for the different marks you get) and it looks to be a standard university offer of 5 GCSEs and 2 AS levels, if this is the case then I think your daughter should be ok.

The telephone number for Birmingham Conservatoire is: +44 (0)121 331 5901

If you ask to be put through the admissions department then they should be able to help you.

I hope this information finds you well.

Good Luck.

NB: This site is an American based site with volunteers from all over the World. I am based in Newcastle in the North East of England and have worked all over  the UK, including Birmingham.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for coming back to me the advice.
We have had the meeting and unfortunately they have excluded my daughter permanently.
They have said that they are going to try and make arrangements for her to take the A Level Drama exam.
We heard again from the school later today that she will not be able to take the practical exam on this Thursday.
They don't think it will have to much effect on her overall grade as this is 25% of the marks for this module.
We are waiting on a letter to come through from the school later this week detailing the exclusion and the plans for her to take the rest of the A Level Drama.

We have just had notice on the Cucas site that she has a conditional offer from Cardiff and Birmingham.
Cardiff have said she just needs to get her Grade 6 music Theory exam. This can be done externally from the school. Birmingham want the extra A Level.

Birmingham are offering a scholarship and this is her 1st choice.

We are going to Cardiff music college on the 7th Jan and Birmingham Conservatoire on the 24th  Jan. We will then have the chance to speak to Birmingham face to face as they have I understand the choice to look at each application and we are hoping due to the fact they are offering a scholarship they will look at her sympathetically.

If all else fails though she should be able to get into Cardiff Music College.

I had a good meeting with the head and he has agreed that they have made a lot of failings on the procedure.

For instance
The 1st incident happened on the 24th  Nov and the 2nd on the 27th  Nov but even though staff had sent various e-mails about the 1st did nothing about it.
The only time they felt to deal with it was on the 5th Dec. As I told the head maybe if they had dealt with the 1st incident then maybe the 2nd would not of happened.

I have told the head as well that I have been told by a member of his teaching staff that there is a known cannabis problem in the music tech course but as it has not caused an issue have turned a blind eye. Jennifer's behaviour went down when mixing with these people. (We have quizzed her about Cannabis and she has assures us she has seen it being smoked but not done it herself we will though keep an eye on this) so if they know of this as an issue why was it not looked at when her behaviour went down.

We then informed him that the Rock school tutor is known to the pupils smoke cannabis.

I will use all of this informatiuon that I have gained if we do not get a satisfactuary result.

Thanks for your help.

I really appreciate it all and it is very helpful.

Paul.

Answer
Hi there Paul,

Thank you for keeping me updated and I am glad that you had a positive, if not fully satisfactory meeting with the head. The fact the school has decided to allow your daughter the chance to take her A level drama but at a different date should not really hinder her ability to get into Birmingham. If they have already offered her a scholarship then they should look kindly on what has happened and give your daughter the benefit of the doubt. This should only be a blip on the radar and I am confident that she will get into Birmingham or, if necessary Cardiff.

The school obviously recognized their own failings in dealing with this matter and they are trying to be lenient which means that they too, have faith that this was a one off and should not impact your daughter or her future.

Please keep me posted on what is going on and how things are progressing and if I can offer any more help or advice then I will do.

Take Care,

Teenage Problems

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Daryl Taylor, BSc (Hons) Psychology, PGDip (pending certification)

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My expertise covers everything and anything to do with growing up, being a teenager or a young adult or being the parent of one of the pre-described. I can cover issues on identity, sexuality, love, relationships, families, drug/alcohol abuse and anything and everything in between.

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I have volunteered for AllExperts.com for over ten years now, but even before that I was trying to use my experience to help others by working with Advice4teens.co.uk, Teenadviceonline.org and even Lycos and Ask Jeeves. My experience comes from being a teenager primarily but this lead me to work with young people from the age of 13. I have worked front line, face to face and over the telephone, e-mail and webchat for a government department called Connexions UK (aimed at young people aged 13-19); as well as being student counselor in New York, a Peer Mentor, a student teacher and working for my school, college and University to help raise the aspirations of young people. My life has not been easy and I have been through my fair share of issues; so there is little that I haven't been through in reality opposed to just reading it from a book or from my academic studies. I have been featured as a case study as achieving through adversity for a number of magazines and I have featured in a couple of books on both sides of the Atlantic; even though I am UK based.

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BSc(Hons) Psychology Post Graduate Diploma in Multidisciplinary Design Innovation Basic Counselling Skills Effective Listening Skills Mental Health First Aid

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