Education and learning
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Does my son have to study French at GCSE?

MissCCMissCC Member Posts: 22 Connected
edited July 2019 in Education and learning
My Son will be going into year 9 after the summer holidays. During options evening in March I was advised by his French teacher that he was struggling now and he didn't feel it would be a good idea to take a language gcse. I thanked him for his honesty and accepted this, my Son was happy as he doesn't enjoy the subject. 
The options was chosen and we clearly stated on the form he was not to do a language but to do key skills instead ( Eng, Maths, Sci ) fast forward to near end of term we received his end of year report and he has jumped 2 grades in French within a term. I understand this is very unlikely for any student. My Son was told he will be taking French as an option. I spoke to head and queried his grade jumping up 2 levels. My Son also told me he only managed to translate 13/90 words on his end of year exams. He was unwell for his French language exam so didn't sit it. I again raised this with school as no way could he be a grade 3c by only managing to answer 13% of the test. ( that's presuming the answers were correct) the head teacher agreed it was " Strange " and said he would look into it, he also mentioned " data entry error " which I fail to believe, I feel the school has falsified the grades as they want him to enter the Ebacc route to GCSE, I said My Son is there as a student not for their statistics. I also said My Son should be taking the SEN pathway into GCSE and the head replied " There is no SEN pathway to GCSE " ??  I asked to see my Sons original entry he submitted for French. So far this hasn't been provided, I expressed id like this resolved before the start of term  and before his new timetable of which I know French will be on there. My Son is already taking 10 gcse's and we feel we would rather him secure better grades in Eng, Maths, Sci than in French. 
I know a boy in his class who also has SEN has been excused from taking a language. So  if they make reasonable adjustments for one student and not another does this mean its disability discrimination? 
I may have to submit a FOI request if the head doesn't provide my Sons entry, I will take this further if they have falsified the records too. 


  • dolfrogdolfrog Member Posts: 440 Pioneering
    What you are describing would seem to be a form of disability discriminationm our sons went through something similar over the years.
    It down to the incompetence of teaching staff being hidden by education system administrators, such is the corrupt nature of our political system. 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    edited July 2019
    Yes. Submit a request. Two months ago I realised some of my son’s medical records contained inaccurate information. So I got in contact with PALS for advice. 
  • MissCCMissCC Member Posts: 22 Connected
    Thank you for the replies x 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @MissCC, I can completely understand your frustrations around this! It was discussed that I would benefit from a reduced timetable at GCSE, so I could focus on the main subjects. Have you spoken to the school's SENCo? They should be able to look though your son's timetable and recommend changes. It is a suitable reasonable adjustment to study less subjects if the pressure of doing the 'normal' amount would be too much.

    I really hope you are able to get this sorted :)

  • MissCCMissCC Member Posts: 22 Connected
    Hi Chloe, 
    Thanks for your reply, yes spoken to the Senco she didn't day much other than would pass it on to the principle. 
    There's nothing they can do until September, I have asked to see his entry he submitted will see if they produce this if not I'll submit an FOI   
  • JurphJurph Member Posts: 346 Pioneering
    It's been a while since I was at school - can I ask why he's choosing GCSE subjects before he's started year 9? I thought GCSEs were year 10/11.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @MissCC, I can understand how frustrating this must be, leaving it unknown over the summer. I really hope they have passed it on to the right people and that it can be quickly resolved at the start of the academic year!

  • MissCCMissCC Member Posts: 22 Connected
    Hi Jurph, its something they do now, coursework starts in year 9 towards Gcse's 
  • MissCCMissCC Member Posts: 22 Connected
    Thank you Chloe, it is very frustrating. 

    If all else fails I will write and state I am removing him from Modern Foreign Languages, it's not compulsory 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    No problem at all, I hope it doesn't get to that stage. But I understand the importance of allowing him to focus on core subjects!

  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,997

    Scope community team

    Hi @MissCC, have you contacted IPSEA? They might be able to advise. How is his English? From my limited experience it's usually possible to drop foreign languages to focus on core subjects. 
    But I'd really recommend contacting IPSEA about this.
    Senior Community Partner
  • MissCCMissCC Member Posts: 22 Connected
    Hi @Adrian_Scope
    I haven't yet contacted Ipsea, I will do though for advise. 
    His English isn't as strong so would rather he concentrates on his core subjects. 

  • dolfrogdolfrog Member Posts: 440 Pioneering
    Hi @MissCC
    I went through similar issues when i was at school, I had to give up French, and I now I have a clinical diagnosis of my communication disability and understand the full nature of my communication disability that caused my difficulties with sound based communication systems..
    Those of us who have the one or more of the 4 different types of Auditory Processing Disorders, a listening disability, can have problems with all sound based communication systems speech, and the visual notation of speech, the written word.
    Different  languages are purely different societies sound based communication systems and or writing systems purely a man made.
    Those of us who have Auditory Processing Disorder, one of which is the  main underlying cognitive cause of developmental dyslexia, have enough problems processing and developing coping strategies to work around cognitive limitations regarding the use of our own language used in our society without having to cope with the stress of using another societies sound based communication system.
    Unfortunately the current UK education system is a corrupt one size fits all set up which fails to begin to understand individual learning differences weaknesses and more importantly different learning strengths.
    I hope you get the support , understanding, and result  your son needs. 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    No advice as we are a homeschooling family but do contact IPSEA. 
  • MissCCMissCC Member Posts: 22 Connected
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