‘My child is failing’
In a system where 100 000s of kids repeat every year, what is a parent to do?
Dear Parent24

My 16 year old daughter failed Grade 10 for the last two terms. Her downfall is Maths (21% and now 13%).
The school says that a grade 10 pupil cannot repeat the year. Once failed, they cannot take her back according to education department rules. Is this true? What are my options now? She is by no means stupid! She is however extremely lazy about studying and just wants to socialise all the time.
- Doug

Educational psychologist Greg Crighton assists:

There are four phases in our school system, the Foundation Phase (Gr 1, 2 and 3), the Intersen Phase (Gr 4, 5, 6), the GETC Phase (Gr 7, 8, 9), and the FETC Phase (Gr 10, 11, 12). The departmental rules say you may only repeat once in a phase, and for this reason schools are reluctant to allow Learners to repeat in Gr 10 because it is the first year in a new phase, thereby not allowing for the safety net of being able to repeat in the more difficult year of Gr 11.

Once a child has failed the school cannot refuse to have the child back, that is unconstitutional. It is the responsibility of the school to provide the necessary support to the child to ensure that they have the opportunity to pass, and if this is not possible for whatever reason, then the school must provide a viable alternative in terms of a referral elsewhere.

In your daughter's case it appears as though an urgent intervention in mathematics is needed, this can be done through the school if available, or else privately. There also needs to be buy-in from your daughter, she needs to take responsibility for her learning and make the effort to succeed.

A major adjustment in attitude is urgently required. Perhaps a discussion or assessment around future career possibilities is necessary in order to give her some direction and goals to work toward.

Parents24 editor says: Look in our extra lessons directory for one-on-one lessons in your area.

Is your child one of the many who will repeat? How do you feel about it? Comment below or email your story to chatback@parent24.com

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