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The tension never stops does it?


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Ah yes the dreaded annual assessments. A time of stress for students and parents alike.

 

It pays to have back up plans just in case the student is asked to leave. Fortunately for us it never happened although one year it was skin of the teeth stuff.

 

There have been discussions before about assessing out. I underdstand why it has to happen. However I do wish schools would allocate a specific member of staff to help liaise with students and parents alike when assessing out happens. As I understand it, the level of support for those in this situation varies greatly and families have to take it upon themselves to audition elsewhere or simply find alternative education. An authorised support person or team dealing with these issues would be a great help. As a parent I would have been less stressed if there had been a support system in place.

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Are there any pre warnings given that a child may be in danger of losing their place or is it all down to one particular day/week....so much more sudden and if a child is assessed out how long are they given to leave so to speak....one term, 1/2 a term?

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Are there any pre warnings given that a child may be in danger of losing their place or is it all down to one particular day/week....so much more sudden and if a child is assessed out how long are they given to leave so to speak....one term, 1/2 a term?

Unless the reason for having leave is unacceptable behaviour then its usually until the end of the academic year.

Very often parents will have had a letter expressing concerns about suitability of training ss we did. However I do know of those who thought they were safe due to high marks one year but found themselves assessed out the following year. Getting into year 10 is a huge relief as then the students are "safe" for two years due to gcses.

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It does seem to soon to do the assessments but I can see the reasoning behind it.  When DS was assessed out it was in the days when schools still had auditions available after the Feb half term which made it much easier.  Now that the schools don't appear to have auditions much passed January it must make it much harder to rearrange DC future schooling if you don't find out that you're being assessed out until the middle of Feb half term.

 

As to warnings lower years may not even have had a parent/teacher meeting with the dance teacher to give them a clue and with assessments in Nov probably no school report either.  We were given a bit of a hint at the parent/teacher meeting the term before.  Though they wouldn't commit when asked.  We never received any written notice that he was not meeting the required standard.

 

Also agree with Hfbrew about support being offered by current school in finding the next school, as when we were assessed out there was none at all.  Would have been much easier if we had someone to talk rather than a brief call with the Ballet Principal about why they were assessed out.  Never did find out why he was assessed out.  We had to act very quickly to get auditions at other schools. 

 

If they are assessed out as others can also vouch for it's not the end of the road as both Juliew and myself can both now say as both our DS's are professional ballet dancers.

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Thanks hfbrew. At least they are given to the end of that academic year which is reasonable I suppose but still a bit of a nightmare for those to whom it happens. It would be nice to think they would all be safe until at least the end of year 11.

However I suppose if it becomes obvious after a couple of years that someone isn't going to make it as a dancer then the School feels it should be getting on to train someone else as these years are such vital ones in dancers career. Does seem a bit harsh though for a Year 7 pupil as have only just got their place there!!!

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I really don't understand this assessing out - if a child is good enough to be accepted in the first place, why can't they stay and complete their training?  It would be different if they accepted someone conditionally, so they knew in advance that it might happen.  Anyway, they only take a handful, if that, of students into the top companies, so why does it disturb them to keep someone at the school even if they're not star material.  I suppose there is such a demand for places, that they can literally do what they like........

 

When I entered my 3rd year at RBS upper school, many moons ago, I was placed in Theatre Class (which was one under Graduates) with the former ballerina Pamela May as my teacher.  I adored her - worshipped the ground she walked in - even though she wore high heels and smoked in class!!  Anyway, after three weeks, they suddenly moved me and three other girls into a different class and I was devastated.  I also didn't understand why, because all through my training at the upper school, I had been placed amongst the 3 or 4 top students in my class.  As I didn't stop crying for a week and couldn't dance for being so stressed and miserable, my mother went up to the school to speak with Ursula Moreton.  They actually couldn't come up with any real reason why they'd done it, just that I was one of the youngest in the class and the class was too full.  I have no idea what my mother, bless her, told them, but I was moved back into Theatre class and continued to gain top placings in test class even there, so it remained unclear what it was all about.  They only took two girls from Theatre Class that year into the company and I wasn't one of them, but neither were all the other students in the class, so again not a reason for the demotion at the beginning of the year.  I am however so thankful that I got to complete my training - it was so important to me.  I don't what I would have done if they'd have actually thrown me out........

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It doesn't seem right KathyG that you didn't get proper information on why your son was assessed out.

 

Anyway glad to hear he made it in the end!

 

The more I think about it the more ridiculous it seems to assess a child out in year 7. Are they judging this on half a term in the school then? If this is the case doesn't seem to say much for their selection procedure then does it?!

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Well dd was offered a place late on in the process with instructions to work on certain things & she would be monitored. There is also another child who was originally turned down but they offered them a place after summer school as they saw an improvement since the original audition. Dd was also told shed improved at summer school.

 

In dds case she doesn't actually aspire to be a classical ballerina, she wants to be a musical theatre performer. Her school offers an all round training alongside the ballet which is why she applied (the other stage schools were not financially possible)

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