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Lost in Transition – Part 3

Ruthless People

Max wants to be a chef...right. So what qualifications should he get? What matters? What will give him the skills and prove he has worth?

This is not my area of expertise so I started by doing that crazy mum thing and went to cafes and restaurants door to door, I asked friends, strangers, I just asked everybody. They all had the same kind, but deeply puzzled, expression as I whittled on. I think they were all a little scared that I was job hunting for my good for nothing lummox of a son. When they realised I was only a little crazy they gave me a bit of time. The list was a great starting point. I might go back in a couple of years to the nice ones for some actual job hunting for Max.

Anyway, there are a tonne of courses that would give Max his golden ticket to a job....or at least take him as far as I could to help him walk head high into an interview.

I started looking at my local colleges and then I hit that proverbial cliff again. Entry requirements. Damn it. Although Max is doing two GCSEs these did not including Maths or English. Why should that matter, he can read a recipe and measure ingredients! He has been predicted a C and a D. Then the GCSE cookery was changed to a different course. Why you ask? If he’s so able? Simple dear reader, as of 2014 all GCSE’s have become academified.

All GCSEs now require a written component under exam conditions. And yes, before you say it, Max would get a scribe to write for him but who’s going to help him organise his thoughts? I’d like to make some flippant joke about brain damage to lighten the mood but seriously, Max has got big problems and the simple fact that he can no longer do coursework based GCSEs means he has been disabled academically more than is bearable.

Max is amazing but his learning ability is like Swiss cheese, so some subjects he’s fantastic at like cookery and some he can’t do and will never be able to understand or do. One of those irritatingly is maths. Why doesn’t 1+1=11? It’s a bit like me and bowling. Many have tried to help, dozens in fact, but I simply can’t bowl. In time I have come to accept my bowling disability, but this maths thing is going to be a great big noxious elephant in the room.

I took each college course in turn checking out their admissions criteria,

“3 GCSEs at grades A*-G or 9-2 ideally including English and maths, and a keen interest in catering.” “3 GCSEs at grades A*-G or 9-2 ideally including English and maths” “You will need GCSEs at grade D or better - including English and Maths” “Students are required to have an English and Maths qualification at Entry 3.”

All getting a bit Grrr, I then follow up with a begging phone call to each college, an excepting pretty please? But there was no budging. And I hadn’t even begun to add into the mix all of Max’s other medical and learning problems. It turns out that now everyone going onto a college courses have to have a certain level in Maths and English. It doesn’t matter if they’re studying beauty therapy, catering, fine art or underwater sports management. There is no way to break this rule. So let’s see if I can bend it just enough to keep my promise to Max.


If you’re in the same place, you might want to check out these useful links…

IPSEA - https://www.ipsea.org.uk

Preparing for Adulthood- http://www.preparingforadulthood.org.uk

The National Autistic Society- http://www.autism.org.uk

Epilepsy Action - https://www.epilepsy.org.uk

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