Why doesn’t my child want to go back to school?
This information is taken from ReachOut Australia.
Every parent has trouble getting their teen out of bed and off to school every now and then. However, if your teen is regularly asking to stay home and seems upset or worried about school, it could be a sign of a bigger problem.
If your teenager seems upset or worried about going to school, refuses to go to school or has had problems with school refusal in the past this resource from ReachOut may be able to support you.
Whilst it may seem like the best option to allow your teen to leave school early, there are many valuable reasons for completing year 12. These include:
- Social activities and the opportunity to make friends.
- School provides structure and routine for children.
- More likely to return to study later in life.
- Less likely to experience long periods of unemployment.
- Employers may look more favourably on an applicant who has completed Year 12.
So how can you help?
Try to speak to your child about what’s been happening. Check out ReachOut’s tips for figuring out what’s up with your teenager for advice on how to do this.
Meet with your child’s school to discuss what is going on. A few key contacts that may be useful to discuss these issues with are:
- the year coordinator,
- the deputy principal,
- the wellbeing staff or
- the careers adviser.
You can also get involved with your child’s education. ReachOut suggest that working together with the school will give your teen the best chance of overcoming their anxieties about school. Focus on trying to make school a structured and predictable part of your teen’s life. Some practical steps could be to ask the school to:
- share lesson plans with you and your child,
- excuse your child from activities that make them anxious eg. reading aloud,
- let you know if there will be a substitute teacher and
- organise regular meetings with your main contact at the school.
What if that is still not working?
If you have any concerns about your child’s wellbeing you should consult with their GP. If there are no physical reasons for your child’s school refusal, the GP may refer your child to a mental health professional such as a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist. A mental health professional will help your child to learn skills to deal with their anxiety about going to school.
Flexible schooling within your child’s current school may be an option and is something you can discuss with their school.
Sign up for ReachOut Parents One-on-One Support and get some personalised support. The support sessions will help you to understand your child’s school refusal and assist you to create an action plan to help your teen.
What are their other options outside of Secondary School?
In some cases, finishing secondary school might not be the right pathway for your child. However, there are other options that can lead your child into a successful career.
In some cases, when your child wishes to finish their secondary education, home schooling or distance education may be an option. To find out more information on this, check out your state or territory’s Education Department website for details.
Alternatively, your child might be ready to step into the workforce with an apprenticeship or traineeship.
Australian Apprenticeships offer opportunities for you to train, study and earn an income at a variety of Vocational Education and Training qualification levels in many occupations including traditional trades. They can be either full-time, part-time or school-based.
This sounds like a good option, but I think my child should stay at school.
Australian School-based Apprenticeships (ASbA), also known as school-based apprenticeships and traineeships, are similar to any apprenticeship or traineeship but can be commenced part-time as part of your secondary schooling. You will earn a wage, train with an employer, and work towards an accredited qualification while undertaking your high school certificate.
Students who undertake an ASbA may find that they reconnect with their schooling experience due to the mix of traditional education and Vocational Education and Training.
Similar to all Australian Apprenticeships, ASbAs are a great way to learn a role, gain experience, and get a head start in your career. Depending on what you do as your ASbA you may be able to finish this and gain the qualification while you are still at school.
If your school does not offer ASbAs, look at other options such as Vocational Education and Training in School (VET in Schools) or school subjects that lead into the occupation you are interested in. This will help you prepare for an apprenticeship or traineeship once you leave school.
Some ASbAs may be ongoing post-school, but after you complete your apprenticeship or traineeship you will still be able to go to university, upskill to a higher level qualification or even start your own business.
There are a few things to do before starting an ASbA:
- If the student is under 18 years, they need to talk to a parent or caregiver. The parent or caregiver will need to agree before you can start an ASbA (or any other apprenticeship or traineeship).
- Talk to the school about whether they offer ASbAs. They will need to agree before starting the ASbA.
- Choose an apprenticeship or traineeship that is approved as an ASbA in your state.
- Find an employer who is willing to take on the student as an ASbA.
- Once they have found an employer, an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider will need to do the sign up. They will talk to the employer, the school, and if they are under 18 to a parent or caregiver.
What is an Australian Apprenticeship?
The term ‘Australian Apprenticeships’ covers both apprenticeships and traineeships, which start when an employer creates a job and decides to use this way of employing and training staff.
Australian Apprenticeships are available to anyone of working age with eligibility to work in Australia. There aren't specific school levels, certificates or other qualifications needed to start one.
Australian Apprenticeships offer opportunities for you to train, study and earn an income at a variety of Vocational Education and Training qualification levels in many occupations including traditional trades and can be either full-time, part-time or school-based.
When you finish your Australian Apprenticeship, you will have a nationally recognised qualification that can take you anywhere in Australia and is held in high regard in many overseas countries as well.
Things to consider before undertaking an Australian Apprenticeship?
At AATIS, we often get asked if Australian Apprenticeships are too good to be true. We agree, they are an absolutely fantastic pathway into a career across many industries in Australia – however it is important to understand the work that goes into completing an Australian Apprenticeship.
Before your child leaves school to start their apprenticeship:
Consider enrolling them in a pre-apprenticeship course. This will give them a great insight as to what will be expected from them throughout their apprenticeship, including the mix of theory based and work-based learning require.
Gain an understanding of the literacy and numeracy skills required to undertake their desired apprenticeship. You can do this on the AAPathways website here. Each quiz is 10 questions long and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. You can use a calculator to assist you. Each quiz was developed with the help of industry, TAFE, and the secondary school sector. They are not a formal assessment of your literacy and numeracy skills.
Help them to get a clear understanding of how long it will take to complete their Australian Apprenticeship. In many cases, apprenticeships can take up to four years to complete.
- Research the industry and the job availabilities for the desired apprenticeship. To complete an Australian Apprenticeship, your child must be employed whilst undertaking study. You can find information on how to secure an Australian Apprenticeship here.
Benefits of an Australian Apprenticeship.
We understand that there is a lot of information to take in before leaving school. However, there are also many benefits that your child will experience if they do decide to undertake and Australian Apprenticeship:
- Earn whilst they learn.
- Develop industry skills and experience.
- Hands on training in the workforce and in the classroom.
- Gain a nationally recognised qualification.
- Meet other people in the industry.
- Transferable skills.
- It can be a pathway into further education.
- It may develop their confidence in both their skills and their self.
Steps to an Australian Apprenticeship.
If you and your child agree that an Australian Apprenticeship is the right step for them, there are steps you can take to secure an apprenticeship. Each of these steps is linked to more detailed information via the AAPathways website.
Step One - Research
Start your Australian Apprenticeship career research by exploring potential career options, the industries that best suit you, and resources to help identify your interests.
Step Two - Preparation
Understand the benefits of doing an apprenticeship or traineeship, including potential financial incentives, wages, costs of training and job prospects.
Step Three - Job Hunting
There are many ways to find an apprenticeship or traineeship job. In this link you will find tips and links to help job hunt using a variety of approaches.
Step Four - Sign up
Every Australian Apprentice must be signed up into a formal training contract as soon as they are employed. Learn what is involved in a sign up and who to contact to get one organised by clicking the above link.
At AATIS, we know that every child is different and that finding the right pathway can be challenging. We hope that we have provided you some valuable insights into what an Australian Apprenticeship can mean for your child.
If you have any further questions about Australian Apprenticeship, you can contact us via our contact form here or by calling our free hotline on 1800 338 022.
If you have any concerns about your child’s wellbeing, you can find support through Reach Out Australia here.