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Why Camille chose TAFE for her teenager

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When you’re parenting a teen who isn’t thriving in a mainstream school, it can be hard to know what to do. It can be a frustrating and emotional time for parents who find themselves with a teenager who just doesn’t want to be at school. Camille shares why she chose VCAL at TAFE for her son Liam in Years 10 and 11.

When Liam was in Year 10, every morning was a battle for Camille as she tried every trick in the book to get him to school. “Every morning I would threaten ridiculous things to get him to school because I’d run out of motivational things,” she says. Liam was “a square peg in a round hole” in a mainstream school. He wanted to be able to spend more time focusing on his studies and didn’t enjoy being forced to attend compulsory activities or connect with his teachers.

When she heard about VCAL at TAFE, Camille says she was “relieved”. “We had an appointment and the teacher spoke to him as an individual about what he wanted in life and what was on offer, rather than a school where it’s ‘These are our rules and this is what’s going to happen’.”

Once Liam started at Chisholm, Camille says he found it easier to learn and focus on his studies. “He doesn’t keep being stopped by bells and assemblies and recess and lunchtime; he’s able to focus on what he needs to do. He talked more to Jane (his teacher) and the other kids than he had in the whole year at his previous school because he felt comfortable. It’s a great experience of independent learning and being there because you want to be, not because your parents made you be there.” 

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