A couple of week ago I was chatting to one of my placement tutors who was having problems with the numbers of his students. It wasn't that his students were all leaving but that some from last year were on the wrong course for what they wanted to do for their careers and so he helped them as much as he could but also suggested they leave the course and study something that would be more beneficial for them. This caused problems for him in terms of money loss for the college.

However I am interested in this from an inclusivity point of view. At teachers of course we must do everything we can to accommodate all students and help them to learn but if they really are on the wrong course shouldn't we also do something about that, even it if means that student moves onto a different course?

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I agree it should what benefits the students the most and I've seen this with another course, where a course was changed as the right people weren't consulted before it was set up, so some students were doing something they didn't quite want to do. The teacher however incorporated as much as possible the students desired subject into what needs to be taught, to be inclusive, but it has been a battle with some students as they just didn't want to be there and that had a knock on effect with the students who did want to be there.

I think initial assessment has a big part to play when students are choosing courses and speaking to the right people is essential. Being realistic with students about what the course will entail and assessing their abilities, also where it can lead, so students can make informed decisions, but I can understand the pressure of getting enough students onto a course. It all needs to be balanced as if the students aren't on the right course they can leave, get poor marks or distract others from achieving and that would seem worse to me, than having fewer students to start off with.

It is our job as a teacher to ensure that all learners are happy and achieving in their chosen course. However, if a student isn't achieving or happy this could mean that they are on the wrong course and yes I believe it is our job to get them on the right course. It doesn't mean you have failed them as a teacher if they need to change courses, it just literally means that your course isn't right for them. I think the best way to approach it would be to have a tutorial with the student and ask them how they are feeling and what they want to do and then help them explore the different pathways open to them.

I agree with Aimee it is our job as teachers to help in the development of students, and give them advice which is going to help them get to the places they want to be. If a student is on your course and realises it's not for them I believe it is down to you to sit down with them and find out how to get back on track to a career path that suits them.

I think it's terrible that sometimes the focus is on numbers rather than the actual feelings of the students. Teachers are under so much pressure to have a certain number of students or for them to get a certain amount of the top grades. If a student is unhappy on a course and you think with few changes they can continue I would do my best to make them stay and to not throw away their chances. However if they are really on the wrong course and it isn't going to benefit them in the future then it is a waste of their time and the tutors time. I'd try my best to get them on the right course for them.

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