Mum pays son to do well in GCSEs - with £100 for every A*

Meet the mum who is paying her son to do well in his GCSE exams - with £100 up for grabs for every grade nine achieved. Lynn Beattie, 47, came up with the idea over 30 years ago when she was just 16 years old.

After discovering that her friends were being rewarded for their results, Lynn desperately wanted her parents to follow suit - but they refused. Since then, Lynn vowed that if she ever had children of their own, she would do the same.

So she has come up with a bonus scheme for her 16-year-old son who is currently in the middle of his exams.

For every grade 3 (D/E to U) or below we will get £0. A grade 4 (C/D) will net him £10, a grade 5 (C) £25, grade 6 (B) £40, grade 7 (A) £50, grade 8 (A*) £75 and grade 9 (A**) £100.

She estimates she'll be paying her son around £600 for his 10 results, based on his predicted grades.

Lynn's strategy has faced backlash from other parents who have questioned her decision to reward the result, not the effort.

But mum-of-three Lynn has defended her plan, arguing that it "prepares him for adult life" and says she's "worked hard and earned enough" to reward her son.

Lynn, a personal finance expert, said: "It's really polarised people's views - some think it's a great idea, others are really against it. I think it's a precedent for adult life.

"In my experience, when I've worked hard, I've been paid well - he's 16 and I'm preparing him for adult life by doing this. If he was a 3s and 4s kind of child that wasn't academically achieving then I'd probably do something different.

"My children are all very different so I may come up with different strategies for my other kids. My middle child isn't as academic whereas my youngest is very academic. We as parents know our children best and we decide on the appropriate award strategy and I'm free to do whatever I want for my child. He's expected to get about £500 - £600 from predicted results. The 9 is near on impossible to get, hence the £100 per one. I had to work to get the grades I got and he's broadly aiming to get more than I did."

In further defence of her strategy, Lynn is encouraging her son to use the money to fund his summer plans while also putting some aside to save.

She said: "He's just about to have three months off school. I'd like him to get a job but he doesn't want to at the moment. So I sort of see it as him needing that money for the summer. I'm going to encourage him to save some of it as well as it'd be a great exercise in budgeting."

Lynn posted the idea on her finance Instagram page - Mrsmummypennyuk - and the comments questioning her decisions began to flood in.

One user said: "You should reward effort not results."

Whilst another commented: "As a teacher, I have to say I disagree with this reward system. Intrinsic motivation is essential in life and rewarding outcomes with cash teaches pupils to expect tangible rewards for hard work - not always representative of the real working world."

And a third added: "I feel rewarding for the time spent studying/revising would be better....less pressure, less shame. Reward for effort over achievement always."

But others have leaped to Lynn's defence, praising the idea.

One said: "I think this is great. My mum wasn’t well off but did something for me when I was in school. Gave me that extra push to do my best, partly for money but also to make her proud.

A second posted: "This is literally exactly what my parent's rules were for me and my sister except if you get below a 7 you don’t get any money. Everyone I tell thinks sit’s absurd but I think it’s just good motivation."

And a third added: "My mum did this for me, helped me a lot."

In response to some of the criticism, Lynn agrees effort should be rewarded but says it can be hard to measure it.

She said: "I fully agree that you should reward effort but how do you measure it? Does any parent know how much revision their children are putting in? I would argue not. I know my son is putting in a lot of effort and he cares and wants those good results"

Others questioned Lynn's decision to use money to motivate.

She said: "Money has always motivated me and my children are a product of me so I know they are motivated by it too. There are many jobs where you work hard that you don't get rewarded but I think if you were the most amazing nurse in the world for example, you'd work your way up the scale and earn more and more money - is that not point proven? We have to face the realities of adult life and that we need money to survive.

"I really didn't expect it to go viral the way it did! I'd like to look after my children. Criticise me for working hard and earning enough to give my child £500, I guess!"

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