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Good evening and thank you for your question, my name is ***** ***** I am a fully qualified vehicle technician with over thirty years in the trade
From the description you have given it sounds as though the clutch is not fully releasing and is allowing the gearbox input shaft to keep turning even with the clutch depressed.
The clutch release mechanism on the 2004 VW Polo should be a cable system and this can be adjusted to release some of the tension on the cable.
As the clutch wears the amount of free plays normally lessens, but as your sons clutch does not fully clear, if adjusting up the clutch does not help the gearchange, then it may be wear in the clutch cover or release bearing which is the problem.
This may then need a new clutch to rectify the problem.
I hope this answers your question but do please feel free to ask any further details by replying to this thread.
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