to make DD change schools when she doesn't want to?

(51 Posts)
livvielunch Tue 29-Dec-15 23:53:44

DD is 9 and attends a junior school 2.5 miles from our house. I have a 4 yo DD with ASC and don't want her to attend the same infant school her sister did because it isn't great for SEN and the transition to junior school later on would be massively unsettling for her, plus I have two other younger children so I'd eventually have three school drop offs to do in a heavily congested town.

DD isn't excelling at school though she's above average. She has one best friend but she regularly leaves dd out and makes her really upset. DD really likes her teacher but never comes out of school particularly happy or enthusiastic about her day; she often complains it's boring and monotonous. One of the schools I'm applying for for her sister has a space for her too and I've asked how she feels about moving school but she is set against it. I've explained it's impossible to do both school runs so she'd have to go to before school club and asked what her objections are but she says she just doesn't want to move.

I can't really afford to pay for before school club and the only school close enough to her junior school for her sister to go to is the infant school she went to. Aibu to move her against her wishes?

livvielunch Tue 29-Dec-15 23:55:34

The school that has spaces for both is less than a mile from home so we can walk which would massively reduce morning stress and save time stuck in traffic, I should add.

Wolfiefan Tue 29-Dec-15 23:56:37

Has she looked round the other school? At 9 I would expect to take her opinion into consideration.

BlackeyedShepherdsbringsheep Tue 29-Dec-15 23:58:22

I would move her in the circumstances. though I would try to sugar coat it a bit with a visit and some of the advantages. some people just do not like moving howevercrap the situation is that they are already in.

BillMurrey Tue 29-Dec-15 23:58:47

I wouldn't give her choice - she's not equipped to make it. Just tell her its happening because the new school is better for her and her siblings, and for you all as a family. Point out all it's good points - do a bit of hard sell. Take her to see the new school first and meet her teacher, and tell her she can have any of her old friends over whenever she wants. It'll be fine.

VimFuego101 Tue 29-Dec-15 23:59:58

Presumably you picked DD's school because it was the best one suited to her, so I wouldn't want to uproot her unless necessary. How long do you think it would be before she could walk herself home from school and be at home alone while you picked up your younger child - if she's fairly mature you may not have to pay after school club costs for that long.

AutumnLeavesArePretty Wed 30-Dec-15 00:01:17

She only has a couple of years left, as she doesn't want to move I'd leave her.

She's likely to have to make lots of sacrifices with having a sibling with SEN, knowing a sibling is the reason for an unwanted school move could lead to major resentment.

Ataraxy Wed 30-Dec-15 00:02:23

Has she been for a visit? It's possible that she's saying no because the unknown is too big and scary for her.

Mmmmcake123 Wed 30-Dec-15 00:03:23

I think you need to sell the new school to her rather than tell her it's due to sibling and convenience for you. Visit idea is perfect, perhaps let new school know she is a bit dubious as she is fearful of the transition and they will probably pull out all the stops. Good luck xx

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 30-Dec-15 00:07:17

She's likely to have to make lots of sacrifices with having a sibling with SEN, knowing a sibling is the reason for an unwanted school move could lead to major resentment. I agree with this.

RubbleBubble00 Wed 30-Dec-15 00:09:14

I think you need to let her have a look around new school and see what she thinks. A friend of mine did exactly this and now deeply regrets moving her eldest dd as she struggled immensely in new school.

I think it's unfair to move her just because u want dd2 to go to a different school.

If u can persuade her fine but otherwise I would leave her otherwise your setting up a state if dd1 needs being put behind hose of dd2

livvielunch Wed 30-Dec-15 00:16:58

It's 2.5 miles across lots of busy roads so she won't be walking herself to or from school at all. I cannot afford before/after school care so effectively my choices are a) do as Bill suggests above and remove her choice and tell her it's happening or b) send 4 yo to an infant school poorly equipped for her needs knowing she'll really struggle with the transition to junior school and that it'll mean three different school runs in a few years, vastly reducing my career prospects

ThumbWitchesAbroad Wed 30-Dec-15 00:33:23

I would move her too. If she only has one friend, who isn't a friend to her half the time, then she's not going to miss out - perhaps she doesn't like change (many people don't) but things are going to change when she goes to "big school" anyway.

Try to find some ways to "sweeten the deal" - look for the positives in the move, take her to the new school and let her look around, that kind of thing - but move her.

rosewithoutthorns Wed 30-Dec-15 00:40:13

Of course she has a choice at that age. She's happy there. Try to persuade her by all means, its not her fault how many other younger siblings she has. She's also of an age where she can get there and back on her own.

Mmmmcake123 Wed 30-Dec-15 00:43:47

Obviously you need to go for option a but getting your child to take this on and accept it goes deeper than telling her how it is and wondering if you are being unreasonable by forcing it anyway.
Show her everything good about the new school that relates specifically to her, anything that actually is better and that may appeal to her, e.g. better dinners, bigger stage for Xmas plays, playground with different facilities, ask new school for help in making her feel included and not just shunted off to a different school.

Mmmmcake123 Wed 30-Dec-15 00:50:04

Look at the wall displays. Kids don't pay attention to them in their own schools. Show her how good everything looks whilst also pointing out, 'oh look at that display on xxxxx, you know all about that too', to make her feel comfortable. If you can, make the visit just you and her so it feels special and not an add on to sibling.

Once you've done that if she still doesn't want to go, query why and debate it with her. She hasn't any great reasons to stay at current school

itsstillgood Wed 30-Dec-15 05:52:58

If the school is closer to you does she not know people that go there so you can sell it to her that way? At 9 moving her if she is resistant would be a bad idea. I think you are risking long term resentment against you and sibling. Take her to see it and stress the positives for her and family, really listen to her reasons if she says no and do your best to reassure her fears of change.

Playing devil's advocate a bit though, you do have further options. School isn't compulsory, home educating one or both is option (might not be viable one but still an option)

WildStallions Wed 30-Dec-15 06:04:03

You should move her.

It's not fair on you for her to stay there. And you count to.

She almost certainly will adjust very quickly at that age. And if not she will still be fine.

GreatFuckability Wed 30-Dec-15 06:11:28

Why cant you send 4 yo to her school until she goes to secondary and then move 4 yo to new school? Seems the least hassle.

Saxons Wed 30-Dec-15 06:13:42

Why is the closer school better for your youngest? What's special about it? What's different?

As long as you are certain that the school is the right one for the youngest, id move the older one. First check there are enough girls in the class and let her do a taster day. You could tell her that she will keep in touch with old friend regularly (at brownies or play dates) and have new closer to home friends at new school.

Saxons Wed 30-Dec-15 06:16:28

I know plenty of children who have moved mid year and after settling in for 4 or 5 months, I'm told they are very happy and wouldn't return to old school.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Wed 30-Dec-15 06:18:40

Has she visited the school? Dd2 was very resistant to the idea of moving schools, even though she was unhappy and something needed to be done. She visited the school with us and saw immediately that she could be happier there. She was begging to move that afternoon and didn't go back. Has been the best thing we did. She still plays with some of her old friends in the holidays.

ProudAS Wed 30-Dec-15 07:10:05

Could DD1 have ASC too? It sounds like she's having difficulty with friendships.

Let her have a taster day at the new school and sell all its good points.

ShadyMyLady Wed 30-Dec-15 07:23:31

I'm facing a similar thing at the moment. DD1 is 11 and DD2 is 5 with ASD. They're both currently at a school that suits DD1 perfectly but is awful for DD2 and she is suffering.

DD2 is down to move to a new school that can meet her needs better, it's full at the moment though. I have decided not to move DD1, she will be biking to school. If she was 9 like your DD I still don't think I'd move her tbh. Hard as it will be for 2 years, I agree with other posters about her being resentful towards her sister. Whatever you do though, do not put your DD2 in a school that won't meet her needs. Definitely send her to the new school.

Bit of a long shot but do your children receive pupil premium? If they do you can request for it to be spent on the breakfast/after school club for DD1. That way you won't have to worry financially.

Good luck though, I have been in this predicament for over a year and I only made the decision to move DD2 last month. I'm dreading it and it's making me sick just thinking about it, moving a child with ASD is not easy and is going to majorly disrupt our lives for a few months until she is settled (probably a year going by her usual standards) but I know it's better in the long run for her.

Four4me Wed 30-Dec-15 07:25:50

We moved ds2 at 8 years old for a variety of reasons, he wasn't keen.
I sat and had a long grownup chat with him and asked him to trust our judgment. He settled really well and two years down the line he says it's the best decision he ever made grin

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