to ask how important primary school is? Would it be okay to leave him at this school?

(120 Posts)
AmberrrS Sun 18-Sep-16 02:15:32

DS is in Reception, we aren't in a particularly rich area... There's a variety of different houses, but we purchased a new one. It's lovely and the perfect house (BTW we hadn't even conceived DS at this point, so didn't even think of schools). However, there's 3 bloody prep schools! That are our closest schools. There is literally no schools in our catchment. We still put down all the good schools that were close by, even though they were out of catchment. We didn't get any sad instead they gave us the closest catchment and only catchment school - it's 8 miles away. It's awful. I thought I'd give it a go, just to see as I know not all schools are what OFSTED say. He doesn't like it... He comes home crying every single afternoon he refuses to let go of me. He sits hugging the TA all day, who is lovely, but has no issue telling me that that's the only thing he has done. She says it's okay because he was upset, which it's nice to know she cares, but I feel like it's feeding DS's sadness of you see what I mean? At breaktime he gets knocked over by older children (they don't have a separate playground) and has been pushed off the slide, but his class teacher said that it was because he has been told he isn't allowed on it, as only yr 1 + is allowed hmm well why on earth let them be around it then! He's 4! He doesn't know that he can't go on it and if he does it's acceptable for older kids to push him sad

Sometimes the children get moved to the corridor to 'play' as their classroom needs to be used by a different class, so the children often wander off. DS had accidentally sat in a yr 1 lesson due to him not getting out the classroom quick enough before the yr 1 class went in.

It's a shambles. He only started on the 1st!

It's rated inadequate and I agree... Unfortunately sad we both work, we're not rich, we are both on national average wage, so doing okay and have an income of about £50,000 joined. I just don't know if it's worth looking at the preps... It seems like most of the children around us go to one of the 3. We wouldn't be able to go on holiday (which we do once a year) our mortgage is very high and we have a younger daughter so we need to think about the cost of her going too, so we would be very short of cash. Is it worth it?

Or would you leave him there for a bit longer and see how it goes? It's just quite far too and I literally feel like I'm dumping him at some kind of awful place.

How important is primary school?

ReallyTired Sun 18-Sep-16 03:07:27

Do you live in a rural area. Did you put your nearest schools on your application form? Eight miles is a shocking distance to travel. Is your son on continuing interest for other schools. Have you looked on your lea website to see if any schools have spaces?

Private education for two children is not doable on your salary. It's not just the fees, but everything else. Look for a better state school.

SeeYouTomorrow Sun 18-Sep-16 03:15:44

This sounds heartbreaking, AmberrrS. I am very sorry for you and your son. The school seems quite shambolic.

Can your son be put on a waiting list for any of the schools you applied for? I confess I know nothing about English state schools, but if that's a possibility then its worth looking at. Otherwise, you can:

1. Keep him at the school for a little longer and see if he settles.

2. A temporary move to a prep school for a 1-2 years until you can find a more affordable long term solution for both children.

3. Move House?

My youngest is 3 years old, and in your position I would not hesitate to move her.

AmberrrS Sun 18-Sep-16 03:21:03

Really, there isn't any state schools. I have looked at all schools. The good ones are really oversubscribed (the ones we didn't get into) and the one he is at is the only one that is in our catchment. It's shocking really!

Well, they would only need to be in a private school until year 6, as the state school that's in our catchment is good. The prep fees we could afford, as it would be like I'm a SAHM, so my salary would be going on their fees, as they're around £9,000 a year, my salary is £25,000. However, that isn't ideal and it certainly wouldn't be something I would just pick. I just don't know what else to do.

I have looked at other schools that are closer than 8 miles but they're all oversubscribed and there is only 1 that has a few reception spaces left! One that is requires improvement and religious (voluntary aided?)

AmberrrS Sun 18-Sep-16 03:23:22

See, we have been put on waiting lists for all schools that were higher on our options, but because we are out of catchment I'm sure I have no hope!

The thing is, I'm not sure if moving house is going to be easy. There are very few houses up for sale, just lots of flats. We thought about renting, but it's heartbreaking as this was supposed to be our dream family home sad

Thank you

ReallyTired Sun 18-Sep-16 03:41:47

I think your position I would send your child to the religous requires improvement school. You have the right to withdraw him from religious worship. It has to better than where he is at.

You are aware that virtually all schools in the uk are religious and generally private schools are more religious than state schools.

ReallyTired Sun 18-Sep-16 03:47:59

Private schools much longer holidays ie. 9 weeks in the summer, 4 weeks at Christmas and Easter. There would be costs of holiday clubs, wrap around care for two children to be paid out of taxed income. There are costs of getting to work as well. Are you sure your sums add up? Even if you forgo a family holiday?

School fees increase as the child gets older. They also go up well beyond inflation.

AmberrrS Sun 18-Sep-16 03:50:07

Really, I though Voluntary Aided schools meant I wouldn't be able to? Also, I don't know how well that would go down with his peers. Surely I will need to visit it first, as it may not be any better? It's still 7 miles away.

jacks11 Sun 18-Sep-16 03:53:03

Have you considered applying for bursary for Prep school?

Not all preps have bursaries and those that do rarely cover 100% of fees, so you'd still have to meet some of the costs (and you need to factor in the extras such as uniform, additional equipment and trips etc). However, I think in your position I would look into bursaries and see what is available at your 3 local preps in terms of bursaries.

Your DS's school doesn't sound great TBH. I think primary school is important as it is setting the foundations for all future learning and if I was really unhappy with the school I would look into all my options to see if I could identify a way to send my child to a school which I was confident could meet their needs.

AmberrrS Sun 18-Sep-16 03:53:20

Really, yes, my sums add up, the schools are £2,900. My salary is £25,000 if I used that just on the school fees, we could do it.

Also, they're not Jewish, even if they are more religious, they won't be as religious as the Jewish school.

ReallyTired Sun 18-Sep-16 03:55:13

If a school has a space and no waiting list it has to accept any child. A school may give preference to a particular religion, but the can't say c of e only. Surely the children at the new school will become his peers.

Four years don't tend to think too deeply. They just want to feel safe and secure. They won't care if they attend a c of e school.

AmberrrS Sun 18-Sep-16 03:55:55

It's not Church of England

jacks11 Sun 18-Sep-16 03:56:06

Also, just to say my DDs prep does wrap around care at no additional cost and so do all our local independent schools- maybe your local ones do to?

Agree with PP that holidays are longer, so would need to be factored in.

AmberrrS Sun 18-Sep-16 04:00:19

If it was a good school, I'd do it in a heartbeat, but it's still 7 miles away, is requires improvement and is Jewish.

So many children! Not enough schools!

AmberrrS Sun 18-Sep-16 04:00:49

If it was a good school, I'd do it in a heartbeat, but it's still 7 miles away, is requires improvement and is Jewish.

So many children! Not enough schools!

AmberrrS Sun 18-Sep-16 04:02:56

Also DH and I are only children so are incredibly lucky that the grandparents fight over them, literally grinwink

mumtomaxwell Sun 18-Sep-16 06:33:34

Primary school is important because it lays the foundations for their schooling. In your situation I would seriously consider moving house.

Prep school isn't just about the fees - there's a whole expensive lifestyle that goes with it. DH and I looked into it for our twins when they were 4 because the catchment school was awful. We have a very similar income to you (approx £59k) and realised there was just no way we could manage it when you include all the 'extras'.

We got them into a brilliant school near where I work and now desperately hoping my DD gets in too!

Silvertap Sun 18-Sep-16 06:42:55

I'd move house.

If that didn't work of I'd move to the prep school and try very hard to improve my career.

Longlost10 Sun 18-Sep-16 06:58:39

where abouts in the country are you? There has to be a way forward. He is entitled to a reasonable state education, so you need to insist he gets one. I would persist in the school you are at, it can't be that bad. Is there a SENCO there you could speak to? It does sound like he needs additional support in listening to and following instructions, as well as emotional support. Does he have any additional needs that you are aware of? How about a hearing test? Have you spoken to the school at all? I think it is very early to write it off completely, all schools have good and bad points, but a child's experience is mostly determined by the people they sit next to, so maybe something as simple as seat a move would help him settle and make friends. How about inviting another child or couple of children back for tea, or doing something fun on a Saturday with another family with a child in the same class. Get a friendly, constructive dialogue going with the school, make sure you are all on the same side, not conbatants! I'm sure things will improve.

OnTheMove28 Sun 18-Sep-16 07:02:28

I wonder whereabouts you are. The situation is so common and so sad in rural areas that have seen an influx of people from London (sell the house in the capital and use the proceeds to buy a country pile and pay for school fees). I am in the same position but fortunate in that the church school - which also requires improvement - is actually a lovely, warm, caring environment with class sizes of around 20. I wondered if you were in the same area as me but you say the church school isn't C of E. I would definitely look at the church school if this is your situation - ours will take anyone local if there are places - but be quick as we will probably lose it soon sad . I know people like to knock church schools but they really are the only option for some of us.

waterrat Sun 18-Sep-16 07:02:35

When is he 5? If summer term you could keep him in pre school for another year.

I'd move house if school situation that bad.

waterrat Sun 18-Sep-16 07:04:10

The playground situation is appalling.

I presumed all reception children have their own playspace so they can have free flow.

He should also have his own classroom. It sounds awful.

deathtoheadlice Sun 18-Sep-16 07:13:33

Local papers re him being pushed off the slide ! Maybe it would force the school into action at least on that point . But yes, try to move him. Can you rent out your house and move to a flat so at least you still own this home for later? Yes yes to seeing about bursaries at all the preps. A 50% bursary would make them far more feasible. I'd call your mp as well actually. Perfect case for a big story....

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sun 18-Sep-16 07:15:13

I don't think that I could leave him there. Would you consider the prep for now and keep him on a continuing interest list at other schools. Some people do state to 8 so there might be movement going into yr3. Also check admissions criteria for other potential state schools, will your dd get sibling priority if she is out of catchment?

Believeitornot Sun 18-Sep-16 07:18:47

Move house.

also complain to the school governors. I wouldn't stand by for that sort of thing while my DC was still there.

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