Help needed re moving schools following divorce

(7 Posts)

Currently divorcing, house is on the market, 3 kids, 9,7.5 and 1 year old. The older two are currently in private school, which is expensive and I feel not sustainable finance wise especially when baby reaches reception age as that's when my oldest will go up to seniors and the fees take a huge jump.
There's a small independent school nearby for which fees are about half the current level which is much more affordable. Question is when to make the move. Should I just do it all at once and get it over with? Or should I let them adjust to the divorce and house move for a year and then move them?
Local state primaries are dire with 2/3 schools in the area I'm planning to move to in special measures for the last 3 years.

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 07-Mar-14 10:51:10

Do both you and your Ex agree about a school? Unless you have a residency order you can not make a unilateral decision.
Next you have to think about how the children are coping. They are moving house, their parents have split, could moving schools be to bigger step. Would the school actually suit the children or would a school in the state sector actually suit them?
Finally can you still realistically afford private schools for the long run?

We both agree about moving schools being more affordable. Fees for current school were ok while we were living together but now with two households to run rather than one it's going to be a struggle. Other school is much less expensive and we can afford it long term. Kids are coping ok at the moment, there have been a few episodes of tears but so far no problems at school with work or behaviour. I would like them to feel more secure about the divorce and would like to have the house move and upheaval out of the way and them to have made new friends at home before moving schools. Really really don't want to go down the state school route as 90% of this area is very deprived and as I said 2/3 of the schools local to where I'm planning to move are in special measures and not improving at all in spite of this. The one that's not in special measures is over subscribed which is no surprise. I really don't want to send them to a school in special measures, their current school has small class sizes which will give them the help they need if any problems develop as a result of all the changes they are having to cope with, this wouldn't be the case at all in a class of 30 kids, some of whom will have sen (I'm well aware of the lack of support for such kids in state schools and that teachers are already stretched very very thin)

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 07-Mar-14 13:10:27

Aside from finances would the new school suit the children? If yes then really only you could make the decision.
From my own experience my DD's difficulties with the divorce only really began to emerge 14months after we split. I had planned to move her for other reasons at that point, but ExH blocked move to be difficult (not for DD's benefit). I was so glad she hadn't moved. I had planned a change a year divorce, school move and then house move over a 36 month period. It looks like now it will be divorce, house move and then school move over a 40month period instead and this I think she will cope with.

MaryPoppinsCarpetBag Fri 07-Mar-14 21:33:47

Residence order does not allow for unilateral decisions on education.

Cabrinha Fri 07-Mar-14 22:20:37

My daughter was younger, 4. I had put off leaving my cheating ex thinking that divorce / house / starting school would be too much. Was going to waste away another year.
Then I found evidence of his cheating, and just had to go.
Fate - in terms of how long the new house took to go through meant that she was told about the split and new house on 1st August, and had to start a new school a month later.
Not the same due to ages and the fact she HAD to start school - it was age related, changing from nursery.
But in retrospect, she coped fine.

I actually wonder whether your current plan would leave then in a bit of a state of "what next?".
Even if you don't intend to move school immediately, might it be worth adding into the conversation that it is on the cards? Let them know they'll be visiting?
I think it might be easier to be clear about a massive upheaval, rather than spend a prolonged time not knowing what's round the corner.

Well we don't have a residence order, the divorce is very amicable so only the consent order regarding finances. In any case we are both firmly of the opinion that whatever is best for the kids is what we do so I don't envisage there being any issues regarding this from his point of view, even so any decisions will be made by both of us.
I do have some experience of this myself, not divorce and I was a little older at 11 years but I moved to senior school where only one other person from my junior school attended, and she was in a different class, 2 months later we moved house and I lost all of my friends from home. I was miserably lonely, unable to make friends in my new area as the school I was at was private and no one else in my street went there. When I tried to make friends I was called snob etc. I would spare them that if I can, hence not wanting to do double whammy of house move and school move all in one go.

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