To move house to avoid a terrible school?

(15 Posts)
Metalgoddess Fri 08-Mar-13 10:57:31

We live in a shared ownership property (50% share) which I bought when I was single before meeting my husband. We were recently thinking of buying it outright now that we have 2 incomes. However we have a 6 yr old ds and 8 mth old dd. The secondary school for our catchment area is a terrible school. It is that bad it has made national newspapers and I know parents of kids that go say it really is awful. It is in special measures and the ofsted report is shocking.

The dilemma is do we stay here and hope that the kids get in another school or is that too much of a risk and do we need to move house? It's a shame because we love our house and its location but I really can't send my kids to that school. It's 5 years away but I can't see it getting much better. What would people do?

lljkk Fri 08-Mar-13 11:09:47

You know most people would move.
Schools can turn around, though, you're trying to predict how your 6yo will feel having attended there in 10-11 yrs time. It's a long time away.

Metalgoddess Fri 08-Mar-13 11:21:44

I know it's 5 years before my 6 yr old attends secondary school but if we need to move I would rather do it now if taking on a bigger mortgage. I guess it comes down to wanting the best for your children and I suppose I know what we need to do, it just annoys me that the system is like this. My ds is a gifted child, very academically advanced but also very sensitive and a deep thinker. I just can't see him doing well in a school that has clearly got v big problems.

mimbleandlittlemy Fri 08-Mar-13 11:27:52

I think you are panicking a bit early, to be absolutely honest. If it's in special measures they'll be working seriously hard to sort it out and 5 years is a long time in a school. If you wait until your oldest is in Y5, go round it on the open evening then (a year before you have to make a choice) and see what you think that still gives you a fair amount of time to move before you have to get the application form in. You can also then go round on the open evenings of other local schools and make a much more informed choice. Lots of people go round in Y5 so they can rule schools in and out before the choice in Y6.

You might move now, 5 years early and be kicking yourself in a couple of years time - and if it hasn't improved then you can make a much more informed choice.

vess Fri 08-Mar-13 12:44:47

I'd move personally. You have plenty of time to plan and organise.

racingheart Fri 08-Mar-13 16:21:50

It might depend on what's causing the problems. If they stem from bad leadership, the chances are that the school will improve as Ofsted is now putting pressure on. But if they are because the school's catchment includes an area where there is high violence or ongoing drugs related crime etc then it's very unlikely to become a good environment, and not the school's fault that it's failing.

tallulah Fri 08-Mar-13 16:54:23

We've got a similar problem. Our local school is a failing school despite having a decent standard of intake. But anything can happen in the next 5 years.

The problem with moving deliberately for a school is that you don't know what will change between now and then. Failing schools can improve beyond expectations - outstanding schools can lose their Head and sink. Our DCs are in a high birth year so you may find the catchments shrink so much that the school you've moved to be near is now too far away.

Where we used to live our catchment school was a sink school. I always said over my dead body would any of mine go there. They closed it down, re branded and put in a new Head and SLT. By the time my DS1 was in Y6 it was a fabulous and oversubscribed school. The one I'd previously preferred was in Special Measures. DS went to the local school and did very well. Several years after he left the Head resigned and the Deputy died. Only a few years later and it's a sink school again sad

mimble talks much sense. By Y5 you will know the true position and can make an informed choice.

Talkinpeace Fri 08-Mar-13 18:46:36

My catchment school always was, is and always will be DIRE
I discovered that soon after we bought the house.
Round here its not a great hassle getting into neighbouring schools - even across the LEA boundary, so that is what we did.
Before you panic, go and talk to other parents and see what they do.

KateShrub Fri 08-Mar-13 23:35:36

The council will publish admissions data for all of its schools. It may be possible to get into several other schools, you need to read these carefully.

No need to do anything yet.

Metalgoddess Sat 09-Mar-13 10:02:07

The info from the council is that you can apply for 3 schools across the city but no choice is guaranteed. People generally have to go through appeals etc to get in schools out of their catchment area. Kateshrub what admissions data do you mean? I've looked at the admissions policy/ info but didn't really find it that helpful, it just said whether the school was oversubscribed or how many people were refused a place.

If the problems with the school were mostly down to teaching then I would not be quite so worried as that can be actioned. However most of the problems are down to pupils and parents attitudes and behaviour. The school is in an estate of social deprivation and extremely high levels of unemployment. There has been several head teachers coming and going and 28 teachers walked out in one go!

If you really think there is no prospect of the school improving, then I would move. Would it be easier to move if you own 100% of your property? Are partially owned properties easy to sell?

One note of caution, you can't predict which secondary school will suit a 6 year old as they change so much academically and personality wise. DS1 (now Yr5) has developed hugely over the last few years and the school that would have seemed right at 6 wouldn't be the right one now.

Kenlee Sat 09-Mar-13 14:07:55

Go private. need to move. ..

Schmedz Sat 09-Mar-13 14:22:44

The risk with moving to attend a better state secondary is that you may not be allocated a place in the lottery that is school placements, despite living on the doorstep of your desired school!!

Also, investigate carefully the premium on house prices near 'desirable schools' - will it really cost less to move than to spend the money on private school fees? If so, then I would go for it, but be pretty sure you have a very good chance of admission or you may spend the money to move, uproot the family and STILL not have your choice of school.

KateShrub Sat 09-Mar-13 16:29:43

Metalgoddess, the council should publish admissions stats. Which council is it?

Talkinpeace Sat 09-Mar-13 16:41:46

I can guess which city - I suspect its not a million miles from the M4 - in which case OP is in a bit of a bind because there is a shortage of places and some of the options are NOT good.

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