Would you move to get into a decent catchment?

(58 Posts)
Valdeeves Fri 05-Apr-13 16:43:02

Would you move to get into a decent catchment or is it not a priority for you?
I'm feeling that I may be unhealthily obsessed and need some help here!

MrsGeologist Fri 05-Apr-13 18:35:30

Yes, if we were surrounded by truly awful school, that I just could not send them to.
If they were good, but not my first choice, I'd probably stay put.

So you move house, get the child in against all the odds but then the child hates the school. What then?

Viviennemary Fri 05-Apr-13 18:37:47

It would depend on the schools that were already there. If they were really poor then I would move.

tiggytape Fri 05-Apr-13 18:42:07

Actually MrsGeologist - that's probably a better point.
It makes far more sense to consider moving away from a school than it does to move closer to different ones.
If the only local option you have is well known to you and totally dire, it makes sense to move if you can to escape it.
Whereas if your local options are O.K but you move towards what are believed to be better ones, the potential for problems is much greater. As well as the possibility of not getting a place even if you move very close, you also risk the fact that the school (any school) can get dramatically worse overnight with a change of Head.

CarpeVinum Fri 05-Apr-13 18:43:36

I seriously considered moveing back to the UK to be in the catchment area of a British school when I'd had my fill of both Italian state and home ed. But then I discovered an online indpendant British secondary school and got to stay put.

I reckon even with the two and a bit grand a year it costs we'll still end up spending less than the estate agents fees and moving fees by the time he finishes his IGCEs.

I really didn't want to have to pick between being where we wanted to live and being in the right place for a decent education, but if this option hadn't been arpund I think I would have plumped for the education as the priority.

Normally by xmas I was at the slightly sweaty and run ragged stage over school. And this year I am all chill and chuffed with reportd, progress, lesson quality. Which massively impacts how much we all enjoy life, so I guess picking the place you'd rather be over access to education might mean you don't get the benefit of where you want to live cos you are all stressed out over the school.

I did have a really rough ride with our local schools though, if the alternative schools are OK rather than "oh god" perhaps it isn't such a big deal in terms of being driven quietly bonkers ?

mercibucket Fri 05-Apr-13 18:45:05

I couldn't care less about the rep of the school, and actively avoided all the middle class pushy parent ones, in favour of a school with a very mixed intake but caring ethos. Satisfactory ofsted, now moved up to good. It was not a horrible sink school either. My kids are all on line for high 5 s or 6s, so academically they have achieved what they would be expected to and I am really pleased with the emphasis the school has placed on multiculturalism, valuing individuality, and being polite and well mannered.

We chose our house based on proximity to the school we liked, so in a way, yes, but I would caution moving to an outstanding school in a very middle class area. Sometimes means a 'we have no bullying' policy (aka we ignore it), and if your child has, say dyslexia, or special needs, that might not fit with their school ethos either. I know several people at different outstanding schools whose kids have been encouraged to leave for those reasons. Not something I want my children to be tainted by.

My kids have done pretty much as well as they could do academically so it hasn't held them back.

Mondrian Fri 05-Apr-13 18:52:49

Currently considering the options, pay more for catchment property or pay more for school. Not as straight forward as one might think due to financial implications (possible drop in property value over the next few years) and state (Grammer?) vs private education.

racheael76 Fri 05-Apr-13 18:54:52

schools are all pretty much the same .if your child works hard and pays attention he will get good grades anywhere.one thing i have found in the top ability classes kids get on with there work whatever school. lower ability who dont want to work or learning problems/ austism /behaviour problems may be a difficult class to be in with many distractions going on and be a struggle for the child.

I'd be cautious about moving solely based on a school's current OFSTED rating.

Several years ago, our local primary school was in special measures, but probably close. Local families sent their children a school a few miles away to a school that was OFSTED outstanding.

Meanwhile, several local parents made the decision to place faith in the recently appointed head teacher who we felt had the ability to turn the school around. We all were fairly active, and took a huge interest in the school, and our children's education.

A recent inspection rated our school 'outstanding' and the school a few miles away has been rated as 'needs improvement' so it can all change.

RawCoconutMacaroon Fri 05-Apr-13 18:56:12

Yes, we did. Moved a few miles and into a different council area from workplace to guarantee a place at a particular secondary school, before our dc even started primary!

School catchments were a huge factor in every house move we've made, and why wouldn't it be? Education is very, very important.

Schmedz Fri 05-Apr-13 19:07:05

We found it is cheaper to pay school fees for our two children than to pay the premium on house prices (plus moving costs) to get close to a desirable state school. There is no guarantee of a place either!

Suppose we could move to a completely different part of London or the country but then we would both need new jobs, so not always an option...

orangepudding Fri 05-Apr-13 19:11:50

We moved for schools.
The school dd would have got in to was on the North Circular, children were only allowed to play outside for 20 per day due to the pollution. Academically I don't know what the school was like.
We moved out of London thinking catchment areas wouldn't be so much of an issue, we were wrong we have the same problem here. Thankfully we got dd into the school we chose.

difficultpickle Fri 05-Apr-13 20:14:23

No. There is no guarantee that if you move into the catchment of a good school it will stay a good school. When I moved to my current house the local school had an outstanding Ofsted report. By the time I had ds it was in special measures and several years later still has a long way to go to be classed as outstanding again. I wouldn't mind if it was a one off but the other local school has gone downhill since the previous head left, not special measures but has gone from outstanding to satisfactory with some aspects requiring improvement.

Plus what do you do if the DC hate the Outstanding School after you have moved to get them in?

difficultpickle Fri 05-Apr-13 20:22:20

That's true. The shocking thing with our local school was it had been outstanding since Ofsted inspections started. The head retired and the new head just couldn't cope. The next head (who was there when I looked round) didn't know the names of the pupils who showed me round despite having been at the school for over a year. The head after that is still there now and the school has improved.

However there were a cohort of pupils who had four head teachers during their time at the school and their education clearly suffered (as mentioned in one of the Ofsted reports).

It is an expensive area and it must have been shocking to move into the area and find that the school that had been so highly regarded was now seriously failing.

Inclusionist Fri 05-Apr-13 21:23:24

I am moving for an independent school! We love it and don't want DS to have to travel 30mins there and back.

addictedtolatte Fri 05-Apr-13 21:27:38

I did smile and I don't regret it one bit

Inclusionist Fri 05-Apr-13 21:28:10

'schools are all pretty much the same'

This is a misconception.

DS1 quite likes the travelling.

Inclusionist Fri 05-Apr-13 21:33:07

I also recall not minding travelling as a child but DS will have to do long school days anyway (as I work full time) and once I pick him up at 5.30 or so I would rather he did not have another 30mins sat in the car.

TBH it's not just about the school. We want to move anyway. The school is driving the direction of the move though.

KirstyJC Fri 05-Apr-13 21:34:26

We did. We lived in an area where there were 2 poor secondary schools and 1 outstanding, and when we needed a bigger house we only looked in the village of the outstanding school. Although he is 2 years away from applying yet we are about 500 metres away so fingers crossed we will be fine.

It wouldn't have been such a big deal if the others had been OK, but they were really rough - we lived next door to a pupil who went to one and she told us not to send our kids there as the teachers didn't care, and we also know a TA who said the same. The other school was even worse on OFSTED results and has a really poor reputation also.

It was an easy decision. And we also love the village, and the house, so win-win really.grin

That's fair enough Inclusion. DS1 has half an hour on a coach that gets in at 4pm so quite convenient. Going on the coach has enabled him to mix with lots of the other kids. He's 13 though-wouldn't fancy primary School travelling.

Although saying that both DSs went to a village school 6 miles away. By car.grin

BackforGood Fri 05-Apr-13 21:37:53

Depends on what the alternatives are, and how much of a difference there is between them.
What we did, when we were moving anyway is choose an area that meant our dc didn't have to go to the (then) appalling secondary we were (at the time) in the catchment of. The house we chose meant it unlikely that dd1 would get into our first choice school when her time to move came, and, at that point, we wouldn't have considered all the expense and stress of moving again becuse the alternatives were fine.

Valdeeves Fri 05-Apr-13 22:33:51

Thanks for the feedback ladies. As someone mentioned, it's not that ordinary isnt good enough - it's just I would like a school that will give my child the best life chances. The school I want is not Outstanding - it's just small and homely.
Have a great wkend everyone xxxx

givemeaclue Sat 06-Apr-13 07:47:14

I have moved for a better catchment but I wouldn't move for a smaller and more homely school I am afraid, to me that doesn't equate to better

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