Is it so bad to not get 1st choice school?

(29 Posts)
doodledotmum Sun 06-Apr-14 23:15:28

As primary allocations day looms and there are yet more headlines about place shortages, it is time to prepare for disappointment. Can any one cheer me up and say that not getting choice 2 turned out fine?

sneakyday Sun 06-Apr-14 23:20:33

I can go 1 better. We didn't get choice 2 we got allocated a school and it is amazing!

BoffinMum Sun 06-Apr-14 23:23:40

Most schools are absolutely fine. People fret too much!

Sparklingbrook Sun 06-Apr-14 23:26:07

We got first and only choice school but DS1 hated it. He is now at a totally different school. This is Secondary but it shows that anything is possible.

doodledotmum Sun 06-Apr-14 23:31:39

Yes I meant not just not choice 1 but maybe not 2,3,4,5,6 either! I do know a few people who were in this position and say they are happy, but wondered if they still would prefer option 2 etc grin

YuccanLiederHorticulture Sun 06-Apr-14 23:40:43

We got 2nd choice and are actually very happy and think we might have actually regretted it if we'd got a place at the slightly-more-academic, slightly-further-away place that was choice #1.

wherever your DC ends up they will have a parent who is emotionally invested in their education (else you would never have posted this vmessage) and are therefore well equipped with the best possible advantage regardless of school. DCs at top-rated schools whose parents are not emotionally invested in their education do worse than DCs at poor-performing schools whose parents are. All will be well.

YuccanLiederHorticulture Sun 06-Apr-14 23:43:39

We got 2nd choice and are actually very happy and think we might have actually regretted it if we'd got a place at the slightly-more-academic, slightly-further-away place that was choice #1.

wherever your DC ends up they will have a parent who is emotionally invested in their education (else you would never have posted this vmessage) and are therefore well equipped with the best possible advantage regardless of school. DCs at top-rated schools whose parents are not emotionally invested in their education do worse than DCs at poor-performing schools whose parents are. All will be well.

Endymion Sun 06-Apr-14 23:44:32

We got choice 3 and bloody love it!

Kids doing really well. Friendly. Not too pressured. Ousted report doesn't set the world on fire, but the teachers are brilliant and it has a very nurturing environment where all the children are valued.

Endymion Sun 06-Apr-14 23:49:27

The schools at no 1 and 2 each have their strengths and weaknesses. While no 1 filled to the rafters with my friends and dd's friends from nursery, I almost like the anonymity of the allocated school and the fact that we are not all in each other's pockets.

Generally our school is less showy than the no 1 choice - in terms of parental affluence, children's clothing and holidays etc, and a general air of competition which doesn't seem to exist at our school to the same degree.

We have massive fields; first choice doesn't.

We have a really mixed staff, approx. 50% male, some NQT and some old timers. The other school has a much more homogenous staff, mostly women of a similar age. I like the variety.

Endymion Sun 06-Apr-14 23:55:04

More - thinking back I think we were owned by the 1st choice all singing all dancing open day. They put on an awesome show of perfection. The school we got, we were shown around by the year 6s and there were no events/performances to watch.

So the performance, in conjunction with SATS results is what swayed us in making our list of preferences. But with hindsight (and knowing a lot about the year 6 cohorts in each school) I am aware that there is a much more established tradition of tutoring for selective tests in school a which has a more affluent catchment than our school. I think maybe 10% if that of our current year 6 cohort were tutored compared with about 40% of the first choice school, which I am sure must have a knock on effect on attainment.

Endymion Sun 06-Apr-14 23:55:22

Wowed - not owned!

CointreauVersial Sun 06-Apr-14 23:57:22

We were offered School 2 and went to look at it again, and it started to grow on us. Then a week later the phone rang, and School 1 offered us a place from the waiting list.

We turned it down and stuck with School 2. Best decision ever. All three DCs had a great time there, meanwhile School 1 had a change of head, amalgamated with another school, and has gone steadily downhill.

doodledotmum Mon 07-Apr-14 07:33:21

Brilliant responses thanks! I feel much better already

HSMMaCM Mon 07-Apr-14 07:35:15

We got third choice we are happy and DD is happy.

TallulahMcFey Mon 07-Apr-14 08:38:14

I don't have to choose a primary until later this year but know what my 3 choices will be. However, I am only choosing 3 in order because I have to. In reality there is not much to choose between them. I am sure my son would be happy in all of them or surrounding schools if he got allocated someone different. As someone else said, most schools are absolutely fine.

BoffinMum Mon 07-Apr-14 09:26:52

I picked a fashionable primary once that everyone tramples over each other to get into, and the teaching was very patchy, many staff perpetually on sick leave, buildings always had problems, disorganised school events and so on.

We moved the kids over to the next nearest primary near a big council estate, and they spent their time being very well taught by lovely, friendly teachers who were never off, and they spent their spare time frolicking in extensive playing fields surrounded by woodland.

I must have lost the plot completely when I was choosing the first school. Looking back it was obvious which one was going to be the better school, but I hadn't realised at the first one how many kids had tutoring, etc.

wol1968 Mon 07-Apr-14 14:04:01

Reading this thread, it strikes me that Ofsted desperately need to include an anonymous online poll which asks if the kids have ever had external tutoring. All 'Yes's above a certain percentage would then have an adverse effect on the school's value added score.

I'm not, however, convinced that Ofsted would apply such a common-sense measure. hmm

atthestrokeoftwelve Mon 07-Apr-14 14:21:56

I think this must be a city thing. All this school choice.
We have one village school and one secondary. Unless I want to have to drive my children 10 miles each way to the next school then it's catchment school or nothing.
Most people here is Scotland would not send their child to a faith school- ie RC unless religious.

doodledotmum Mon 07-Apr-14 14:29:06

Yes it's mainly an english urban issue but not exclusively. People can out up to 6 choices .. for us we have prob 10 schools within 2 miles. Likely actual catchments for some will be less than 0.4 miles etc, but add in faith schools, so that makes it more complex as they have different criteria and different sibling rules, attendance rules etc

MinesAPintOfTea Mon 07-Apr-14 14:32:26

It wouldn't be a disaster whatever, you will find a way to make anything work. How difficult that will be should depend on just what your other options are.

I thought the advice was if you have a choice to put option 1 as a complete flyer that you would be delighted if it came up but don't seriously expect to get in?

TheArticFunky Mon 07-Apr-14 14:32:30

We didn't get any school at first but eventually we got offered second choice. I'm so glad we didn't get first choice second choice was a better match for ds although you don't really know this until they are at school. Waiting on an offer for dc2 now - slightly anxious.

Lollyheart Mon 07-Apr-14 14:44:49

When looking for schools for my dd 5 years ago we got offered 1st choice , it was all modern had an outstanding ofsted, at the time it wasn't oversubscribed so lucky she got a place , ds1 got offered a place 2 years later ,
This time last year we got the news we were dreading , ds2 didn't get a place as now the school was oversubscribed ,
He got offered our 3rd choice, which is our catchment school, the ofsted report wasn't as good and the school had a bad rep,
Roll on to now I decided to move my older 2 to our 3rd school and all 3 are thriving there, couldn't be happier , the teachers are fantastic , they offer a lot more after school clubs, more trips etc, best thing we ever did moving them, wish I had started them there in the 1st place .
Also it's a two min walk rather then a half hour walk.

sneakyday Tue 08-Apr-14 18:34:24

No. I am pleased above and beyond that we did not get our choice. This school is perfect for dd. The reason we didnt choose it is because it is infant only and we have to do all this again in 2 years. That said I now think the benefits well outweigh the disadvantages.

We got our 1st choice, close church linked school, we have since moved to our 2nd choice school as school 1 was all front and no substance DD1 was miserable! She is now in choice 2 and thriving, we would love DD2 to go there but are now out of catchment, DD2's 2nd choice would be perfect for her but a 2 school nightmare for us.

sittingatmydeskagain Wed 09-Apr-14 16:18:34

We got 3rd choice, and it's fantastic!

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