HELP - West London independent schools: do we move DD at 13 for a better School if she's 'happy'?

(9 Posts)
Analou37 Wed 30-Mar-16 18:12:47

My DD s in year 8 at a good Independent school. She is overall happy and has grown beautifully in confidence since starting. (She was always very bright but isn't the most extrovert). Downsides to school - * Commute is more than an hour out of london (we live in West london) * Not really good with Sport which is important for my daughter (though promising to improve) * She's getting a bit bored in several subjects. DH had kept in touch w Registrar at one of the top London schools she was waitlisted for at 11+ and just before Easter hols - we unexpectedly got an invite for her to sit exams and interview as they have a space in year 9. DD sat it and was immediately offered a place. But we have to give notice before end of holidays, giving no time for DD to go and have a look at the potential new school, meet girls etc. I am terrified that we move her and she goes from growing in confidence to the opposite - How would you decide ?
PS Sorry for wordy question.

mary21 Wed 30-Mar-16 18:56:02

What does DD think?

Analou37 Wed 30-Mar-16 19:04:55

Was proud as anything for getting the offer, loved the deputy head who interviewed her. Has only said (when we just got the offer letter) that she was leaning to staying with her friends. (I really want her to feel she is making the decision)

Gruach Wed 30-Mar-16 19:43:30

I'd be inclined to address the timing difficulty rather than make a decision from an impossible position. But I don't have any bright ideas about that.

Is the new school potentially worth losing a terms fees for? (I know that's a ridiculous question - either you could afford it, or not.)

George2014 Wed 30-Mar-16 20:09:38

Could you give notice now but retract it in the new term once dd has seen the school in term time and made a decision?

FatFrillyFilly Wed 30-Mar-16 22:38:46

What's the ethos like in the potential new school? If it's full of confident brash pupils, your DD may find the adjustment a challenge? What does the new school offer her that she cannot get at her current school? Have you spoke to her current school about how you & DD feel? Is it fixable?

If I were you, I'd accept the place at the new school & also accept I was going to lose a terms fees at the current school. That would give your DD a chance to view the school & give her & you time to decide if it is the right place for her. You shouldn't be rushed into such a big decision!

MMmomDD Wed 30-Mar-16 23:21:56

Well - what did you think about that school when you did your visits for 11+?

Your daughter is still going to be at school for many years and the long commute over those years will not get any better.

No kid would want to change schools unless they are very unhappy at a place. And they do get used to the new environment rather quickly - your Dd did in just two years.

I am not saying that it's an easy choice for any of you. But at 13, I am not sure the kids can make the best choices for themselves just yet.

ameliesfabulousdestiny1 Thu 31-Mar-16 11:46:31

Tricky situation. Can you give notice and explain to the school that your DD needs time in the summer term to visit and decide, but you can't afford to lose the fees? How does she feel about it, does she feel like she's outgrown her current school? Is she likely to sail through and be top of her class at her current school? (with the pros and cons attached to that). How about the new school?

I would say 13 is old enough to decide for herself, with guidance and support from parents.

Needmoresleep Thu 31-Mar-16 13:40:35

If you would probably move her to a more academic sixth form you might as well move her now.

The journey does matter. DD moved somewhere much closer to home, albeit for sixth form, and is having a ball. She would have been happy staying where she was, but there is so much more you can get out of school life if you save an hour a day or more on the commute. We used to dread the days when she needed to take her art folder, and sports kit, and school bag in, and it is no longer a disaster if she forgets something important. She also sees a lot more of friends outside school as they are much more accessible, something that becomes more important as they get older. I also like the fact that parents evenings and other school things are so much easier.

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