Decisions, decisions, decisions!(13 Posts)
We lost in the schools lottery for my son who is currently in reception. We did not have any grounds to appeal the decision and so we decided that our only options were to either move or to pay for his schooling, whilst he was on the waiting list for our preferred school. In the meantime, our son has flourished and absolutely loves school which makes paying the huge fees much more bearable. We have been paying full fees for him and my daughter in nursery and it has been a real struggle; we're surviving though! We have been mindful of the other things that we used to do and now can't - holidays etc... and have been grappling with ourselves as to the importance of this in creating a rounded childhood for them. The thing is that we just received an offer for our preferred primary school - which would mean putting him into a class of 30 from a class of 14. Our son is the youngest student in his class (17/08) and we have been really conscious of the fact he is in a class with students almost a full year older than him. Has anyone ever been in this situation?
My son has a 16/08 birthday in a class of 31 and has mild Asperger's too. He enjoyed Reception, spending most of his time happily playing in the water tray and stubornly refusing to learn anything. He decided in Year 1 to buck his ideas up, learnt to read and was straight level 3's by Year 2.
But each child, and each school is different. You have to decide what is right for yours!
What are the class sizes for the school you turned down?
I think the question you need to ask yourself is 'Can I continue to afford the school fees until secondary school transfer age'. If not the answer is obvious.
FWIW, I have a DD born 31/8 who loves school. I classmate of hers is 361 days older than her but they all seem to get on well regardless of age within the year - teachers are well used to dealing with summer borns.
If your son is already flourishing and enjoying his learning the chances are this will continue in the other school's bigger classroom. You are lucky in that he already has the love for school and learning, and his new teacher will most likely see this and make sure it continues.
I have a 18/08 ds and there have been times when I have felt he would have felt happier and learnt at a better pace had he been in the year below, but there's nothing we can do about that, just encourage him to enjoy and try hard where he is. We lived abroad during his reception year in a country where school starts at age 7 so although we paid for him to go to a kindergarten and tried teaching him at home, he was never interested in more than being outdoors and chasing chickens at your son's age . It has so much to do with the individual child and it sounds like your son would enjoy learning anywhere. Hope that helps.
In both my sons classes the most able are some of the youngest and the least able are some of the oldest. Saying that it is clearly an advantage generally to be older, however if you and your hubby are academic, it's likely your child will also be
Agree, the real question is, "Can we afford to pay fees to educate 2 children privately for the next 15 years or so ?"
If that's not realistic, then jump at the chance of him moving to the school of your choice, and then your dd will also get a sibling place I presume.
I know people think that small class sizes are better for their children, but doesn't research say there isn't much of a difference? Obviously I can't remember where that came from, but worth trying to find out;)
Also, in a class of 30 there will likely to be at least one, maybe two or more other adults, so effectively there will be a better adult to child ratio. Where I am schools are used to integrating new children, as the waiting lists move during the year. If it is the same in your area, I wouldn't be too concerned.
I would imagine a state school would also be really conscious of the individual needs of your child. You might not be as aware of it, because maybe you won't get as much dialogue with the school ( though not necessarily) but differentiation will be happening.
One of the advantages of bigger class sizes is that there is a bigger pool of kids for your dc to be friends with.
I would go to your preferred state school. Holidays and happy parents are important for a happy childhood. And going to your community school is fab - lots of local friends.
Hmmm it was the school you really wanted and now they've offered it to you. You're looking at saving £200k between the two of them…
I think you know the answer, but you want reassurance. Which is completely understandable.
Personally I think freedom from money worries and the ability to do lovely things as a family trumps the (perceived) benefits of private education any day. I love the fact, for example, that I can be flexible about work because we don't have that massive overhead. I know others will tell you 'you can't put a price on a great start to education' but personally I think that great start is easily achievable in a state school, especially with happy parents.
PS I would love my children to be in a smaller class but only if I could choose which of the other children to get rid of. But it would be awful to be in a smaller class with those that mine don't gel with and that's always a danger.
"It has been a real struggle"
Then move him to the primary. You like it anyway. He'll do just fine there. Ime, big classes are a slight red herring, in my dcs' state primary, there were plenty of tas and helpers on hand, and the classes are divided into very small subsets based on ability. Good luck.
Fees always increase by more than inflation and unless your salaries do likewise (unlikely for most people at the moment) paying will only get tougher. Don't forget that fees also often jump at certain points, ie at 7 and certainly at secondary level. If it is tight now, it will get worse.
Moving now,whilst is early days will be easier than waiting. And you will only get this offer of a place once. If you turn it down chances are it won't be there again. Hard, but being brave and doing it now is probably the safest option.
Don't forget you will owe a term of fees in lieu of a full terms notice....but still worth it in terms of overall savings.
Great you got the offer. Remember you'd have been so pleased with that offer in the first place.
Best of luck to you all.
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