Advise me pls(17 Posts)
So I've f*cked up the admissions process big time! Quick background I have a yer 6 child who has some special needs dyspraxic and dyslexic. I live in west London and am not religious. I researched state options as best as I could and given our probable chances of getting into a school I put down West London Free School as number 1. I wanted Twyford and Lady Margaret but not a hope in hell getting them due to proximity.
So we got West London Free School...however, have been told from an inside source we should not send our child there. The Pastrol care is apparently very bad and my child will slip through.
Have been told to apply for independents but of course we've missed the boat big time! I've called and begged to be placed on the waiting lists but as they say no room at the Inn.
These are the schools I'm trying;
Queens gate school
Queens college london
Francis Holland both of them
Any advice on what I should do...apart from beating myself up for not applying before and understanding my own child's needs would be most appreciated.
What inside source? Do you trust it 100%?
If pastoral care at WLFS was poor it would be plastered all over MN and I haven't seen anything in ages, Toby and free schools are very unpopular on here! Why not give it a go at WLFS and see how it goes?
You would be surprised at how much movement there is in Y7 in London private schools and most of the schools you have listed will loose pupils and have Y8 spaces. Some of the 13+ preps parents have noticed that there is a gap in the market for 12+ entry and are bailing out of prep a year early to get places at very competitive 11+ entry schools. You can also waitlist for other state schools.
Get your son's name down on the waiting lists for any state school that you prefer over and above WLFS.
How sure are you about the 'inside source'? Is this a teacher with good knowledge, or 'just' a parent who may have had a bad experience?
With the SEN, if you can find a state school with clear specific extra provision for your DS's needs (that WLFS does not have) then you may well stand a good chance in an appeal. Experts on here tiggy, prh and admission may be able to advise further on what would make a strong case.
Feel free to pursue independent and state simultaneously.
No knowledge of London so can't be more specific.
I don't know much about state schools, though think as a first step you need to accept the place, and then talk to the school about the support they can offer, and support you might be able to provide at home. (My own advice would be to encourage an EC activity that a child can be good at. It really helps maintain self esteem if a child is good at something, plus the discipline of maintaining effort at something they enjoy feeds through elsewhere.)
I think you have probably picked the right schools in terms of the possibility of occassional places, though know nothing about their support for dyslexia. If you can get to them you might also try Surbiton High, Radnor House, Portland Place or the Hall Wimbledon. Registrars will be in the middle of panic phone calls from WL parents, but things will become clearer soon, and certainly at the start of the summer term (when people really do have to make their minds up between state or private or pay a terms fees.)
Rather than ask for an immediate place I would ask about procedures for registering for occassional places. If nothing turns up in the next term or so your daughter starts at the West London Free, and if you find you are not happy or are concerned about her progress, and one of these schools has an occassional place, you try for it.
Ibstock Place is not suitable if your child has any special needs.
!st get in touch with WLFS. Ask to speak to head learning support and have a chat about your childs needs and see what they can/ will put in place.
Go on the waiting list for all state schools you would consider.
If you are still thinking indie also look at schools suck as The laurels and Thames Christian college.
Dont rule out WLFS yet. People do scaremonger
Another thing you can do is consider a prep for 2 years. Newton prep springs to mind
The source I can't say is from where but it's 100% trustworthy.
I absolutely agree that there are some real west London free haters. I've never encountered a school that has such a divide on opinion. I've spoken to about 12 parents with children there and the majority said it ok....however those parents with children already there are putting their other children in independents instead. This shows to me there are issues and they are inherently unhappy.
If all else fails I'll send my child there and hope there is some movement, I just don't want so much disruption as my child is very sensitive due to their special needs.
Yes, I agree with mary21 - people do scaremonger. Do review your decision.
What about The Hall School? Although the commute might be terrible.
You looked into it last year but on one person's say so, you have decided that it will be a disaster?
I agree with Teen and mary21 - instead of madly trying to find another school, at least seek to find out if WLF might be absolutely fine. Speak to their SenCo. Ask about settling in support, additional help for dyslexia, adaptations in class and P.E for dyspraxia. Tell them what sort of help your child requires and gauge their reaction.
Of course if they give you the brush-off, you may feel your inside source is correct but, chances are, they are going to be used to offering support in these areas and hopefully very welcoming and reassuring too.
And Teen is correct, if you identify a state school that matches your child's needs, you are not too late to apply there and appeal for a place even if they are miles from your home.
I tried speaking to the senco last year and sent an email but no response. They wouldn't let me get through over the phone.
I'll be more assertive this time round!
He is now officially a pupil as of September so this isn't a general query from a member of the public. As such, I would hope they would speak to you in some depth about it all.
Given another email address....lets see if I get a reply this time round!
You might not want to say but is the information from parents or teachers or both. I think it's really hard to get non emotive response on WLFS as people feel so strongly about Toby young! Yet it's still one of schools that get most applicants in the area... I think was over 1000 this year..
We have a child at WLFSP with a PEP and in need of additional support. We have had a good level of support from the school especially since the last head left and the the Interim head arrived. The Senco (Krista Bibbings) is very approachable, informative, supportive and our child is thriving. FYO Krista only started at the school in Jan as until then it was consultant SENCO's due to the school only being at the start of it's 3rd year and full time staff being brought on as needed due to the growth of the school. I had worries before our child started as I wanted a nurturing approach and while I did wonder initially if it had been the right choice (1st child going to school) our child loves going to school and is progressing very well. The LSO's for children with special needs are very friendly and professional at the school. The new head starting September has a strong reputation. Just one parents view but hope it helps.
I assume your child is a DD given the schools you have mentioned. If you are still looking at Independent schools, try More House in Knightsbridge.
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