Having 2 DD at diiferent secondary. Is this madness?

(54 Posts)

DD1 is very bright and goes to the Humanities academy 5 minutes walk away. She is currently in Yr11

DD2 has learning difficulties and is school action plus but like her sister is good at sport provided its not a sport that needs hand/eye co-ordination. She wants to go to the sports academy a good 30 minutes walk away.

I can not drive due to epilepsy.

If the 2 schools were side by side I would let DD2 go to her first choice without any hesitation.

I would like to hear from people who have DC at different secondary. DD1 is quite put out about it. How quickly do they get over a sibling going to the rival school

Ericaequites Wed 09-Oct-13 03:09:08

My mother had my brother and sister in separate single sex schools, and a car. It drove her up the wall.
It's better to have both at one school if at all possible. I was eleven years behind my sister, and comparisons both positive and otherwise were made. That is inevitable. One set of uniform is much simpler. Besides, going to the same school will keep siblings in touch with each other. It also makes home-school communications and vacations easier.

MinesAPintOfTea Wed 09-Oct-13 04:11:23

The rivalry isn't relevant, they will just have to get over it.

Add for the travelling, presumably your dd1 will be in lower sixth next year, surely she will be mostly spring herself out? So the only problem is whether you can get dd2 to/from the further school, is there a bus service or a safe walking route? She should mostly make her own way there anyway.

prissyenglisharriviste Wed 09-Oct-13 04:41:16

Which has the best learning support department? Which will give dd2 the best chance to reach her potential?
Which external agencies does dd2 see? What do they think she needs from a secondary?
Dd1 being miffed is an also-ran. She'll get over it.

(I have kids in two secondaries. Different school holidays are a pita, but life goes on. My youngest has some additional needs. I would rather she be in the right setting for her than pay too much regard to whether a sibling was miffed about the placement.)

GrandPoohBah Wed 09-Oct-13 05:30:41

My sister and I were at different schools. It was fine, they were just different. We were expected to make our own ways to and from there.

Mainly I was just jealous because my DSis had longer holidays than me grin

friday16 Wed 09-Oct-13 06:24:39

Why is there a problem? Your elder daughter walks to one school, your younger daughter walks (or gets the bus) to the other. Why is this complex?

BeckAndCall Wed 09-Oct-13 06:38:47

I too can't understand the problem. Your eldest dD is about to be 16 - maybe she can sort herself out more often than not?

And if you're happy for DD 2 to walk 30 mins to school, then that's what she does?

Are you worried about what happens if it rains, or if you have 2 lots of parents evenings or concerts to go to?

Or, forgive me, does your condition mean that you feel the stress for you would make your symptoms worse? If that's the case then you definitely should do what makes you feel most comfortable - the most important thing must be to have you well and functioning as best you can.

However, your DD2 will still be there at least 3 years after DD 1 leaves, so maybe visualise what those yars will be like?

(I speak as one who had 3 children at 3 different schools - but not with any problems to contend with, admittedly)

friday16 Wed 09-Oct-13 06:48:03

DD1 is quite put out about it.

What? What? What does this have to do with anything?

nkf Wed 09-Oct-13 06:52:48

Is 30 minutes too big a walk? Can she use a bike? I'm a walker, so it wouldn't bother me. As to put out, well, she'll get over it. Is there some local competitiveness between the schools?

stillenacht Wed 09-Oct-13 06:54:16

My DSis and I went to different (rival) schools. Mine was closest to home and hers was a 45 minute school bus journey. Mine excelled at music (ta da!!) and hers was one of the best independent girls schools in the country (she had got 2/3 scholarship to get in there). It was fine for us and our parentssmile

Heymacarena Wed 09-Oct-13 07:02:50

I dont see the problem?

Your eldest is in the final year of school anyway now. Willpower she be attending 6th form in the same location?

How will Dd2 get to the school 30 mins walk away? Walk? Bus?

All I can think is that at high school age kids should be transporting themselves anyway.

I note that youngest dd has learning difficulty. Is there no transport provision for her?,from la.

stillenacht Wed 09-Oct-13 07:16:02

Now my DSs go to different schools, one at indie and the other state special schoolsmile

nowwearefour Wed 09-Oct-13 07:18:11

My db and I went to diff schools and although my dds are close in age I have never assumed they would do the same secondary school- surely must depend in what is right for each child? ESP if their needs are so different

basildonbond Wed 09-Oct-13 07:19:03

Sorry, can't see the problem either ... My 3 dc have been at 3 different schools for the last 4 years (with the younger two both at different primaries for some of that time) and my sisters and I all went to different secondaries - with no issues

If the school your dd2 wants to go to meets her needs best why would you not send her there - and what her big sister thinks about it is completely irrelevant

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 09-Oct-13 07:20:37

I've got 3 at 3 different schools. We're applying for secondary for #4 atm, and there was a period when her preference was for a fourth. Absolutely fine, imo. Different schools suit different children. Mine get themselves to school by bike (would be 25 and 30 minute walks) and by bus.

I've never really understood the problem that some people have with it? Feeling there's some sort of rivalry is really childish I think - I'm afraid I'd be telling your dd1 not to be ridiculous :-)

Is dd2 likely to get a place at her preferred school?

SmokedMackerel Wed 09-Oct-13 07:25:00

My mum had 4 DC at 4 different schools, in 4 different towns. We all got different buses/trains to school.

Why is dd put out? Does she want to go to the sport academy too?

Otherwise don't see any issue, presumably they are at different schools now, as one is still at primary. How is it different to that?

WorrySighWorrySigh Wed 09-Oct-13 07:26:35

Why the issue? Surely your older DD can change for 6th form if she wants to? My older DD goes to 6th form over the border in the next county. A completely different and much better school than is available to her younger siblings.

Takver Wed 09-Oct-13 08:25:56

A friend has 4 (spread out) dc, it looks like she won't ever end up with two at the same secondary - child 1 and 3 chose school A, child 2 school B, child 4 currently looking at school B.

Doesn't appear to be an issue - if anything I suspect it helps child 3 not to be compared with her super bright next-oldest sibling and to have her own strengths recognised.

tiggytape Wed 09-Oct-13 08:29:51

Plenty of people have children at different secondary schools. It is separate primary schools that is the pain.
I don't understand the problem here at all. Unless both of the children have additional needs that means they need accompanying, they can both walk to school alone everyday.

Your DD1 can get herself to school. Five minutes is nothing and she's lucky to have such an easy journey so I don't see why it is any skin off her nose which school her sister goes to.

Your DD2 can get herself to the sports academy - a 30 minute walk to school is pretty easy too. Plenty of children do that having first caught a bus or a train already.

downton117 Wed 09-Oct-13 09:01:46

i have just done this one in yr 7 one in year 11 the year 11 one not bothered in slightest but it does feel strange and soon we have important meetings at both schools on the same night so things like that can happen
i also feel that the older one may think their school not good enough looking back it would of been so much easier to have them at the same one but i think your situation is different and you must think of the child

kilmuir Wed 09-Oct-13 09:04:32

Really ? I have a year 10 and a year 7 at different schools. Each school suits their different abilities/ strengths.
Why would they be bothered

cory Wed 09-Oct-13 09:09:06

30 minutes is nothing for a teenager to walk! My ds does that everyday and he has a joint condition. If your dd's SN does not allow this, she would be eligible for transport seeing that you have a medical reason not to drive.

As for your Yr 11 dd who thinks she has a say in where her sister goes to school- has anyone pointed out to her that she is almost an adult? That she should be taking responsibility for herself, getting herself to school, organising her own life and not worrying about other people? That in a few years time she will be leaving home and living independently and that her sister won't have a say in that?

At the end of Yr 11, my dd took herself up to London (2 hour train journey with changes, followed by tube), to see a show which she herself had saved up and ordered the tickets for, she then bumped into a friend and went for a coffee before heading home in the evening. That is a normal level of independence for a 15/16yo. Needing mummy's help to get to school 5 minutes off is not.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 09-Oct-13 09:14:19

I have 3 kids currently in 3 different schools - one superselective, one comp and one primary. It is entirely possible that in the fullness of time I may have 3 kids in 3 different secondaries. There's no rivalry based on school. The issues are all around getting there and back and having to buy different uniform for them all. But then, one of them's a boy anyway so there would always have been some uniform differences (both the current secondary schools have differential uniforms for boys and girls).

misdee Wed 09-Oct-13 09:18:32

I wouldn't hesitate in sending them to different schools. and 30mins walk is about standard here for secondries.

I currently have dd1 in secondary, dd2 + 4 in one primary school, and dd3 in another primary school.

dd2 has just been looking at secondary schools and has opted for the same as dd1, which is surprising, but her choice. at least I know she wont get lost of the way there.

KittiesInsane Wed 09-Oct-13 09:35:10

OK, I've read your OP a bit more carefully.

I can see that you might have difficulty getting LA transport, as presumably they will argue that the closer school meets your DD's needs (even if not her preference).

So, how significant are her needs? Is she currently capable of walking to school without you or her sister for company? Can she cross roads safely, and deal with minor social problems?

mummytime Wed 09-Oct-13 09:58:08

30 minutes walk to school is nothing, is there a bus (for rainy days). I have 2 DC at 2 secondary schools, and am seriously considering applying for a third for my 3rd DC.

If DD1 is fed up, maybe she should apply to the other school for 6th form? Or is she going to college?
If she is in sixth form its not really as though they would be at the same school.

Which school meets your DD2's needs best, have you spoken to the SENCO?

downton117 Wed 09-Oct-13 11:17:43

whats your dd feelings on the subject

moldingsunbeams Wed 09-Oct-13 11:30:53

I also do not understand the problem given the older child is about to go into six form and I presume is not taken to school still.

If its about the 30 minutes, my sen child also on school action plus will walk 45 minutes if she gets into her first choice or a bus and a 20 minute walk if she gets in her second. As she has no road sense and is gullible and will go with anyone I can see me walking behind her out of sight until year eleven. no really

KittiesInsane Wed 09-Oct-13 11:32:04

Yes, but the OP probably can't do that for her child as she has her own health problems.

moldingsunbeams Wed 09-Oct-13 11:34:38

I certainly wouldnt be letting my almost adult dd dictate what was right for a much younger sen child.

moldingsunbeams Wed 09-Oct-13 11:40:24

Kitties was that reply to me? If so I was only joking about following my dd. I work and have health issues too so could not do it.
We are going to practice in the summer holidays walking up and catching bus once we know where she is going.

For me it would depend if dd2 was capable of walking half an hour safely or could manage on the bus alone.

KittiesInsane Wed 09-Oct-13 11:49:14

Yes, it was -- I have one with SEN myself and was quite prepared to take you literally!

Lifeisontheup Wed 09-Oct-13 12:08:44

I had 3 DC's, all at different secondary schools, one at an SEN school and never had a problem. I took DS (SEN) until he was capable of using public transport and the other two used public transport from 11 years old.

Bemused33 Wed 09-Oct-13 12:40:34

the chances are that my children will all go to different secondarys. dd is likely for a girls grammar, ds1 is only 6 so who knows he will go. the only thing i know is that it won't be a girls grammar ;) ds2 is 2 years old so who knows. I think different primary schools is more difficult to deal with they are dependent on being picked up. we did look at ds2 going to another primary and the logistics are just too hard but secondary when they are independent is surely not as much of a problem.

TheRobberBride Wed 09-Oct-13 12:48:47

I don't really see the problem. I think your main priority should be ensuring that your DD2 goes to the school that is best able to support her needs and help her reach her potential.

I went to a girls school a 25 minute walk away. My brothers went to a boys school a 15 minute walk away in the opposite direction. I can never recall it being an issue for any of us or my parents.

cory Wed 09-Oct-13 13:25:37

I can understand that there may be an issue about getting the younger dd to her school 30 mins away if her own SN do not allow her to walk on her own and the OP is not well enough to walk with her. But try as I may I cannot see how the existence of an almost adult NT dd at another school has any bearing on this. And that was how the OP worded her post.

OK I'll put more 'meat on the bones' I was hoping to keep to the point and be a drip feeder.

DD1 is my ICE that's in case of emergency contact. In 5 years of secondary she has only been called out of school once when I had a seizure at the doctors surgery. I have an aid call button at home. DD1 wants to transfer to sixth form at a school in the town so will be out of range as she need to get a train. She was hoping to pass the mantel of ICE onto her younger sister. I can NOT AND WILL allow that, although DD2 deals with my seizures better than DD1 at home, she can not use a mobile phone and would not have the language skills to deal with panicking people.

DD2 can not cross a road on her own, she needs her friends/me to help her dress, she can not do laces due to difficulties with her hands, she has OT to help with her handwriting, she needs special pens and pencils for writing. She has a chromosome 11 mutation don't know what that means but she gets a flu jab because of it. She has difficulty converting iron into useable iron in her blood but is not anaemic. OT told us she will have to do exercise all her life because her ligaments are slightly lax otherwise she will have joint pain. DD2 can not 'get' numbers and goes out of class for SEN maths lessons. Her language skills are poor and this make literacy comprehension hard. But despite all this the school tell us she will never get a Statement of Educational need. Aargh.

What DD2 can do is ice skate very well. She will be in the Christmas show at our local rink. She is in the school cross country team so in the top six fastest girls in her year . She is very happy and makes friends easily and all the teachers adore her and say she is well behaved and always tries her best.

DD1 is a teen so that says it all. Equally talented in sport a sprinter, swimmer and played in 2 football teams but chose to give it all up. She have always been very jealous to DD2. She has a really bad attitude and currently the school will not allow her to go to prom. She got sacked from work experience last year for being rude. TBH I'll worry the teachers would be prejudiced to see DD2 after teaching her sister.

Have I made the story any clearer? confused

titchy Wed 09-Oct-13 17:39:05

Presumably you'd need to rethink who is your ICE when dd1 leaves home anyway, so I don't think choosing a 6th form for her or a school for dd2 just so either one of them can step in for you is a good idea. Let her go to the school she wants, and your dd1 to the 6th form she wants.

Oh dear I've not made it clearer sad that's why I tried to keep it simple.

Of course DD1 must grow up and make her own choices. I am not her responsibility. I'm trying to show why she resents her sister going to the school further away. DD1 does have too much to say at times.

Sometimes its hard to be a parent and then the roles are reversed and your child has to take charge. But she has only been called out once in 5 years so very rare. These days I only have a seizure every couple of months and haven't been admitted to hospital for 3 years although the ambulance has been called a few times usually by well meaning members of the public, not many people take the risk that they have correctly diagnosed a known epileptic and know the appropriate first aid

It was DD1 choice to be my ICE because she knows I can not rely on DH. That's another long story. Let's not get into that sad

MinesAPintOfTea Wed 09-Oct-13 19:21:09

There's two problems here then.

Firstly DD2 will need escorting to school well beyond yr7. If there isn't LA support and you are not in a position to reliably get her to the further school (not knowing what your work/disability limitations are) then you might have to rule it out as being impossible to get to. If there is support or you can get her to her preferred school, especially if it has better SN provision, then it might be worth going for it.

Secondly it sounds as though you need to find a new ICE contact either way. Even if DD1 was to stay at her current school she would be leaving it in 2 years (as titchy said) so keeping her is only a stop-gap measure. Do you have any friends or other local family who could do it? If DD2 isn't capable to handling that then sending her to DD1's school doesn't help with needing an ICE. DD2 sounds like she has a hard enough time without making her go to a less suitable school for no practical reason.

So basically, decide whether you can get DD2 to the further school and choose schools based on that. Try to use the next 9 months before DD1 goes to 6th form to line up a new ICE so she can also choose freely. This is obviously the harder problem.

sashh Thu 10-Oct-13 07:23:09

If DD is so put out about her sister going to a different school suggest DD1 goes to VI form at DD2's school. She will soon get over herself.

Why should DD2 'suffer' (sorry needed a milder word and couldn't get one) because she has an older sister?

Id dd2 was an only child where would she be going to school?

ll31 Thu 10-Oct-13 08:01:26

Think you send dd2 to the other school which is besy for her, and reconsider your ice contact. Also cut dd1 some slack, maybe she's been feeling responsibility of being ice contact as a mmajor thing, even if she hadn't been called often. you don't actually sound v nice the way you speak about her esp compared to way you speak about your younget dd.

lljkk Thu 10-Oct-13 10:32:26

Who has decided that the DD2 cannot cross road safely. Will she ever be able to do that by herself?

Someone else needs to become OP's 1st ICE.

DS is NT, nearly 14yo, & can't tie own shoelaces (mental hangup). We have locklaces on his PE shoes or velcro, work fine. Problem sorted.

lljkk Thu 10-Oct-13 10:33:07

ps: I have 2 at different secondaries but no illness or SN involved; they just squabble merrily about which school is better. I try to ignore.

fiishfingers Thu 10-Oct-13 10:37:19

I have 4 children at 4 different schools. There are adv and dis .Do what is best for dd2.

moldingsunbeams Thu 10-Oct-13 11:48:09

We have those lock laces too.
I don't think dd2 can be OPs ICE if she cannot cross a road safely and cannot deal well with panicked people tbh.
I have health problems and theres no way my same age sen dd could deal with being pulled out of school and making her way home in that situation.

I am not up on epilespsy but was dd1 pulled out of school because you needed someone to be with you after a fit rather than someone to go to hospital with?

exexpat Thu 10-Oct-13 11:55:20

I still don't get why DD1 would be jealous of DD2 going to a different school - was it that she wanted to go to the further one but you wouldn't let her because you needed her to be emergency contact for you?

But I don't think her jealousy is really the problem - it would be getting DD2 to a school much further away if her SN mean she can't get there by herself, and your health issues mean you won't always be able to take her.

Rather than DD2's preference and the sports angle, I think you need to concentrate on what is practicable given your family situation, and also which school offers better support for DD2's special needs. At 11, the choice of school cannot be solely down to the child - parents need to look at the bigger picture.

NynaevesSister Thu 10-Oct-13 12:41:51

Also go back to your DD2 school and look for some advice on the SN forum here. The school does not know who will get a statement and who doesn't. What should happen is that you sit down with the SENCO and fill in a CAF form. The school also needs to have her seen by an educational psychologist and also a paediatrician. Both reports should be sent too. This then goes to the LA Panel and they decide on whether the case merits a statement. And whether you get one depends on the panel too - one panel might grant a statement while another doesn't. You can apply again if turned down.

lljkk Thu 10-Oct-13 13:26:05

I think DD1 jealous because she has long had carer duties that the DD2 won't ever have. Maybe those impacted things like school choices the DD1 made originally. Everything else is distraction.
It's never been fair on the DD1 & maybe the OP will find a way to make it up to her in some way.

KittiesInsane Thu 10-Oct-13 14:06:30

Maybe just admitting to the older girl that you realise how unfair it is on her might help?

I expect too much of my youngest child, who has to be accommodating in a way that comes hard to an 11-yr-old. Sometimes just saying, 'Look, your sibs cannot help their needs, but, yes, I can see that's unfair to you' seems to help.

Blu Thu 10-Oct-13 21:01:32

What would you do if DD2 did not have an older sibling?

Pixiedust1973 Fri 11-Oct-13 16:00:27

Had to lol at the rival schools thing. My daughters both go to different secondary schools & it has been really good for them both. My eldest is very high attaining & well behaved but lacks confidence. When we moved here there was no place for her at the local school so she got a place at a school 3 miles away. My youngest has always struggled at school in every way & just recently been diagnosed with ASD. She was always being told off & compared to her very different sister, who in turn had to put up with complaints about her. Going to a school in the next town on the bus has really helped my eldests confidence, & she is able to be herself rather than the naughty kids sister. My youngest goes to our local secondary school & I can walk her there. It is good for her not to have an academic very well behaved sister who has gone before her to be compared to. Not what we initially planned, but worked out for the best for everyone. smile

smile @ Pixiedust1973 thanks for your encouraging reply.

We are going to get DD2 to walk to the sports academy and back so she can judge the reality of doing it every day. I need to judge the reality of it too because I'll have to walk it to get her if she is sent home ill.

Arrange a visit during school hours and arrange to see the SEN team.

Then DD2 can make an informed decision.

Pixiedust1973 Sat 12-Oct-13 15:03:44

Good luck. smile

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