take my advice when choosing a school

(34 Posts)
sunshine121 Thu 07-Nov-13 20:42:26

Please dont listen to what other people are doing once they have left you will never see these people again i.did this and chose s school that doesnt suit us and our life wish id gone with the unpopular one in the playground but best for us

difficultpickle Thu 07-Nov-13 21:19:36

Surely you should choose the right school for your own dcs rather than following what others are doing for their dcs. We are looking at senior schools this term and it hasn't even occurred to me to ask others in ds's year where they are looking.

tropicalfish Thu 07-Nov-13 22:05:20

Sunshine,
You are quite right, it is easy to feel influenced by people round you. Everyone is, not just you.

By Y6, ds was taking himself to and from school so I missed the playground gossip. Thank goodness.

Sorry to hear you're unhappy, OP. Can you move your child to the other school?

moldingsunbeams Fri 08-Nov-13 09:43:06

Agree completely, we have applied for a school which no one from dds school will go to for a variety of reasons but mostly because it feels right for dd.

cwazycaz Fri 08-Nov-13 10:52:59

It's some good advice, sunshine! it's really hard not to listen to playground music and be influenced by others. In our "playground" people go at great length to avoid the not-so-good-school and to make sure DC's go to "popular" schools. the sad thing is that the "popular" schools are not always suited, the not-so-good school remain undersubscribed and continue to underperform. But with so little choice, it's usually hard to find the right school for DC's. Hopefully, things will get better for you and you will make decision right by yr DC: to stay or to go?

sunshine121 Sat 09-Nov-13 20:57:49

she won't move now but i will forever regret my decision

mummy1973 Sat 09-Nov-13 21:16:35

Just wondered what it is that you found didn't suit? We'll be applying next yr so keen for all wisdom!

bsc Sat 09-Nov-13 21:23:15

Why on earth would you go with what other people were doing? confused

Surely you find the most suitable school for your child?

tiggytape Sat 09-Nov-13 21:48:53

Often parents aren't so much influenced by the schools everyone else wants as the ones that nobody wants.
It is very hard to ignore local opinion and pick a school that other people fall over themselves to avoid even if you think it seems good. It is a big decision and it is natural people doubt themselves - most people only have one open day and local opinion to go on. If local opinion is against a school, it is hard to ignore that and take what seems like a big gamble.

sunshine121 Sat 09-Nov-13 21:50:17

She was heavily influenced by a friend that was going and half the year went but should of gone with the one only a couple went to .....bsc ive asked myself that question many a time it wasnt a total no but the other one would of been better for us

sunshine121 Sat 09-Nov-13 21:54:14

Mummy do the rounds close your door and decide as a family

tiggytape Sat 09-Nov-13 21:59:40

I think your advice to think carefully about it and not be swayed by others is sensible
But I don't think you should beat yourself up about it. Everyone does the best they can with the information they have at the time and there's no guarantee that you'd have been happy with the other school in the end even if you had gone down that route.
You never know how she may have settled going somewhere with fewer friends or going to a school against her will with her main friend going elsewhere or whether the things you think make it suitable would have panned out that way. Hopefully you can make it work at her current school but I think you are being hard on yourself. Most parents have to make this decision with very little real information to work with and very few schools to choose from. You did the best at that time with what you knew.

sunshine121 Sat 09-Nov-13 22:02:52

Thanks tig her brother goes to the other sch and cant believe i didnt say you go there and thats it

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Sun 10-Nov-13 12:44:35

I really get where your coming from .My DS was the only child that had the choice of two schools .
The one that everyone went to or the other one that only six other kids that had NO choice went to .
Seriously I went to he'll and back .I visited the not popular school at various times of the day .Morning ,lunchtime and home time
.I went on three school tours with my son and with out.I found a student teacher through a friend of a friend who had worked there.
Friend of a friend again who had had her boys go through the school and still had a child there.
I googled like mad.I went on rate my teacher for the school.
The two things that did it were the not popular school had pastoral care the other didn't,even though it a should have done.
And last but not least GUT FEELING.The popular school felt like it was saying Thanks for coming and the other school was like Thanks for coming but are you coming in for coffee.
A lot of hard work but worth it in the end .

Coconutty Sun 10-Nov-13 12:48:06

Why is it too late to move her? Is she happy with her school? What's the problem with it?

witchywebsters Sun 10-Nov-13 19:02:55

I'm not sure, but I think this may be at least the third thread that you've posted about this. It's obviously a huge issue for you, but I'm not sure if it really is the disaster you feel it is. I really agree with what you say that people shouldn't listen to playground opinions though.

If your dd is happy and settled and likes the school she's at then that's a good thing - it would be different if she was unhappy. It sounds as if you're in the grip of some awfully catastrophic thinking and you're ruminating a lot (in the depressive sense) on your decision. That must feel really crappy and miserable, I know, but you're not going to resolve it by even more thinking and what-ifing.

I do know how you feel - I went along with one subject decision for a dc then wished I hadn't. I sometimes ruminate and catastrophize too and it can feel impossible to let go of it, the worry and regret niggling and prodding at me. But it's done, it's finished, and there's no point me thinking about it any more.

Like your situation it's really not a disaster, either - just a regret. The outcome could still turn out to be great and I'm sure that's true of your dd's school choice, too, especially if she's enjoying being there and doesn't want to move. Do try and focus on that good possibility, nothing's black and white and there's an awful lot of grass is greener thinking going on when we dwell on things we regret. If you actually did have the thing you want, you could easily be worrying the other way and no better off.

BackforGood Sun 10-Nov-13 22:41:10

I totally disagree about not listening to others too - can be really informative to speak to people who already have children at a school. The point is, you take that information for what it is - one parent's opinion. Now, if you talk to 80 parents, and they are all saying something quite specific about a school that is something that would affect your decision, then it becomes a pretty reliable source IMO. If it's one Mother and her friend, and the others all say differently, then it becomes a less reliable source of information.

I do agree with all the posters saying that ultimately you have to look at the school, and find the one which best seems to suit your child, I certainly wouldn't make a decision as to where other parents were sending their child if I didn't feel the school were the best fit for my child.

However, I disagree it needs to be a disaster - you are regretting the decision, now you decide what to do a this stage. There are always children that move schools during Yr7- if that's what you think is the right thing, then set the wheels in motion.

sunshine121 Mon 11-Nov-13 08:51:03

Shes happy there and has settled in well and all family advice is to leave alone my deep seeted anxiety is that i heard a third hand rumour about a teacher and i cant get it out of my head

witchywebsters Mon 11-Nov-13 09:10:07

That's the issue isn't it, not so much the thought itself as the not being able to get it out of your head?

Bear in mind that at some point this year, next year, you would have also heard something you didn't like about the other school. If you have a tendency to catastrophize and ruminate then you would then have done that about that, too.

I think anyone who doesn't have a clear front-runner when it comes to listing preferences for schools, but who has to choose between two nearly equally good candidates, is stuck afterwards with more risk of moments of worrying and regretting. It just goes with having had to make a choice - people who had an obvious best choice (or unhappily no choice) don't have that issue. Moments of doubt and worry don't actually in themselves confirm that someone's made a mistake, they're actually completely normal. The ideal school would be a combination of the best points of both and doesn't exist so it would be impossible to actually feel 100% relaxed about either of them.

titchy Mon 11-Nov-13 09:17:43

Suggest you take your own advice and stop being influenced by others, but make your own mind up based on actual evidence.

sunshine121 Mon 11-Nov-13 09:26:43

Another mom said that someone else hadnt chose that school cause theyd heard that the head had been messing about with some girls its made me ill and cant get rid of the thought i wish to god shed never told me

Pancakeflipper Mon 11-Nov-13 09:32:41

Schools are a mass of rumours and so many are incorrect and sent around by a few to be malicious.
If you are truly concerned contact your Chair of Governors.

You sound really anxious,are you ok? (Besides worrying about this).

Ecuador Mon 11-Nov-13 09:34:26

Well I would worry too but if the rumour was at best 3rd hand then how can it be substantiated? Yes possibly speaking to the Governors and trying to put your mind at rest would really help?

titchy Mon 11-Nov-13 09:55:38

Oh dear God if it was true do you really think he'd still be in post?

sunshine121 Mon 11-Nov-13 09:59:06

Not ok really anxious cant get it out my head wish shed never told me id be non the wiser

Pancakeflipper Mon 11-Nov-13 10:02:00

It a rumour. These rumours need to go to those who can look into it like the Chair of Govs.
If you are worried contact them. Good Chair of Govs will look into it.
But some rumours that go around are just nasty malicious things.

mummytime Mon 11-Nov-13 10:25:43

If there was any kind of allegation of that kind, that teacher (whatever teacher it is) would be temporarily suspended whilst it was being investigated. It is a very harsh climate for teachers at present.

Of course it is also pretty much impossible to totally clear someone's name, as mud and rumour sticks. Rumours also tend to get worse the more they travel.

A head teacher though has the least contact with pupils in most Secondary schools. It is very rare to find one who has time to do any teaching, they are normally extremely busy with management and admin type responsibilities. Other than in Assemblies my eldest DC (10 years of secondary school between them), have spoken to the Head at most 6 times since they started, and have never been alone with him (well DD has been in his office alone, with the door to his secretary and a friend open - to receive a special congratulatory certificate - it took 2 weeks to arrange a 5 minute slot).

I think you could do without "friends" like this to be honest.

sunshine121 Mon 11-Nov-13 10:48:16

She text me the other night to say got a hwad teacher award i nearly freaked legged it into the school luckily he was not there and got it from someone else is this all blown completely out of proportion

Pancakeflipper Mon 11-Nov-13 10:51:09

If you believe this rumour so much why are you not doing something about it?

sunshine121 Mon 11-Nov-13 10:57:48

Because everyones telling me its rubbish and my hubby wont let me move her cause shes happy

Pancakeflipper Mon 11-Nov-13 11:00:07

But YOU can still contact the Chair of Gov with your concerns if you believe them. Your husband cannot stop you doing that.

witchywebsters Mon 11-Nov-13 11:31:54

IF (big if) there's actually anything to this rumour and IF (big if) someone just getting a head teacher's award was in danger then by now it would be more than just a rumour - think about it, other pupils have been dealing with this head for years. Female pupils will have received the head teacher's award for roughly half of the weeks so far this term, and all of last year and for years before that, and if they weren't fine then by now that teacher would not be in post any more.

I know how horrible it is to be worried about something with everyone dismissing your worries. The less other people seem to worry, the more worried you feel because all the weight of responsibility for being careful seems to fall on to your shoulders. Other people dismissing a worry is sometimes the opposite of reassuring, it makes you feel even more that you're on your own with the job of making sure everything is safe.

However, even if you were to move your daughter, you should remember that statistically there's probably a dodgy teacher in a few of the schools local to you, including the one you wish she had gone to, and you're highly unlikely to ever know who it is, and also it's very unlikely statistically that your child would be affected even if it's in her school. Many predators go unidentified for years so you're not automatically safe in a school there are no rumours about, equally when a predator is identified their interactions haven't usually been with more than a tiny tiny minority of their charges.

The best thing you can do to help protect your daughter from dodgy or predatory people is to teach her how to handle situations in which she feels uncomfortable - things like knowing that there are situations in which being polite is not the most important thing, so for instance if she feels uncomfortable it's fine to just walk away without saying another word.

You can't do it for her by keeping her away from places there have ever been rumours about, because apart from anything else a school not having had rumours about it is no guarantee that every single person there is fine, and it would be dangerous to assume that it was.

It isn't just down to you to worry about this - you can relax and leave some of this up to other people, really you can. The school is full of other adults and children are rarely on their own with any of them. A big secondary school with children who are verbal (and so able to report back to their parents anything that happens) is not the same thing as a much younger or preverbal child being on their own for several hours with a single babysitter. (If you'd heard a rumour like that about someone you were using as a babysitter, it would make more sense to worry about it, but that's not the situation you're in.)

Tuhlulah Mon 11-Nov-13 11:52:57

The Head Teacher is either (a) guilty and should be investigated etc, or (b) entirely innocent, in which case he is subject to the most disgusting and damaging rumours, of which he is ignorant and therefore unable to address.

Sunshine, if nothing else, do contact the school to make them aware of this rumour. You don't have to say you believe it, just that you have heard it, that you understand it is fairly prevalent, and that it has made you extremely concerned.

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