I reckon 1 year of slightly haphazard education will not ruin a bright child with good home support. I lost a year of primary school when my parents moved internationally and caught up pretty easily.
but you could negotiate a shorter notice period next year with the school, eg tell them you will only stay the rest of this year if they give you a written agreement that you can leave with 2 weeks notice next September if the changes you need aren't made.
At least she'll be in a class with her own age group, and even if the standard isn't up to that of a good private school, it sounds like it will be better that the situation she's in at the moment. You sounds like you are supportive parents and that will make a difference too.
The money that you save will also pay for a bit of extra tuition in the future of you feel that is needed.
Bloody hell verity, thats awful, i dont know what we would have done because like you, i dont drive, but i could not have afforded to send private. Surely they cant force smeoen to travel 3.5 miles to school.Especially as now you have been forced into sending to a private school that you are not happy with. I would write to all the state schools in the area and see if they have a place, children often move away from areas etc so you never know. I wouldnt be happy about what you describe at all and it wouldnt be allowed in the state system.
My God....is moving out of the question? Can DH not change his hours in order to drive her? I do understand....we are alSo at a tiny private school....all locals full...we are on lists though we have SOME choice...I think you need to go back and kick off...can you re-appeal?
Is DD happy at school? Are you worried about secondary?