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To move DCs from an 'Outstanding' school to an 'Inadequate' one?

(48 Posts)
UpInTheAirAgain Sat 15-Nov-14 22:16:21

12 yr old twins DSs (Yr8) are driving me nuts wrt getting them to and from school and I have had enough. They don't care what time it is, they will not get dressed without me shouting, ditto brush teeth, hair, put shoes on etc. We are often running late due to this and if we leave after a certain time window, traffic is mayhem and it can take 30mins to do a 3 mile journey similarly on the way back. They have to be dropped at school first due to start times and I then have to double back to get DC4 who has just started Reception to school at a primary 5 mins away from home. I am getting him to school late due to the DTS's complete disinterest in getting themselves ready to leave on time. Last week I dropped them off after I dropped off DC4 and they were 30 mins late for school. They got a detention which I knew they would get but they really don't give a flying fuck!

This was an issue all through Yr7 but I did not have DC4 to get to school then!

Similarly with picking them up, where we will agree a time for me to pick them up as they do clubs after school, when I get there they will not be waiting for me and I will be sitting in the car for up to 30 mins waiting for them to deign to come out while they ignore my texts and calls. I have also had to resort to getting the office staff to help me trawl around the school looking for them when I have had appointments I needed to get to angry!

I am hoping to go back to work in the New Year after finding a job and getting DC 4 settled into the after school club and will not be around to wait for them and I seriously doubt their ability to get themselves to current school on time.

Outstanding school, which they are both happy at and doing well at now DTS2 is getting the support he needs, is 3 miles away with only one direct bus service in the AM and PM which DSs have no chance of getting given their current time timekeeping. Walking/cycling is dicey as main road is very busy and DTS2 has learning difficulties and I worry that he may take risks which will endanger him. It is a 45 minute walk and no other kids from our area walk that way as very few got into the school.

Inadequate school is less than a mile away. 15 min walk. Safe to walk/cycle and hordes of DC will be walking the same way. New Head teacher is making great strides to turn the school around but the school has always been a 'problem' school albeit in the more 'affluent' side to town. DD1 attended and got on OK but a desire to learn was not really fostered in her and she did badly in her GCSEs although she's now flying through her college course.

I am of a mind to move them to the crap school after Christmas and tell them that they will be totally responsible for getting themselves to and from school from that point on. The stress in the morning is unbelievable and after shouting all morning, I feel like shit all day. I want them to leave the house happy in the morning but they will just not cooperate!


Sn00p4d Sat 15-Nov-14 22:26:51

They're 12 so maybe put the onus on them? They get their act together in the mornings or they move schools. It's ridiculous behaviour for children of that age they should be taking some responsibility, you've got other children to consider.
Give them to Xmas to sort themselves out and if no improvement follow through? I don't live in England so don't really understand the ratings, Im not sure what impact that would actually have on their learning if any, if they can't motivate themselves they're not going to succeed at the most outstanding of schools anyway.

JustWantToBeDorisAgain Sat 15-Nov-14 22:37:14

Tell them you are leaving at x time in whatever state they are in, and leave .

A few mornings of turning up half dressed without things they need may help . Stop making things easy for them.

I do this for dd2 who feels she can mess around and not worry about the consequences. She is only 7 so I do put her things in the car and she has to finish getting dressed in the car as her friends walk by, but her sisters can get to school on time......she is not making them late through her choices!

JustWantToBeDorisAgain Sat 15-Nov-14 22:38:38

( I have walked her out to the car in her pyjamas before now.)

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Sat 15-Nov-14 22:43:39

I'm not sure why you're driving them in the first place? Our local high school has a huge catchment and the majority either catch a bus or ride bikes. Why can't yours get the bus?

Fwiw I walked 2 miles to my high school for the entire time I was there. And 2 back.

indigo18 Sat 15-Nov-14 22:45:18

Hmm.. I think you should have trained them by now. They don't get this way overnight- they have been allowed to mess you around. Not sure how you would set about changing things at this stage if they are not receptive. Maybe the closer school would be better for your sanity.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Sat 15-Nov-14 22:47:46

Oh I just read that you say they "have no chance" of catching the bus due to their time keeping.

Well I have to say that you need to MAKE them catch the bus. They're at a good school. Your job is to keep them at the good school surely? And if that means getting them out of bed an hour earlier by force, do it.

I'd do it. I'd be throwing them out of the door physically....they should be self sufficient by now. You're not doing them any favours by driving them like babies.

BarbarianMum Sat 15-Nov-14 22:49:51

Give them the bus fare, insist they get their stuff together the night before and let them take the bus.

They'll probably miss it a few times, and forget their PE kit a few times but so what? They'll get into trouble, get detention and learn. And learning is the point.

albertcamus Sat 15-Nov-14 22:53:09

I teach in an comp labelled 'outstanding', my last school was labelled 'requires improvement'. The 'outstanding' school has nicely-spoken, polite & co-operative students, but management is atrocious and teaching is poor, results are falling, staff and student morale is on the floor, staff turnover is ridiculous & parents' concerns/complaints are largely ignored. Drug use / abuse is ignored & we are forced to retrospectively alter register marks to improve attendance figures. The RI school has a much higher proportion of badly-off / challenging students, but management is rigorous & has to be much more honest. It is not without it's problems, but the students' interests are much better served there. Ofsted's labelling is worse than meaningless, it's misleading. Obviously everywhere is different, but I am hugely disappointed for my current students that nobody in this 'outstanding' school has their interests at heart ...

LeopardInABobbleHat Sat 15-Nov-14 22:55:00

Did you post this the other day?

albertcamus Sat 15-Nov-14 22:56:05

iPad autocorrect strikes again !

TheDogsMissingBollock Sat 15-Nov-14 22:57:09

Move house? Seriously- your day sounds so stressful. Could you not move into a house convenient for all 3 schools? Yes there are costs to a move but the petrol costs ,and stress!) you incur 3x a day surely outweigh those? I really would not move schools.
Am in a not dissimilar position and have to remind myself daily that it is all worth it- dd1 loves her outstanding school and it is incomparably better on every front than our local option bar its location, obviously.

clary Sat 15-Nov-14 22:58:44

I would tell them they are getting the bus. Why would you drive 2 12yos to school when there is a bus? Loads of kids get the bus to school without any issues.

TheDogsMissingBollock Sat 15-Nov-14 23:02:46

Albert- sure that's true but generally it provides some kind of benchmark at least. We didn't chose just because of Ofsted but our impression of the school, its local rep from a range of parents/teachers and its results. Plus the push factor of so many other local parents opting out of going for the catchment school due to its bullying problems, poor results etc etc. sure measures are in olace but it feels high risk right now! Might have turned around in 2-5 years but that's too late for dd1.

ireallydontlikemonday Sat 15-Nov-14 23:07:48

I think you need to put the onus on them, sorry. I was up and out the door for the train at 740am to be in time for school at yr 7. (I also have twins, don't think this is a twin thing). Let them take responsibility for themselves for a couple of days.

snice Sat 15-Nov-14 23:12:44

you are facilitating their terrible behaviour- you need to get tough quick. If they miss the bus they will be late and get detention. If they dont appear at the relevant time to be collected then you need to drive home without them and they either walk or get a bus. Seriously they are taking the piss and you are letting them

albertcamus Sat 15-Nov-14 23:14:19

Yes, Dogs, I understand what you're saying ... I just hate the fact that the reality of the 'outstanding' school is actually much worse than the 'RI' one ... Students & their parents want to believe in it, but the grim reality is that, for example, most Year 10s have had six English teachers already. I had no idea how wrong Ofsted could be until I went there.

TheDogsMissingBollock Sat 15-Nov-14 23:16:42

That's scary, Albert. How typical is it, in your experience?

Betsy003 Sat 15-Nov-14 23:18:53

I think you are enabling their behaviour sorry. They know you will always drive them to school regardless and one detention is meaningless.

There is a bus both ways and they should be on it. You shouldn't be driving them anywhere. Stop enabling their behaviour. Stop shouting, nagging, and stressing.

In your shoes I would be playing hard ball. Tell DC that they are now transporting themselves to school each day and the bus leaves at x time. Explain you will set the alarm clock for 7am and won't be giving them any morning instructions. If they miss the bus they will have to walk. Then follow through EVERY DAY for one term.

Explain to the school that the boys are now catching the bus in the morning and request that the school be very firm with the boys with any lateness. Explain you are struggling.

In relation to after school activities. Tell them if they are not with you by x time (10 mins after activity has finished) you will drive home and they can walk. Then carry through. No need for shouting.

AnotherEmma Sat 15-Nov-14 23:19:21

If they move schools, getting there on time will still be an issue. If you live closer they'll just stay in bed later or faff longer. You have to find ways to change the behaviour not move them to another school. As PPs have said, make them take the bus.

AnotherEmma Sat 15-Nov-14 23:21:31

PS Also agree with what snice and Betsy said.

clary Sat 15-Nov-14 23:23:12

Yes, if they miss the bus they can perfectly well walk. Three miles is totally doable, will take then less than an hour. If they are an hour late for school they will soon know about it.

I take it that they are not school refusers as such? Cos if so it may be a different issue.

albertcamus Sat 15-Nov-14 23:25:55

I don't know Dogs, but I feel awful after every Parents' Evening at the lovely supportive hard-working parents being duped by a cynical management. We have the privilege of their well-spoken beautifully-behaved children, and their goodwill, but fail to provide them with a decent education.

Betsy003 Sat 15-Nov-14 23:26:03

Also lastly aim to have a nice relaxing morning with the little one. Read and play with the little one. Ignore any stress but be polite to the older boys. When you leave the house if the boys are still there, make them exit the house at the same time regardless of where they are preparation wise. Then go on your merry way with the youngest, enjoying a leisurely walk to nursery.

Betsy003 Sat 15-Nov-14 23:28:06

Missing the bus = walking to school. It's their choice which option they choose.

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