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To ask how many of you use your local/nearest school?

(138 Posts)
monkeymamma Tue 17-Feb-15 11:31:39

When we moved to our current house I was pregnant with dc1. I noticed there was a newish, nice looking school here and thought 'ah good, that's where the baby will go to school when the time comes.' Ds is now 3 and all anyone seems to talk about is the school question. Many people seem keen to avoid the local school (it Required Improvement at last offsted, has a new head, and a large intake from both social housing and local traveller community). Everyone wants to send their dc to an alternative school but the others round here are 'good'/'requires improvement' apart from one small village school (v.v small, middle class intake, not what I have in mind for my dc - I feel like they'll learn more about life in a more diverse environment) which is outstanding. No one ever gets their child in there anyway from where we live (ie nowhere near said village).
Anyway sorry to go off on detailed tangent - my thought ws that it seems the 'normal' thing to do to try to shop around rather than using the school nearest to you. Is that your experience also? Or did anyone find this whole business more straightforward?

MrsGoslingWannabe Tue 17-Feb-15 11:39:13

We happened to live right beside an outstanding school so DD went there but now we've moved and I have to drive her 1.7 miles to get there. We live very close to (1 min walk) a large 'requiring improvement' school.

BackforGood Tue 17-Feb-15 11:43:48

Well, mine did do/did, but knowledge about local schools was one (of several) factors we factored into the decision on where to buy a house, so I'm not sure it's completely random.

MrsItsNoworNotatAll Tue 17-Feb-15 11:44:26

My two go to the local school which happens to be very good. There is also another school quite close which I know is ok as my friends kids go there and are happy with it. I just wanted this particular school as I just did really!

HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Tue 17-Feb-15 11:45:30

I've never sent them to the nearest school because it's the nearest. I've always researched carefully and sent them to the one that seems as though it would best meet their needs (they have disabilities and additional needs)

I think that it is sensible to look at your child, look at the school and ensure they are a good fit.

Notso Tue 17-Feb-15 11:45:48

I use the nearest primary. We did also look at another four schools all very close to our house.
Two are welsh speaking and DH wasn't sure about the DC using a different language at school and home.
One is Catholic and we are not. The other was ok but didn't seem as nice as the nearest one.

DD goes to the nearest Secondary. Went into special measures when she was in the second year. Second closest apparently very good is a religious so not for us. DS1 wants to put a very small secondary 40mins away. I don't think he will get in but all of his friends have applied for the nearest secondary so he won't mind too much.

popperdoodles Tue 17-Feb-15 11:46:28

mine went to/go to our most local primary. it has had peaks and troughs over the years and been in special measures at one point. currently good with outstanding features. I. firmly believe if everyone supported their most local school then it would stop all the parents who care going to one school and all the children whose parents are less supportive going to another. all schools should be good.

GobbolinoCat Tue 17-Feb-15 11:47:19

No. My priority was a safe and innocent environment for my dd to be educated in. Diversity was low on the list of requirements age 5! I think primary is a key age when they need excellent teaching to get off on the right foot, and be set up for the rest of their academic life. I guess you need to question which is more important to you?

We did not go for our local school as it was 80% non English first language with a majority of Asian and Eastern European Pupils. It was OFSTED GOOD.

So we went for a school that is outstanding, but has a far more mixed intake - the intake being incidental. We seem to have strong European representative, from Spain, France, EE and other countries. Which a great bonus. My first priority was the quality of school and teaching.

Allinson2014 Tue 17-Feb-15 11:48:02

We live opposite the local school but it is inadequate. It was in special measures when we moved here. My two walk the mile to the other good school in the village.

DarylDixonsDarlin Tue 17-Feb-15 11:48:43

I didn't choose my closest school, no. I chose one at the other end of town, still walkable in an emergency, close enough for me to collect them quickly if they're ill. The school closest had been highlighted by Ofsted as not doing too well with the early years provision, especially reading and with boys, so when applying for a place for DS the other seemed preferable. (rated outstanding)

I'm confident we made the right choice. The nearest school then became an academy which I'm not a big fan of, also had a complete uniform change. They have dealt poorly with bullying according to my neighbours. They are rated as outstanding now though. I know some of the parents who send their children to the closest school and I didn't want my children to mix with theirs.

Snobby maybe but I actually don't give a fuck, it's my children's education that's at stake here and if being a bit of a snob means they aren't mixing with 8yo children who are allowed to play GTA5 and spend Sunday afternoon in the pub with their parents, then so be it smile

ohtheholidays Tue 17-Feb-15 11:48:52

We had 4 of our 5DC at the local schools(5DC was only a baby then)oldest was at secondary,second oldest in juniors and 2 younger DC were at infants that was attached to the juniors.

My oldest then 11 nearly 12 had gone through the nursery,infants and juniors with no problems.By the time our youngest DS and oldest DD were attending the infants the school had gone really down hill.
The headmistress was now to old for the job but refused to retire,she was now completely out of touch with what was going on in the school.

Lots of rough parents had started using the schools,no care for they're own children let alone the awful thing's they're children were doing to other children.

Oldest was the only one trying to learn in his classes in secondary.That was the Head Masters words to us.

We took them all out of they're schools and home schooled for a year until we could get them into the schools we wanted them to go to.

They're school experience has been so much better.Our DS now 13 is autistic and he got no help at his old infants school.His new primary school were much better and his secondary school even better still.He's top of his class in every subject.Some of his marks are that what they'd expect when he's 15-16.

Our youngest DD goes to the primary school we chose,she went right from they're nursery.she's also autistic,more so than her brother and has physical disability's.But she is loved at her school by all the teachers and the children.She's always included,invited to everyone's birthday parties and to playdates.That would never have happened at the other school.

The schools they are in my DH has to drive them to school.The other schools were a 10 minute walk away.It's probably costs us £300 a month on petrol but it's worth every penny.

I wish all 5DC had always been attending the schools that we use now.

farflungfanny Tue 17-Feb-15 11:48:55

Our children were in the local school (1.7 miles away) which turned out to be disastrous. They are now in a school (20 miles away) which is fantastic.
The commute has gone from under 20 minutes a day to over 2 hours a day. It is worth it though.

SunnyBaudelaire Tue 17-Feb-15 11:49:29

IME the local school that requires improvement will make a lot more effort with everything, inc your DC, than the 'outstanding' school, which may well be v complacent.

At that age, I do think that attending the nearest school is important socially. My kids did that and it was for the best.

What is wrong with children from council houses anyway? Do people think their children might catch 'poor'.

Besides if you ferry them away from the local school they might ask 'why' and then what will you tell them?

TourGuideBarbie Tue 17-Feb-15 11:50:28

I've applied for our closest school, on the same street as us, but even that's no guarantee we will get our DD in.

I didn't apply just because it was closest though, I think it suits DD. It's tiny and has a really nice feel. (Probably why the catchment is about a metre!!)

DamselNotInHerDress Tue 17-Feb-15 11:50:55

Mine do. It's a good school (infants was outstanding, the juniors that they go to is just good).
I go more by recommendation really. 5 of my nieces and nephews went there and their parents were happy enough. Dds are doing well and enjoy going.
In September dd1 will move up to seniors and won't be going to the closest one as its a Catholic school. I have also got friends with dc there and friends say they aren't happy.
The way I look at it is, they're schools not POW camps. I go by personal recommendations and a visit. I'm happy enough, dd Is happy, job done.

CaptainAnkles Tue 17-Feb-15 11:51:10

My two both go to the nearest catchment schools, one primary and one secondary. They needed to both be within walking distance because I can't get them to different places miles away at the same time. It is lucky that both are very good schools anyway.

GobbolinoCat Tue 17-Feb-15 11:51:24

it would stop all the parents who care going to one school and all the children whose parents are less supportive going to another. all schools should be good.

Not so sure, the school we didn't want is thought of very highly as well, but I noticed a difference in what my neighbours classified as acceptable with regards to the school and their own child s conduct and mine. My neighbour was rigid in her views on child care, her children and the school there is no way I could have changed them.

All parents have the opportunity to care and those that choose not too cannot be changed by those who do care.

GobbolinoCat Tue 17-Feb-15 11:53:42

which may well be v complacent.

Load of rubbish.

Besides if you ferry them away from the local school they might ask 'why' and then what will you tell them?

Because her school is more suited to her.

Its important children are in an environment that suits them afterall confused

SunnyBaudelaire Tue 17-Feb-15 11:55:27

gobbolino, it is not a 'load of rubbish' it was our experience. thank you.

redskybynight Tue 17-Feb-15 11:55:34

My children go to the local school (that is shuddered at locally by naice MC sorts). This is both from a sense of it being important to be part of our local community and (in fairness) because we wouldn't get in anywhere else. The concept of actually being able to have a realistic choice is something that amazes me on MN!

darlingfascistbullyboy Tue 17-Feb-15 11:56:07

we applied to our nearest school & didn't get in. dd1 now goes out of county (30 miles from home but 15 minutes away from dh's work) because we weren't happy with our next nearest schools - she's happy but transport costs are a killer.

There's a new school soon to open even closer to us & I have everything crossed that at least some of my other children will get in there - dd1's school is a non starter for the others since it is now oversubscribed - I still wouldn't consider sending them to the schools we rejected for dd1.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Tue 17-Feb-15 11:56:58

We did for primary and secondary.

Both outstanding anyway but a 1 minute and 5 minute walk respectively.

MrsCakesPrecognition Tue 17-Feb-15 11:57:28

Looked round our closest school - couldn't stand the HT or the dark, chaotic reception classes (and dead-eyed class teachers).
Looked round next nearest school. Not such good Ofsted, but school was bright, welcoming and busy. The whole atmosphere was different from first school, despite them having almost identical floor plans.
2nd nearest school went top of preferences. Nearest school went last. Preferences in the middle were filled with other schools in area.
Eventually got into favourite school from waiting list.

RaspberryLemonPavlova Tue 17-Feb-15 11:59:38

We used the local Infants/Juniors which happened to be Outstanding/Good. I don't know if I would have made different choices if it hadn't been.

Secondary we have gone out of catchment, this is mainly because the strengths of the school suit the DC better than the catchment school, although the decision was made for each DC separately.

Baddz Tue 17-Feb-15 12:02:17

My dc go to a local school, but not their catchment school which is just round the corner.
Only one secondary and dc go there.
There have just been 1200 new houses built in my village.
We need another primary desperately.

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