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to ask you to make a difficult decison for me re my son

(17 Posts)
Fantasyland Fri 24-Jul-15 21:27:09

I have a son going into year 4 next September. We have moved house (various reasons) and its now 15/20 min drive away
Current school is outstanding. Son has 1 best friend and a few friends.
Son has various special needs and finds it hard in social situations it has taken a long long time for son to fit in and have friends and stop being anxious about things.

I'm thinking of high school and where the kids from his school go we will not get in as out of catchment.
I'm worried as his high school he will know no one and he will find it tough as he isn't brilliant around people.

The school near us isn't brilliant and Ofsted says requires improvement but it is 5 mins away and I would like my son in last year of primary to build independence and walk but there is no chance of doing this at current school.

I really don't know what to do and its making me worry so I have done a list of pro and cons to see what you think

Current school

PROS Excellent school and son finally has a best friend, school right next to park where everyone goes and son socialises

NEG Daily commute is annoying and we cant get there in bad weather, harder for play dates as we live out the way
Son will never get in school his friends going

Potential school

Pros 5 minutes away and will know majority of people going to nearby high school. Will know some people where we live as we know no one currently
can walk to school to encourage independence

Poor Ofsted report
There is a child who will probably be in his class that we used to live near who was a bully to my son
Son will think he can go back to old school if he doesn't like new school

any thoughts

Purplepoodle Fri 24-Jul-15 21:34:59

I would keep him at current school (as a mum of sn ds's too). High school is going to be stressful anyway but I'd let him enjoy time he has left in current primary rather than trying to adjust to a new primary and then again to new high school.

You would just have to be a bit proactive with playdates offering to pick up and drop

strawberryshoes Fri 24-Jul-15 21:35:03

That is really hard.

You said you cannot get to current school in bad weather (are we talking heavy snow, or will this regularly be an issue?) if you cannot get there when it rains, then you really have to go to the local one...

However, my initial instinct is to stay with current school, where your son has friends and is happy and comfortable. He will have at least another year of development time to gain confidence (generally) before having to go to high school and meet new people. The fact there is someone in his potential new school who has a history of bullying him particularly puts me off him going there.

Could you stick with current school but get son involved in going to local club, sports, or other activity where he will meet with local children who will be going to the same high school as him? He might be able to make a friend/s or at least be familiar with people who he will see at his next school, while keeping his current friend this year and working on social skills with people he is comfortable with.

paulapompom Fri 24-Jul-15 21:37:36

I would look at what ofsted didn't like. Are children feeling safe etc, sometimes poorer headings are due to poorly kept data etc. Also I would ask parents at the potential school their honest opinions /experiences (if you can) and then I guess sound out your son. X

paulapompom Fri 24-Jul-15 21:39:01

* grading not heading

Hassled Fri 24-Jul-15 21:40:03

Keep him where he is for now - he has 2 more years of comparative social success and the confidence that will give him. That's worth a huge amount.

And if he ends up going to a different High School to his friends he'll be more able to cope - and don't forget that High Schools are a big pool. I worried enormously about how my Dyspraxic/AS DS2 would manage but actually, it's a big enough place that he found his fellow eccentrics and made some fantastic friends.

Fantasyland Fri 24-Jul-15 21:50:46

Thank you for replies I am leaning to keep him where he is, this last year he has found confidence and I think it will knock him changing schools.

re the bad weather I mean in snow we cant get there , in winter though jouney is lot longer than 15 mins.

some good ideas
I will look at Ofsted wording properly to see what the problems are and i will try and get son involved in a club near new house to try and get him involved in local area.

ExtremelyStubbornAndSuspicious Fri 24-Jul-15 21:54:59

I made this exact decision recently for my DD who is about to go into year 4.

We decided to keep her in her current school in the end, because we feel that's the right decision for now. We didn't feel confident making a decision on the basis of potential (but by no means guaranteed) benefits in the future, when we have no idea what the future holds anyway - especially for DD whose difficulties only seen to get worse as she gets older.

ILovedYouYesterday Fri 24-Jul-15 21:55:09

I'd keep him at his current school and reevaluate in a year.

My DS with SN went to a secondary school where he knew no one and did fine.

Agree about looking into clubs locally. Drama clubs (I'd look at the smaller independent ones first but the big name ones might be great too) can be fab for building confidence if he likes that sort of thing.

My biggest concern would be the child who used to bully him being in his class.

BuyMeAPony Fri 24-Jul-15 21:57:10

Make the decision based on now. You can't predict where you'll be in 6 years.

SeenSheen Fri 24-Jul-15 22:11:13

Keep him where he is as you currently have a good school. Many things can change over 2 years - what if your council suddenly decides to allocate by lottery or open a new school or similar.

greenfolder Fri 24-Jul-15 22:16:40

You might be wise to look carefully at the secondary school admissions process. You might not get into the secondary school on catchment but it might just be feasible on the grounds of special needs/statement. Worth a thought in any event.

ReallyTired Fri 24-Jul-15 22:24:23

In your position I would keep him where he is. Friendship groups change radically when children start secondary. Even if he made friends at the new primary, those kids might not want to know him when they start secondary.

Does your son gave any hobbies that might allow him to make more local friends?

BabyGanoush Fri 24-Jul-15 22:32:17

I'd keep him where he is for now, and where he is happy.

I worried endlessly about my DS, and his move to secondary and found to my surprise that he settled in really well in his new school where he knew nobody.

In fact, he has thrived being able to find so many like minded people.

Mind you, he is not SN (though has dyslexia, processing difficulty and been on IEP's for social and emotional stuff).

With hindsight we underestimated him.

Leave him be where he is, and watch him grow. Kids really become ready for secondary by Y6, and having a happy primary experience helps their confidence IMO.

ALL friendships change in Y7, so would not worry too much about who else is going where.

One thing at a time smile

itsonlysubterfuge Fri 24-Jul-15 22:37:49

I personally wouldn't find this hard.

Even though you are not in the catchment area of the high school his friends are going to, couldn't you have a talk with them before you make your choice and see if they would make an exception especially as your son has special needs?

I am from America, moved when I was 15, stayed in Jr. High School I was currently in. It was a pain for my parents, but they didn't want to pull me out. I went to a new High School in my area, I knew no one there at all. I did eventually make one friend, she was the best friend I ever had. I am incredibly shy and would rather not speak to anyone and extremely socially awkward.

OrangeVase Fri 24-Jul-15 22:39:46

I would leave him where he is. He will grow in confidence and when he goes to secondary everyone will be in a new school and will all have to start again. Don't make him go through tat twice. He is happy now - let it be.

Muldjewangk Sat 25-Jul-15 00:00:27

I would leave him where he is but like your idea of joining clubs and activities in your area.

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