...to move kids' school again?(47 Posts)
We moved before the summer holidays and I was hoping to get a place in our local school after the summer holidays if people had moved etc. Sadly, that didn't happen and I was offered a place in another school, which is a 10 min drive. I have 3 kids, 2 in the same year group, so it was great they could all get in to one school. My eldest in Y5 had a very hard time for a few weeks, but last week finally found a friend. We have had him round and he seems like a nice boy. My other two are making friends and seem quite happy. The school is an Ofsted 3, and I do have some issues with the teaching, but other things compensate. The music teaching is great, the grounds and play equipment is fantastic, most kids are very nice, and I have started making friends with some of the Mums.
Yesterday I got home to a letter which says all 3 of my kids have been offered a place in the local school and I don't know what to do! Dh wants them to go to this school which is outstanding and a 10 min walk. However, he isn't the one who deals with the day to day of settling in, and we have only just settled in. I am worried about ds1 in particular who has never found it easy to find people to be friends with (the first 5 weeks of term, he literally played with no one till he found this boy he clicked with). What if he doesn't find someone? Also, this school is very much about getting kids to improve academically and lacks in any music/ performance based, plus the grounds are not as good. Teaching is good.
So WWYD? Stay at the Ofsted 3, a 10-15 min drive, fringe benefits or go to the Oftsted outstanding, walking distance and re settle all over again?
I'd stay put if they are now settled and seem happy, but you may get a variety of responses.
Maybe it depends on what your issues with the teaching at their current school actually are?
Could you perhaps arrange a day or two for them to visit the prospective local school and see how it goes before making a final decision?
Ideally of course, you would have got your first choice school.
BUT that didn't happen and they've settled at another one. I think it would be incredibly unfair on them to move them again tbh, especially the Y5 dc.
Y5 is fairly late to be starting at a new school already. Never mind being pulled out mid-year in Y5. They already have less than two years left in a Primary. (i'm not judging op, we plan on moving when dc1 is going into Y5 and i'm feeling a bit wobbly about it myself!)
Keep them where they are. Or, if your two younger dc are a lot younger (nursery or reception) then consider moving the younger two if you feel they would adapt well, but leave your oldest where they are IMO.
Is keep them where they are.
When my Dcs started school their was a 3 grading. Now my dd is in Y6 and the school has gone to a Good rating. She way ahead academically and has had a great time at the school.
Friends of mine have children at 'outstanding' rated primaries and have had all sorts of problems - socially and academically. I don't think an OFSTED rating should be the be all and end all.
10 minute drive isn't usually far especially if urban. Unless you are travelling some distance in that time leave them , at least until eldest is at secondary, so you only have 2 to resettle.
Tbh looking at your description of the two I think i'd prefer the current school anyway.
The grounds/sporting facilities at a school are important to me because my two ds's are heavily into sport. Their primary has a really good size yard, and full size football pitch/field for sports. Ds1 (recently gone into year 3 so is allowed to use the pitch for play times) spends his breaks playing full games of rugby and football
in his uniform, coming back covered in mud every day
It's wonderful for him and I wouldn't exchange that for any other school which lacked the same outdoor space tbh.
Stay where you are. Ofsted assessments can change overnight and shouldn't be relied on, and anyway the current school will certainly be working hard to get an improved rating.
Wow, you all say so differently to everyone in RL! Thanks for the support. I have been so wobbly about it myself and pretty much the only one saying 'stay' hence asking here to see if I had a point or was BU.
RL advice was:
- Ds1 has made 1 friend, who has lasted a week so far. Who knows how long that will go on? Can't keep him in the school for that reason.
- Ds1 is going to secondary in under 2 years so it will not be helpful to be him to be in a school where he can 'coast' academically (they are about a year behind his other school which was a good to outstanding school and had excellent teaching).
- For after school clubs etc., it is much better to be walking distance
- It is better to be walking distance in terms of local friends who will all live in the area, and create a better community feeling as well.
- It is still very early days in the school year - got 5 more half terms to go. I'm not moving them in April or May after a long settle in.
I'm still so unsure. The younger dcs I think I will move now as ds2 is a bit of a bright spark and I think the current school will let him down. Whilst Oftsted is not be-all and end-all, I have now looked around enough schools to appreciate they do assess fairly well. I know sometimes schools will get a 3 briefly to pull their socks up (usually in their admin), which is redressed fairly quickly, but this school has been a consistent 3 for years and years and years. I really noticed it when ds1 moved from middle to bottom of class to almost top of the class at this school (from what he says anyway). I have been disappointed in their teachers' engagement compared to where we were. But it is 'fine' (hence the 3, not 4, I guess).
I'd move them. Your ds1 being left to his own devices in the playground for 5 weeks sounds crap, tbh. No decent school would integrate a new pupil so poorly.
Please don't move them, it's so hard on children to be moved, then moved and moved again.
Im not saying this is at all the situation with you, but my mother moved us around a lot, just as we started to settle in schools we were moved. It's been somewhat damaging.
Unless you have grave concerns about this school keep them there.
If your little 2 are much younger, I'd move them at half term. Tough call for the Y5 child. Could you cope having the little 2 in the school close by (as they would be there longer term) and the big one staying put? He is old enough to say whether he would like to stay where he is now so perhaps he could have some input?
What does the eldest wAnt?
Obviously he shouldn't make the ultimate decision but I think it would be wrong not to give him a say.
I'd move them too and just be thinking about what secondary schools they'd be going to in the long run. That is where the playing field gets evened out.
Oohhh difficult! 5 weeks isnt long, they may settle at the new school quicker ... they may not.... one fried does make a difference, but he may find a group closer to home. .. have you thought about which high school he will go to, as in will friends move with him? That would be my key decision.
I would ask the eldest, and I wouldn't move them unless he positively wanted to change schools.
Don't take a blind bit of notice of Ofsted reports. I would never have said that a few years ago, but I've found from experience that they are not indicative of how happy your children will be at a school.
If the council sent a letter on Monday saying "please ignore the last letter. It was a huge mistake and there is no place for any of your children at the local school at all. Terribly sorry......"
How would you feel? Upset? Disappointed? Or relieved?
If you had a place at neither school and had to draw up pro and con lists for each of them, which one would win?
I know it is hard to imagine moving DCs again but don't let that alone put you off. If you do it and the school has lots of benefits (a 10 minute walk and local friends is a major benefit) then they will barely remember ever having been to their current school anyway.
I'd move them. It's only early days and I do agree with your DH that it will be so nice to have more local friends. If your eldest has made just one friend so far, they don't seem like an overly welcoming and friendly bunch.
We moved in summer too i also had 3 kids for school. 2 of them got in after a month the other is about to start monday. 4th child has no nursery spot and all other nurseries ridiculous distance so im keeping her home.
If they are doing well in school leave them there. Primary school doesnt guarantee place in a certain secondary anyway does it? You have to apply again
I'd move them, but then I live in a fairly transient area anyway, and wouldn't be able to say for sure that your child's new friend would stay put. Same goes for anyone else though, I guess.
And when they start after school activities etc, and you're hanging around waiting for one or other to finish, you'll be wishing they could just walk home! Good luck OP - it's a tough decision.
I think I would move them. I was in similar circumstances a couple of years ago, moved then had to accept a place at the only school locally with spaces. When a place came up at our local school, I moved DC there. I agonised about it but it was fine. Took a few weeks to settle but now couldn't imagine being anywhere else.
There are many benefits to being at the local school, including new friends within walking distance, and a peer group that will all move up to senior school together.
While it's not ideal, I would move them now. The opportunity might not come round again. Yes, it's a bit tough on your DC1, but he will be ok in the end.
I wouldn't move just the two younger ones as 1) it would be a PITA having two school runs and 2) it's not as if your DC1 has an unbreakable friendship group at the moment. He might feel very isolated without his siblings, especially if they make a whole load of new friends quickly....
One alternative might be to keep them where they are for two years, then look to transfer the younger two.
FWIW, I moved my youngest DC in year 4 to our local school and it was fine.
I would move them. You wanted them to go to the nearer school.
Remember why you wanted the other school initially. OFSTED can be a good indicator of a schools performance but certainly not the only measure I would use in choosing a school and I m an OFSTED inspector! As pp suggest there are many benefits to walking to and from school. I drive my kids and it's a pita. Don t agonise over it. Talk to your eldest first. Have a visit. Talk to the Head of the new school. Then go for it. And remember that no school is perfect. It's what best suits your families needs. Good luck
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