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To move dd from an outstanding Ofsted top in the area school to one that requires improvement

(29 Posts)
Cannotthinkofawittyusername Sat 19-Mar-16 17:27:57

DD is in an outstanding Ofsted top scoring school in the area. It is MASSIVE. Around 1700 pupils.

DD is quiet, shy and has low self esteem and confidence.
She is drowning in a huge school, she has some sen to the point she was on school action plus at primary. Time after time at parents evening teachers tell me she is struggling in X area which is part of her SEN and when I mention this they have not been told despite the senco promising she has told everyone, she has a toilet pass for medical reasons and certain teachers refuse her to go to the point she has wet herself on several occasions in school by the time she has reached the toilets.

She is also fairly invisible, she has 5 merits and the naughty kids have 100s. . A fairly major incident happened recently. I feel schools response was awful. If this had happened at another school they child would have been expelled but they haven't.

The only plus point is some of the teachers have been brilliant and she has a special needs room she can use at lunch so she does not have to go on the yard and she can queue jump at lunch.

School 2 has 600 pupils. It is much smaller. It has been struggling after being one of the best schools in the area for a long time. It has good pastoral care and a new head teacher has recently taken over who seems to be turning it around again after an awful few Ofsted reports. The GCSE score are slightly lower that the school she is at but that is under the old head. The new head is in to raise standards and by all accounts he is. The school has brilliant sen resources and an sen video on it's site which seems to give a good indication they give a shit.

At school 2 they are often on trips. At dds school only the gifted and talented kids ever seem to go anywhere.

I am going to go and look again at school 2 and have a chat but I don't know what to do!

Witchend Sat 19-Mar-16 17:37:33

You might be talking about 2 schools in my area. If you are I'd say that although the big school has a tremendous reputation, I hear complaints all round, particularly on their response to bullying.
The smaller school has a terrible reputation, but I hear nothing but praise from people whose dc have actually gone.

CwtchesAndCuddles Sat 19-Mar-16 17:37:35

Trust your gut and pick the school best for your dd. Ofsted isn't the be all and end all, the report reflects what the inspectors found during the inspection.

RockUnit Sat 19-Mar-16 17:39:57

School 2 sounds much better. You've given lots of positive points about it, but only one plus point for School 1, and many negatives. Good pastoral care is really important IMO and it sounds like School 2 is clued up on SEN and inclusivity. Sounds like the new head is doing good things.

Tiredemma Sat 19-Mar-16 17:41:15

I had no choice but to put my two boys into a Notice to Improve school when we moved house.

It was actually a lovely little school and had just had a new head put in place. Three years later it got Outstanding.

Ofsted can change- school 2 sounds much better suited

nanetterose Sat 19-Mar-16 17:41:34

Definitely move her. I feel for you. I have similar thoughts myself sometimes.
Those 'outstanding' schools are not always the best choice.
Good luck. smile

SianiMoomin Sat 19-Mar-16 17:42:10

Go and have a look round School 2, chat to the Head. If you like it, I would move her.

nanetterose Sat 19-Mar-16 17:43:49

Just remembered. We used to live in the middle of a 'rough' London council Estate.
My son went to the nursery there that would have made some parents uneasy.
It was the best, most inclusive and clued up educational setting.

Flisspaps Sat 19-Mar-16 17:45:47

Ignore Ofsted, go for the one that will make your daughter happy. She's more likely to achieve there smile

fruityb Sat 19-Mar-16 17:46:50

It doesn't mean it's requiring improvement in teaching or in Sen provision. It could be leadership or anything that means it's in that position. It doesn't take a lot to lose good status and it doesn't mean that the day by day running isn't any good.

Sounds like the better choice from your post.

IthinkIamsinking Sat 19-Mar-16 17:48:14

Both my twin DD's went to an outstanding school. One did brilliantly the other had a dreadful time. School were worse than useless and I had five years of utter bollocks dealing with them where my DD was concerned. I wish I had moved her out of that school. Schools can be allocated a RI for the most ridiculous reasons. You have nothing to lose by looking around the school.

ValancyJane Sat 19-Mar-16 17:52:03

I have worked in two schools that ofsted deemed failing, one I would have very happily sent my child to, the other I wouldn't. Definitely go and look round and go with your gut feeling - I hope it works out for your DD smile

pinkcan Sat 19-Mar-16 17:56:10

If things are not good for your dd at the current school then what do you have to lose by moving her?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 19-Mar-16 18:01:30

I'm assuming this is a secondary school? If so denying her the right to use the toilets to the point she wets herself would have seen me raising merry hell after the first instance and removing her after the second.

What the hell are they doing?

Ywnbu to move her if the school is going to look after her needs.

Cannotthinkofawittyusername Sat 19-Mar-16 18:01:50

Pinkcan she struggles socially and finds it hard to make friends.
She does have some friends and some teachers she loves plus the sen room staff are amazing.

I am worried about making things worse for her sad

CaptainMarvelDanvers Sat 19-Mar-16 18:04:38

I got moved from a rough school to an outstanding one. The outstanding one had a massive bullying problem which they tried to cover up instead of dealing with it, I ended up skipping school to not deal with it and I was not the only pupil to do so. The rough school had a buddy system, I was a year 7 and was getting teased by some other girls the next week it was dealt with and never had a problem with the girls again thanks to the awesome year 9 buddy I had.

The rougher school did have issues with pupils not behaving in class and disrupting it, but I kept to myself and for over 2 years I was in the top sets and doing really well and the teachers really liked me because I wanted to learn. Less than a year in the outstanding one and I stopped attending, I left school at 15 with a whole host of mental health issues.

I'm not saying this is going to be the case in all schools but I think you need to listen to your gut and talk to other parents at both schools. I don't trust ratings.

Cannotthinkofawittyusername Sat 19-Mar-16 18:04:49

Secondary yes.
She has a pass she can just show and doesn't need to ask. One teacher in particular refuses and makes her ask again two minutes later. By this point she is desperate. She is then rushing the the toilet but not quite making it. Have already had words.

AndNowItsSeven Sat 19-Mar-16 18:06:01

Does she have a dx of Asd? I only ask as she sounds similar to my d11.
If not and you think she might don't rely on the school to recommend an assessment.

Atenco Sat 19-Mar-16 18:06:34

Just the size of the first school would put me off. I went to secondary school that had 2,000 pupils and hated every minute of it. There was no personal supervision really, we were more like numbers than people.

Cannotthinkofawittyusername Sat 19-Mar-16 18:36:07

She has a dx of other things but is on the never ending Camhs waiting list for ASD.

Brokenbiscuit Sat 19-Mar-16 18:42:32

On the basis of what you've said, I'd be inclined to move her, but it depends on how she feels too. Have you discussed the options with her, and your reasons for considering the other school?

kawliga Sat 19-Mar-16 18:48:39

School 2. Children do well because they are happy and confident in their setting, not because the setting is OFSTED 'outstanding' rated. I put my dd in a nursery rated 'inadequate' by OFSTED and she spent a very happy year there with carers who loved her and children that were all friends together. She is 8 now, and we are still friends with some of her carers from that nursery and we go back to visit when we can. We formed life-long bonds.

Sometimes schools are downgraded for reasons that have nothing to do with the happiness of the dc or whether the dc are thriving - e.g. it could be that the school doesn't keep proper records, doesn't have clear lines of authority, teaching is said not to be very well structured - stuff to do with good administrative functioning rather than how happy the dc are.

I care nothing for ratings, unless the report says that the dc are not happy or not thriving. Even within schools that are not top rated academically there are bright dc who do excel academically - so whatever your child is they will thrive if they're happy.

moanwhingemoan Sat 19-Mar-16 19:10:21

I chose an outstanding school over a RI one and wish to God I hadn't. I should know better as work in early years and know all about Ofsted! Our outstanding school is puss poor in supporting SEN, considering moving my Ds but he may not cope with change, awaiting appointment for ASD assessment.

EnriqueTheRingBearingLizard Sat 19-Mar-16 19:18:14

Regardless of ratings or gradings, the best school is always the school that's best for your child. That might not even be the same one for siblings.

You need to assess your child, visit the school and choose on merit for the best fit. The OFSTED rating wouldn't be my first consideration.

It makes me smile a little when people who either don't have children yet, or whose DCs are very small are moving based on the OFSTED ratings now. Who knows what might happen in the next year or two. Students change, staff move on and schools seen as below par get special help. Personally I'd go with my gut instinct.

Lurkedforever1 Sat 19-Mar-16 19:38:51

Dds primary was far from being approved of by ofsted, when I chose it over two nearer outstandings. By far the best state primary I could have picked. Because unlike the outstandings who were focused on box ticking exercises for ofsted, and looking good purely because of lucky cohorts, Dd's primary just did whatever was best for each and every child.

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