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To prioritise happiness over education?

(186 Posts)
Vanillafox Thu 14-Jul-16 20:00:21

My DD didn't get into our first choice primary school. It's an outstanding school, great technology, very sought after. Instead she was offered a place at the school where she goes to nursery. This school is OK. It's too religious for my liking (as an atheist) and has an average academic record, high percentage of SEN. She will be in a classroom shared with 59 other children! It's 5 mins from my door though so convenient. To cut a long story short, DD is super excited about starting there. Her best friend from nursery is going, she knows the teachers and the environment. She's had a trial day that she loved and her teacher did a home visit and seemed great. DD can't wait for Sept.

This morning we got a call from our first choice school offering DD a place. We only have 4 days to make up our minds. It's further away, she'll know no-one and is an unfamiliar environment. But as I mentioned, it's a far better school with far more opportunities.

My DH thinks it's a no-brainier and that her education should take priority. He says she'll get over leaving her friends quickly. I'm not so sure. I think she'll be heartbroken and may struggle to settle at the new school.

What would you do?!!! I'm completely 50/50 and would love to hear your views...

Prawnofthepatriarchy Thu 14-Jul-16 20:01:47

I'm with your DH

Foxsox Thu 14-Jul-16 20:02:01

Go with your daughters heart.
There's your answer

MrsHathaway Thu 14-Jul-16 20:02:14

I agree with your DH that she'll make friends quickly. 4yo children are very capricious and gregarious.

I don't think you should make a decision based on which school DD would like to go to - she's four. You should make the decision based on which school you and DH genuinely think is a better fit for her.

TheAntiBoop Thu 14-Jul-16 20:02:34

I don't think this is a decision between education or happiness. She will be happy wherever she goes. I think you may be projecting how you would react but 4yos can be very different

Vanillafox Thu 14-Jul-16 20:02:54

Two replies - one for each! Must be why I'm stuck at 50/50 😜

IWillTalkToYouLater Thu 14-Jul-16 20:03:37

Is her current school oversubscribed too? What are class sizes like in first choice school?

I'm sure she will settle elsewhere, but that said it sounds like a tough choice. Not helpful, sorry! flowers

RubySparks Thu 14-Jul-16 20:03:42

Could you take her to see the other school?

DeadGood Thu 14-Jul-16 20:03:43

Complete novice here, but I would tend to go with the better school - play the long game.

There are two different things going on here though, the happiness factor and the convenience. Be sure you separate them out fully and know which one you are thinking about when you make your choice. (No judgement.)

Muskateersmummy Thu 14-Jul-16 20:04:37

If the child was older I would agree, but at 4 I think she will adapt. Our dd won't be going to the same school as her best friend. We are making sure they will see each other lots in the holidays and weekends.

Has she visited the other school? I would arrange that visit in the next few days then choose.

Vanillafox Thu 14-Jul-16 20:05:04

theantiboop you're completely right that I'm projecting how I would feel. I'm just dreading that we send her to the better school and she cries everyday because she doesn't want to go and I've caused her to feel like that. Even if it's for the greater good!

MooMooCowFace Thu 14-Jul-16 20:05:30

Not helpful but I would be 50/50 too. grin

SisterMoonshine Thu 14-Jul-16 20:05:34

We didn't get our first choice school for DD.
Took the place we got, thinking I'd put her on the waiting list for the first choice if things didn't work out for her where she was.
And actually she has thrived in her school.

Tough one.

TheAntiBoop Thu 14-Jul-16 20:06:43

The only reason she would cry everyday is if you make a big deal of it though

Just build up to the new school as you would if you didn't have a choice in the matter

SenoritaViva Thu 14-Jul-16 20:07:05

I work in a school, children adapt really quickly and not knowing anyone / being unfamiliar won't last long. Id go with the best school, it's not education over happiness its happiness AND education.

LadyCallandraDaviot Thu 14-Jul-16 20:07:29

If you are planning to stay in your current house/area, do both the schools feed to the same secondary? - It may seem like ages away, but it can make a difference.

NavyandWhite Thu 14-Jul-16 20:07:35

Better school every time!

Raines100 Thu 14-Jul-16 20:09:11

I wouldn't hesitate to send her to the better school. I'm not saying it's 100% the right decision, but it's the choice I would make.

whois Thu 14-Jul-16 20:09:27

59 other people in the class???? For that alone, I would send her to the other school.

JackieAndHyde4eva Thu 14-Jul-16 20:09:44

I'm with DH. Go for the better school, smaller classes etc. You dont yet know how your daughter will settle and what issues she may face in school that may be far easier spotted and dealt with in a smaller class. Go with good school. Give it a year, if she isnt settling then revisit nearby school and see if they have places.

Owlytellsmesecrets Thu 14-Jul-16 20:12:02

Seriously 59 to a class?????

Listen to DH!!!! She'll make friends in seconds!

BertrandRussell Thu 14-Jul-16 20:14:43

I think you mush have misunderstood something- there can't be 60 children in a class.........!

Misselthwaite Thu 14-Jul-16 20:15:32

I'd be torn. The school with the average academic record must be doing something right if they have a high number of SEN.

Having said that I'm an atheist and the religious stuff would bother me a lot. Also if she goes to the other school you could try and keep her existing friendships going by attending brownies locally etc. That would give her a large social circle and I think it's important for kids to play with lots of different groups of kids.

SenoritaViva Thu 14-Jul-16 20:16:18

Sometimes there can be if rooms are joined but with two sets of staff. Some places work like that - our reception teacher was in something similar before joint our school. Sounds like hell!

nennyrainbow Thu 14-Jul-16 20:16:39

There won't be 59 other children in a classroom since class sizes up to year 2 are limited to 30 max. The year group will be split into 2 classrooms of 30 children each.

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