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to buy a house where the schools are adequate?

(27 Posts)
SarahH12 Mon 13-Nov-17 08:33:31

DP and I are buying our first house. We've had an offer accepted and now I'm starting to panic a bit. He has a DD who doesn't live with us but you never know what the future holds do you. We don't plan to start ttc for a while but equally we don't plan to move for a while either. Both of the local primary schools are adequate with room for improvement also adequate.

Are we BU still buying this property? We're obviously a long way off from needing a primary school unless custody arrangements suddenly change with his exW. I know schools can change in several years but I'm just a bit worried about if it doesn't, we'll be knowingly sending our child to a school that's only adequate.

Sparklingbrook Mon 13-Nov-17 08:36:23

But the local schools aren't your only option. We drove 6 miles for the DC to go to a First school we liked and DS1 ended up going to a High School 12 miles away by school bus.

I wouldn't worry too much at this point.

SilverSpot Mon 13-Nov-17 08:37:59

A lot can change over a few years anyway - heads leave, new staff join etc

MrsOverTheRoad Mon 13-Nov-17 08:58:41

School results can change like the wind OP.

In my area, a previously very good school went into emergency measures their OFSTED was so terrible. It was a combo of a Head with drink problems and poor management.

Kids left in droves

Within a year there was a waiting list and two years later, it was excellent again.

mummyhaschangedhername Mon 13-Nov-17 09:09:37

An excellent school can go downhill in a few years so can the reverse,so I don’t think it’s a factor.

SarahH12 Mon 13-Nov-17 09:29:33

But the local schools aren't your only option.

I didn't realise that was an option. Is it possible to try and put them in a school closer to work? Just thinking for school drop off / pick ups as we're moving a fair distance away from work.

Sparklingbrook Mon 13-Nov-17 09:35:43

Nothings certain, it would depend on whether they are oversubscribed and there's catchment areas so they are always going to fill from those first.
We didn't go out of County for the schools we chose so that may have made a difference, the First school was a village school which I preferred over the local large First school, and there were plenty of spaces.

It doesn't harm to make the enquiries, anything can happen.

Mrscog Mon 13-Nov-17 09:54:11

Don't go too much on Ofsted either - my DS is at a wonderful school, which was rated 'requires improvement'. For a primary it's everything you would ever want - nurturing, friendly, enthusiastic, not too much ridiculous SATs pressure etc.

NK493efc93X1277dd3d6d4 Mon 13-Nov-17 09:59:18

If you plan on having children then I'd go for an area with good schools. You could find that you are not in a position to move in a few years and so get stuck with a mundane school.

Yes schools can change over time but less likely if you pick an area where all the schools are good. Also research catchment areas which often take away the notion of choice.

You would be submitting an application when the child is 3 ready to start when they are 4. with housing it really is all about location location location.

Felinewonderful Mon 13-Nov-17 10:03:28

My dcs go to a school that "requires improvement" according to ofsted. However it is lovely, nurturing, treats the children individually and holistically, thry are happy there and doing well. Ofsted sometimes rate schools in more deprived areas as good/outstanding as the children may have had lower starting points and made very good progress. I wouldn't purely go on ofsted reports.

doodle01 Mon 13-Nov-17 10:09:46

School near to friends

keepingbees Mon 13-Nov-17 10:22:28

As others have said schools can change massively, so if you had children of your own by the time they reached school age it could all be very different anyway.
I would use ofsted as a loose guide only. My child hated every moment of his ofsted ‘outstanding’ primary school, which was pushy, horrible and cliquey. Loads of children hated it and left. He’s now perfectly happy at his secondary which ‘requires improvement’ but is supportive and friendly and offers the children lots of opportunities.
If the schools worry you then go and have a look round them and get a feel. It will be a much more accurate insight than an ofsted report.

undertheradarplease Mon 13-Nov-17 10:35:25

@keepingbees you pipped me to the post - I absolutely second everything you're saying. I do t think I'd go so far as to say Ofsted reports are a load of rubbish though personally I think they are but IMO there are definitely other factors to take into account when choosing a school place.

My daughter attended an 'outstanding' school and i hated the place - full of helicopter parents, lack of diversity and a 'suck it up or move on' attitude from senior leadership.

I'd be more interested in the vibe I get when I visit a school, any recommendations from local parents, extracurricular opportunities, sense of community within the school etc. Hope you enjoy your new home flowers

SarahH12 Mon 13-Nov-17 11:22:00

How do you get that vibe before you have DC? I can't really say to the local schools, excuse me but do you mind if I come in and have a look around as I want to buy a house but we dont have DC just yet.

JacquesHammer Mon 13-Nov-17 11:27:00

Bear in mind that any school applications you do are merely a request, nothing more.

There is no guarantee you will even get your nearest school.

Lethaldrizzle Mon 13-Nov-17 11:27:35

As long as they have a stimulating nurturing home life most kids will thrive in most primary schools. (In my experience ). I've never moved or lived anywhere because of the schools and all my kids have thrived.

Sparklingbrook Mon 13-Nov-17 11:28:22

Very often anyone can go to things like the Summer Fete, and there's usually Open Days in the year for prospective pupils, and anyone who wants to look around.

paxillin Mon 13-Nov-17 11:38:32

Schools are irrelevant for not-yet conceived or even planned kids. The vibe of an area can change a lot in 5 years. Gentrification or going down hill.

One of the schools we visited when doing the rounds was Ofsted outstanding and in special measures 2 years later. Another was adequate and is now outstanding. A couple remained stably "good" and many changed from good to adequate or the other way.

Floellabumbags Mon 13-Nov-17 11:48:49

Remember a lot of OFSTED outstandingness is to do with ticking boxes (and paying a business manager £30k a year to ensure that you do).

keepingbees Mon 13-Nov-17 12:06:06

You would get a vibe I think. You don’t have to tell them your situation, you could just say you are looking for a step child that may be coming to live with you. They don’t need to know any more than that just to have a quick look round.

paxillin Mon 13-Nov-17 12:34:39

But the vibe now is irrelevant to a not-yet planned baby. If they planned this baby tonight and conceived quickly, they'd need a place in 2022 or 2023.

None of our local schools have the same vibe as 5 or 6 years ago. Areas change.

AnUtterIdiot Mon 13-Nov-17 12:40:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

paxillin Mon 13-Nov-17 12:47:28

I looked around quickly around a year before application deadline; enough time to react and closely enough to the deadline to be applicable. But even that guarantees nothing, because it still is almost 2 years before starting.

Hoppinggreen Mon 13-Nov-17 12:54:24

Just be careful taking the advice given that your children can go to schools not very close to your house
You can certainly apply to schools some distance away but if allocation is decided by proximity ( usually is) you won't get a place - unless the school is very undersubscribed, which not tends to happen if people don't want to heir children to go there

Sparklingbrook Mon 13-Nov-17 13:08:31

In these parts there tends to be places at the village schools due to there not being enough children in the village to fill them, so they exist because children from the surrounding are go there.

But village schools aren't for everyone, and the leap to the large middle school in Year 6 was probably worse than Middle to High in Year 8.

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