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Would you move from private to state ?

(21 Posts)
abcdangel Wed 20-Nov-13 11:41:15

DD1 is at private school, but as far as I can tell, is wasting the chance to achieve her full potential. She is 14 and has just started on her exam subjects. If I moved her I would be doing so when she's 15, so half way through the syllabus.

The feedback I get from school is that her work is adequate but sometimes appears rushed or not detailed enough. She is constantly in trouble for not having the right books, she has had detentions and "causes for concern" for not handing homework in and her school bag is a shambles. I try to help and have discussed things with the school but nothing seems to make any difference.

There's not a bad bone in her body - she has never been pulled up for disruptive behaviour or for being mean, rude or unpleasant for which I am grateful.

My dilemma is that I choose this school because of excellent academic results. DD1 is not in the least bit sporty or drama oriented so doesn't really benefit from that side of things.

I am starting to feel that I'm wasting my money - not because the school is letting us down but because DD1 is letting herself down. If the drive and desire to do well just isn't there then would I be better just moving her to the local state school and say blowing all the money I save on trips to the Maldives putting the money away for a deposit on a flat for her?

senua Wed 20-Nov-13 11:49:11

She is 14 and has just started on her exam subjects. If I moved her I would be doing so when she's 15, so half way through the syllabus.

Arf. You know that you seriously wouldn't do that. Remind yourself that it's not just about the exam results.

Then look elsewhere for sixthform.

Elibean Wed 20-Nov-13 11:49:49

Is she happy there? How would she feel about being moved half way through her syllabus?

Does she have an opinion on why she isn't more motivated to slow down/pay attention to detail (she probably doesn't know, but just in case!)?

Timetoask Wed 20-Nov-13 11:53:32

So, basically, you feel you are wasting money on her? I don't think this is not a question about private vs state.
She is only 14, don't give up on her just yet.

Shootingatpigeons Wed 20-Nov-13 11:58:35

Do not move her half way through GCSE, it would be cruel. Where she is she will have time to wake up next year and start working. If you move her she will have no chance of catching up with new syllabuses etc. unless she works incredibly hard, and she will have all the trauma of a move, making new friends, adjusting to a new schools processes etc etc GCSEs are very much knowledge based as well as skills, you cannot expect her to go to a new school and pick up where she left off. If you want to move her and save money do it after GCSE. If she isn't coping well with a small hill why would you put a mountain in front of her just so you can go to the Maldives

Have you tried talking to her, perhaps putting it to her that you are doing your bit and she isn't doing hers? Perhaps even using the threat, if there isn't an improvement by x, then.......

The messy school bag and disorganisation is ringing alarm bells . My DD is Dyspraxic and I have to encourage her to go the extra mile to organise herself. Even if it is just lazy ness, have you helped her with organisation, kept tabs on homework diaries etc. For some DCs it doesn't come naturally

abcdangel Wed 20-Nov-13 12:01:20

Yes you're probably right senua - and thanks to Eli and Time for comments too.

Moving her mid syllabus would be disruptive and unsettling, and realistically I would let her sit her exams where she is (the results may surprise us), and then consider our options.

It's really not a question of giving up on her though, it's more a question of I kind of view the fees as an investment in her to try and make the future as bright as it can be for her. So when it boils down to it if she's not that engaged, or bothered would the money be better invested in helping her onto say the property ladder later?

Ladymuck Wed 20-Nov-13 12:03:31

THere are points at which you can move. Sometimes you have to suck up a terms notice. If she has started year 10, then you really have to finish what you've started, until the end of year 11. If she is year 10, then no harm in making sure that she is looking round at her 6th form options now, so that she can see the grades she needs.

If she is Year 9, then you still have a chance to move her, but you need to be quick as you will want to be in situ at a state school before GCSE options choices are made. You will lose next terms fees, but save the 7 terms after that. You obviously need to phone your local state options and see what spaces are available.

A look at the other schools may give her some focus.

abcdangel Wed 20-Nov-13 12:11:11

She's chosen her subjects, so even though I am threatening it, I would not realistically move her before she sat her exams. She may surprise us with the results.

Shooting - dyspraxia has been mentioned to me before, but how would I go about getting a diagnosis, and even if it was positive, where do you go from there? I check bags, check her games kit, ask have you got all your books, check the homework diary etc. I get extreme resistance from her as she feels I am interfering or criticising and I feel wiped out by it.

lljkk Wed 20-Nov-13 12:15:09

would I move an unmotivated DC out of private to state just because I only chose the private for high exam results; no.

I might move because the school was a bad fit for my child's interests & talents though, which might be another way of looking at the situation.

Shootingatpigeons Wed 20-Nov-13 17:33:43

abc I completely share your pain (especially as it doesn't come easily to me either) . I encourage and sometimes force her to keep on top of her bags, files, homework etc. (the notes she is supposed to be filing away need keeping an eye on as well or you spend a day sorting it out just before exams) It is just a process of negotiation, incentive and, yes, threats. We also have endless checklists and tables / mind maps because it is better if everything she has to do is written down and not necessarily in a list. People with Learning Differences face a number of problems with organisation, firstly their working memory and processing skills may not match their intelligence, so the working memory may filter out important stuff as well as inconsequential stuff you don't need, and even if important stuff does get into your hard drive as it were, then you may not be able to retrieve it at all or in order. They also do not think in detail, they tend to think in terms of patterns and the whole (actually a strength, why so many CEOs are dyslexic) so grids, mind maps etc may be better ways of storing / retrieving information. All this applies to academic work too. By the way this is my interpretation in the light of my DDs and myself but everyone is different. I am not an expert, and I may not be retrieving it very well either!

If you seriously suspect serious problems with organising things and thoughts, and her potential is not being reached I would try school first, but understanding of Specific Learning Difficulties can be patchy amongst teachers. They tend to think it is either just problems with literacy skills, dyslexia, or clumsiness, dyspraxia, and a lot of bright pupils with Learning difficulties develop coping strategies that enable them to achieve right up until they face GCSE, A level or uni. If you are paying fees already, presumably you could run to a private assessment by an Educational psychologist, here they cost around £400. For us it has been money well spent because you and your DC understand your DCs exact strengths and weaknesses and they will give you suggested coping strategies too. Plus my DDs working memory and processing scores are so far beneath her ability she gets extra time in exams to enable her to show her ability. It also helps my DD understand why she is like she is, and to be more receptive some of the time to me facilitating her. I have spent my life wondering how people can be so organised and feeling inadequate and a bit stupid. At school, I just developed a façade of not caring.

Talkinpeace Wed 20-Nov-13 17:48:49

is she in year 9 or year 10?
just that lots of state schools start gcse in year 10 so if you move her in year 9 she'd be ahead of the curve and have the chance to consolidate what she knows and get into the top sets at the state school and excel

eatyourveg Wed 20-Nov-13 17:52:09

an appt with the senco asap

Your mention of being disorganised immediately raised alarm bells with me too. Most good sencos would have a SpLD qualification (think its level 5) but it varies. Do raise the question.

moving schools at this stage would be hard enough, but if she is disorganised, getting use to a new routine, new people, not to mention basic orientation around the buildings would be a complete nightmare

Itscoldouthere Fri 22-Nov-13 13:02:37

abc I also share your pain with DS, but we moved out of state into private in yr 9 with the hope that he would become more motivated in a smaller more personal environment.

He likes school more than he did but is still not really working as hard as he should.

His mock GCSEs start in two weeks and I'm hoping the results may shock him into working harder as I don't expect him to do very well (although I would be delighted if I was proved wrong).

I'm not sure if we should move him for 6th form as I'm not sure he's A level material and that is all his school offers, but if we do move him he would miss out on the small class sizes and teachers who now know him.

It's really hard, I often feel I'm wasting our money but he really struggled in large classes and he does at least seem happy, which is what you want for teenagers.

I wouldn't move you DD now, I think it would be such a big distraction having to make friends etc, I would wait and see how she does next year, our teachers say that often the ones that have not picked up the pace by the beginning of yr 11 do so after their mock results!

AmberTheCat Fri 22-Nov-13 13:14:17

If the drive and desire to do well just isn't there then would I be better just moving her to the local state school

Absolutely, because state schools are full of children with no drive and desire to do well. She'd fit right in.


Why did you only quote part of what the OP said just to try to score a point.
The OP was clearly saying that it may not be the best use of the money to spend it on education if her DD isn't making the most of the private school and that the money would be better spent on providing for her DD's future in another way.

This might give you some strategies to deal with some of the practical problems in school

Talkinpeace Fri 22-Nov-13 16:50:22

TBH a lot of state schools are MUCH better at dealing with disorganised / undiagnosed LD / lower ability kids than private schools
because they HAVE to and are given specific resources to

AmberTheCat Fri 22-Nov-13 20:17:38

Sorry - unnecessarily snipey. I apologise. I get cross at the assumptions many people on here seem to make about state schools, but appreciate that wasn't op's intention here.

Fair enough flowers

aciddrops Sun 24-Nov-13 12:32:33

How is she at reading and spelling. Dyslexia can also make organisation difficult. There may be an underlying reason why she is not engaging fully.

abcdangel Tue 26-Nov-13 12:21:42

Thank you all for your helpful replies.

After another phone call from school last regarding homework not being handed in and DD constantly turning up to lessons without text books, we have had a chat and implemented some measures which I hope will help DD. This does involve us getting a lot more involved (which depending on her mood is often met with resistance), but it does seem to be helping her a bit.

Removing her from school is really not a serious option, I was more thinking aloud and canvassing for opinion. It would be far too unsettling at a delicate age.

DD is definitely not dyslexic, her reading and writing skills are very advanced and always have been, but having researched dyspraxia, she definitely displays a lot of the associated behaviours. School has a very good support for learning department, so my next step is to go back to her teacher and ask for her to be supported at school too.

Itscold - I hope your son's exams go well.

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