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Hackney/Islington borders. DD only 3 month and school paranoia setting in already!

(15 Posts)
LightTripper Thu 07-Aug-14 10:27:41

Every so often I get asked what school DD will go to. When I say probably the local state primary parents of kids in the private sector look at me with HORROR. And to be fair the nearest school would not let us in (we are not religious) and the second nearest has only just gone up from Satisfactory to Good Ofsted and is very big and mixed (I was bullied at my primary for being the posh kid, so worry a bit about DD facing the same: hopefully she will be less shy and more resilient than I was but I obviously don't know yet! Although some friends assure me that primaries are much hotter on dealing with bullying these days).

But the private options are so varied, I may have missed to boat on the good ones already, and I worry that I'd just be paying to make sure DD doesn't have to mix with poor kids, which doesn't seem the best way to bring up a healthy balanced inquisitive and caring child.... On the other hand the pragmatic side of me says I should just register for a couple of private places in case the state options are terrible when we get there. The nearest is Rosemary Works, so I was thinking of trying to register for that and one more academic option, so we have a couple of choices when we see what DD is like and what the State options are when we get there! Would need to find somewhere with wraparound care, as we are likely to both still be working FT at least to begin with.

We are planning to find a nanny until DD is old enough for school. Haven't thought about secondaries but I suspect the most likely thing is we end up in the state sector outside London: but anything is possible.

Any views from those who've already faced/made these decisions? I really want to get it done so I can have a couple of years off thinking about it and stop having a wobble every time somebody asks me what we're doing!



cingolimama Thu 07-Aug-14 11:55:46

Light, I feel your pain. I'm in the area so know the schools well.

I wouldn't take a blind bit of notice of "horror" from parents of private school kids - they are ignorant of the alternatives. This is not to say that all state schools are great - of course they aren't. They vary wildly, as do private schools. BTW, I have no axe to grind if people choose private. We chose state primary, but are looking at private secondary.

Could I ask which state schools you're considering? And could I suggest that you actually go and see a couple of state primaries for yourself? And talk to other parents who actually have kids there. I know it's early days, but at the moment you're thinking in hypothetical terms, rather than what the reality is. Seeing what's on offer within the state sector might clarify things for you a little more.

Whatever you do, calm down and don't panic. I laughed when I read "so I can have a couple of years off thinking about it". You won't, IME, stop thinking about it, not if you're a conscientous parent (which I believe you must be).

LightTripper Thu 07-Aug-14 13:51:07

Cingoli, you make so much sense! My nearest (non religious) state is De Beauvoir, and looks like the new head is doing a good job. But isn't it a bit mad to visit when DD is 3 months old? It could change a lot in 5 years!!

I'm sure I can't forget it altogether for 2 years, but would like to have some options in my head at least :-)

I am just looking at her now, wiggling on the sofa next to me practicing her vowel sounds, and her favourite word ("Ning", which appears to mean "enough of Mumsnet already!") .... I haven't got my head around leaving her at all yet, let alone schools, surely that is CENTURIES away? ;-)

cingolimama Thu 07-Aug-14 14:18:23

Yes it's a bit mad to visit when DD is only three months old. As you say a lot can happen in five years (though actually it will be less than five years that you have to make the application). It's also a bit mad to be so stressed this early. Believe me, you haven't missed the boat for private. At all.

However, if you're worried about this and losing sleep, then I think more information can only be helpful. Talk to other local mums. When I was researching a primary, I loitered around a few school gates (god, that sounds dodgy!), and just went up and started talking to some of the parents who were very happy to share their experience at a particular school.

If you're considering private, you may want to check out City of London Girls and St. Paul's Cathedral, as from De Beauvoir it's quite close.

CruCru Thu 07-Aug-14 17:01:42

Hi OP. Other private schools that you may be interested in are The Children's House, The Lyceum, Charterhouse Square and Dallington.

I did a thread a while ago which you may find helpful.

North London schools

If you are looking at girls' schools, some you may want to look at are the Cavendish, Sarum Hall, St Christopher's.

smee Thu 07-Aug-14 17:22:41

Stop anxting! Honestly so much changes at schools quite quickly. The outstanding must go to school now could easily be the one least wanted when it's your DD's turn.

fwiw, my son goes to a primary just up the road in Dalston. He's got one year to go and is has always been very happy there. Great teaching, lovely lot of friends, it's a kind, caring, inspiring place. Most of the primaries in Hackney are really good now, as are the secondaries.

LightTripper Thu 07-Aug-14 18:33:05

Thank you everyone, I am feeling much calmer and a bit silly. Moral: do not listen to horror stories at BBQs (same woman looked shocked I had given birth at Homerton which should have been a clue!)

Will do a bit of research to get a sense of options, but good to know I don't need to panic yet!
blush blush blush blush blush blush blush blush blush

Toohotforfishandchips Thu 07-Aug-14 18:56:30

Go and see some state schools. You will be pleasantly surprised

fufulina Thu 07-Aug-14 19:01:58

Where are you? We were on Hackney/Islington borders and felt spoilt for choice. Ended up (through circumstance) having 4 different places (got third choice, then second choice before term started, then moved and got offered a school, then offered our nearest school) and all were great and we would have been fine with.
Seriously - state primary schools in London are largely good.

fufulina Thu 07-Aug-14 19:02:34

Ha! And I gave birth twice at Homerton and think it is a fantastic hospital.

fufulina Thu 07-Aug-14 19:03:46

Sorry for multiple posts - should think of everything before posting. A tip one mum gave me was to go to the spring/summer fairs. Gives you a really good insight into the school.

LightTripper Thu 07-Aug-14 21:07:08

That's a really good idea about the fairs, will do that. And I also found Homerton fantastic!

concernedaboutheboy Fri 08-Aug-14 16:08:12

The summer fairs will give you a good idea of the kind of parents who send their kids to the school, and how active the PTA is. They won't tell you much at all about the quality of education offered .....

I really, really wouldn't panic. A lot can change in 4 years - disastrous ofsteds, amazing ofsteds, heads going, heads arriving, academisation, new schools opening nearby.

When those parents raise their eyebrows at the prospect of sending a child to a state school, it may be worth nodding sagely and reminding yourself them that 93% of the country's children seem to come out of them alive wink

concernedaboutheboy Fri 08-Aug-14 16:09:34

this story is also interesting.

Toohotforfishandchips Fri 08-Aug-14 18:39:33

It's a good article and shows that state schools in any area can be awesome

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