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Best time to move for secondary school

(4 Posts)
redjumper Wed 22-Jun-16 20:25:19

I'm hoping for some advice from wise mumsnetters with older children. I have two children aged 3 and 1 and plan another next year too 🙈! We moved to our village near Leeds and York a few years ago and love it. The primary school is, by all accounts, lovely and I'm looking forward to the children going there. However, the local high school has a not-great reputation and was rated 3 by ofsted. I don't want my children to go there.

There is a good high school about 10 miles away but we are outside the catchment area. Some children from our village do go there and there is a school bus but a place certainly isn't guaranteed.

Private school might also be an option. However, it will be a financial struggle with 3 children and I don't want them travelling long distances and working long days. I want my children to come home by 4pm and have time to play with their friends in the evenings. There aren't many private schools near enough to allow for this so it probably isn't an option unless we move.

So, this leaves us in the position of either staying here and seeing what happens to the poor local school in the next 8 years. Or moving into the catchment of the good school/a private school. This is would be a shame as we've just settled here, we love our house, I've made some good mum friends, my 3 year old knows loads of local kids from preschool and we would be really happy here until high school age. I dread the idea of having to start all over again for the second time. Then again, it will be much harder if we leave it till the children are older.

My question is, when is a good time to move? As soon as possible maybe? Is there an age when you really wouldn't want to move children? I have in my mind that age 7 would be about the deadline for them but that's just a number plucked out of thin air really. Or am I mad for even thinking all this, should we just stick with the local school like everyone else? Is ofsted and reputation all that important?

bojorojo Fri 24-Jun-16 15:05:14

Gosh . Where to start. In 8 years the local school could be amazing! I would not necessarily trust the other school to stay amazing either, so therefore stay put at the moment. Move to catchment just before Y 6 if you absolutely need to and commute back to your current school. You will have a much clearer picture by then of what you want.

Often at secondary school, children make new friends from a wider area and, some of their previous friends may get into the school anyway. It is less of a big deal at 11 because many children expect change at that age and cope well with it.

HPFA Fri 24-Jun-16 20:36:57

My daughter's fabulous secondary school was rated 3 a few years ago so there is plenty of time for yours to improve. Having said that, why is it that it doesn't have a great reputation? Is it a difficult catchment area? Is there a nearby grammar so its intake isn't truly all ability? In other words is there a structural reason which might be difficult to overcome or is it just that a previous or exisiting head wasn't great?

TeenAndTween Sat 25-Jun-16 05:40:44

I would wait also, and only move in juniors.

A good school which gets a new head can go down hill rapidly.
A poor school with a new head can improve massively in a few years.

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