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Would you move to an area where the secondary schools have made it on the worst in the country list?

(15 Posts)
CarlHickbread Sun 28-Jan-18 09:19:39

The area is nice but the schools are failing the pupils. DH is adamant he wants to move to the area as he grew up there and his family live there. He says hopefully the schools will improve by the time our small DCs start secondary school. To me that seems like a huge (and expensive) gamble to take.

We currently live in the catchment area for outstanding primary and secondary schools and are only 20 minutes drive from his family anyway so I don’t see the need to leave our current area.

Can I ask what you would do if you were in this situation?

I’m unsure as to weather I ABU about wanting to stay put.

EssentialHummus Sun 28-Jan-18 09:22:52

Four schools in my borough are on that list. It doesn’t seem to reflect the quality of schools, so I suggest you investigate in person and, yes, prepare for them to be different one way or another in 10 years.

bringbacksideburns Sun 28-Jan-18 09:22:54

I know of one school that went from special measures to outstanding in six years. Be aware it can go the other way too. Which area do you prefer? I would probably stay put if the area you are in is not too bad and family are closer should you need them.

CarlHickbread Sun 28-Jan-18 09:28:32

Thanks for the replies, I was shocked that the schools were on the list to be honest. My nephew goes to one and is doing brilliantly.

I prefer the area that we are currently in as I like village life and prefer the area for DCs as it’s generally safer. Also far less traffic and more easily accessible to both of our work.

I’ve considered signing us up for Location Location Location to have a 3rd party help us to make a decision!

LizardMonitor Sun 28-Jan-18 09:30:17

The scores certainly don’t tally with parental choice or perception or pupil experience in our borough!

It seems a bit mad to move 20
Mins away if you are happy where you are. How does it pan out for work?

Badhairday1001 Sun 28-Jan-18 09:34:55

There are schools in my area on that list that have a really good reputation and happy parents and children. I've also worked I some of them and my experience doesn't match the ratings. You need to investigate them yourself and make your own decision. More importantly, do you actually want to move?

twinone Sun 28-Jan-18 09:38:00

I would stay put.
We moved for a lifestyle change, starting a business on our land.
In my naivety, I didn't think schools could be so different at such a relatively small distance from each other. Still the same county council.
We moved when youngest dd was in yr5, she remained at primary.
Looking at secondary schools sent me into a blind panic. There was only 1 I would have been happy with her going to and even that was reluctantly. I even looked out of county, we live on the border, for my 2nd and 3rd choices.
I seriously wished we'd stayed put, got her into the good school her dsis was in and then move.
As it happens, she got into the grammar school but that is 07:30 bus so not ideal.

MaisyPops Sun 28-Jan-18 09:43:48

In my LA the 'top' few schools on the league tables for progress 8 are crap. I wouldn't send my kids there in a million years.

They get low entry levels from ks2, limit the curriculum, push almost every child onto BTEC routes because it removes the pressure of final exams, they don't offer a broad and balanced curriculum and the extra curriculars are poor. All of them have been in special measurss or close to it in the last few years. They've generally become 'good' in ofsted's eyes by strategically limiting their curriculum so thry get the most points per child for progress 8.

Then there are a few 'average' schools in the league tables. All over subscribed, great broad curriculum, the heads know they'll get the numbers, and they have waiting lists, ofsted consider them outstanding at the moment (though i fear what will happen is the crap schools who shove pupils onto whatever courses fit their league tables will score better than us at our next inspection). They don't push 75% of the year onto a reduced curriculum and make them alll sit the ECDL over 2 days (which some weaker schoola did to get more points for league tables), thry don't tell kids at y9 they must do limited options. They have excellent teachers, low staff turnover, good results (but also lots of high ks2 entry so if a child has a target of a 9 then they can only get a 0 on progress 8 because there's no way to 'add value').

I'd send my children to any of those schools in a heartbeat (including the one where i work).

League tables and ofsted are increasingly an unreliable way to judge a school in my opinion. People can do very well by limiting children's education to make their figures look good.

TalkinPeace Sun 28-Jan-18 13:23:16

My catchment school is not on that list
only because its intake is so dire it makes progress with them
but its 400 empty spaces speak volumes.

Then again, my kids did not go to the catchment school - look beyond the headlines

Fulltimemummy85 Mon 29-Jan-18 16:49:32

I worked in a good school, wouldn't dream of sending my children there. It's now top school in the area. I wouldn't judge a school on progress 8 or Ofsted. Look at GCSE results and the children that go there.

Trampire Mon 29-Jan-18 17:05:55

I agree with Fulltimemummy.

I just looked at that half expecting my dd's secondary to be there. It's a long time successful school with a great reputation and very healthy (although never TOP) exam results.
According to the Progress 8 it's below average. However, I couldn't be happier with the school so far and my dd is doing great.

In my area there are schools that literally parents clamber to get their dcs into and they've just come out as just 'below average' for Progress 8. I also know some local schools that have done well for Progress 8, yet I wouldn't dream of sending my kids there!

There's no substitute for spending time at each individual school to get the whole feeling of a place. Yes, measures and ratings go up and down all the time but you need to look underneath them.

Personally, I wouldn't move for the sake of 20 mins (I wish I had family only 20 mins away!) but I would not make whole decisions on this 'worst of' list.

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 29-Jan-18 17:12:10

Can he articulate why he wants to move just 20 minutes away, beyond simply saying it's where he grew up/his family live? You could ask him to list the benefits to the whole family (you and the children) to moving to the area and see what he says. If there are no concrete benefits that outweigh the benefits of staying put, then he's basically just wanting to move for his own sake. Which doesn't seem fair.

FlibFlabFlob Mon 05-Feb-18 20:45:15

Although I think OFSTED is often meaningless and agree schools can change quickly, I have to say I probably wouldn't.

ChocolateWombat Wed 07-Feb-18 09:58:39

You need to get a sense of the longer term trend.
Unfortunately, areas of deprivation tend to have schools which struggle over many years. They may get a poor ofsted report, get lots of help and pull themselves up to 'good' before sinking again.
It depends on your children and the dictation you want for them too. Some schools offer mostly vocational qualifications and fewer academic ones. Might be okay for your kids or you might want the academic route.
Don't just look at info today, but ty to get the longer term picture. Sadly, if schools have been poor for many years and are in less good areas, they may well remain poor into the future.
You need to dig deeper than Progress 8 and ofsted for one year.

Thirtyrock39 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:00:53

Two schools in our area are on that list but they're doing loads better and the catchment is a middle class academic area - I'd take the list with a pinch of salt

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