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Discrimination, we're too good for local school?!?!

(16 Posts)
Levanna Thu 03-Feb-05 23:35:07

I've not really come across this before. DD1 is due to start at our local community nursery/primary in September. This morning I had a preliminary meeting with the outreach worker for the school. She basically said that the local school is new, fantastic staff, very pro play and learn, social skill building, etc. Then pointedly asked whether I had considered enrolling DD1 at the local RC school, or another local primary (renowned for bullying, lack of supervision, etc) as children come from far and wide to avail of the facilities at our local school (the one which DD1 is enrolled with). People who are more deserving of gaining a 'better' education? She went on to encompass DD1's crayons/paper/art material and said "Not everyone has things like this you know"! I really am quite irritated by this . She has assumed that we will not need extra support of any kind, but hasn't thought to ask whether there are learning problems in the family or whatnot. I don't have a local accent, and I'm truly p!ss£d off with people assuming that it relates directly to IQ! Does DD1 have any particular right to attend her local school over children from other areas? (It is literally two streets away.)

aloha Thu 03-Feb-05 23:39:03

I would also be very pissed off. Your daughter has just as much right to decent education as anyone else. And I very much support the right of parents to send their child to the nearest school that suits their child. Also your child is a person in her own right, not just an offshoot of you - you aren't taking the place, your child is. I find it quite incredibly that having crayons (!) means your dd is too posh for the local primary. Madness!

Joolstoo Thu 03-Feb-05 23:39:40

I'm confused - are you saying the school your dd is zoned for don't want her to go because there are other children outside zone who need them more?

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Thu 03-Feb-05 23:40:37

What rubbish!!!!!!!! That sort of stuff makes my blood boil!

Gwenick Thu 03-Feb-05 23:45:27

I'm just glad that not only do I live right next door to my local school (which incidently was mentioned in the latest Ofsted annual report published the other day as a "particularly successful school - am I chuffed for buying this house 1yr before DS1 starts school or what , but I also 'know' the headmistress as she goes to our church and has alrady told me that DS will be starting in September.

That's certainly not right though what's happened to you

Levanna Thu 03-Feb-05 23:59:49

Joolstoo, she was assuming that due to my accent and the fact my DD1 has crayons she ought to go to a less successful school. That other children who don't have crayons and who's parents have a local accent might be more deserving of a better education (even if they live several miles away). Aside from all that was said, I find it particularly irritating in that I do have a learning disorder (dyscalculia) and it may well have been inherited by my children, we may therefore need this support just as much as anyone else, let alone have a right to it anyway! Gwenick, though we had been considering other forms of education (no longer possible), we also bought our house as it is near to one of the better schools in the area.

Levanna Fri 04-Feb-05 00:02:06

Marslady and Aloha........ exactly that!

Joolstoo Fri 04-Feb-05 00:04:39

I'm absolutley gob-smacked - that these comments were ever uttered!

How arrogant!

Gwenick Fri 04-Feb-05 00:04:50

Just had a thought - are you sure she wasn't just making sure that you'd put DD's name down at more than one school (in our LEA we're advised to put down 3 - in order of preference) 'in case' we don't get into our first choice (sp). It could be as it's an excellent school that it's also over subscribed and in our LEA we're advised to have 2 'backup' choices 'incase' they don't get a place at their first choice (or they could end up anywhere).

DS1's nursery is like that - but they have special facilities for SN pupils - and they HAVE to give a certain number of places to children that will use those services even if they DON'T live in the catchment area.

It could be that you misinterpreted what she was saying????

Levanna Fri 04-Feb-05 00:29:08

Gwenick, AFAIK they don't have specific SN places (though of course they quite possibly do). SN's weren't mentioned at all. Certainly no queries were made to me regarding possible SN's / learning disorders, etc. It just all seemed to be loosly bsed on her perception of our family / us as parents. She was here for all of fifteen minutes!

Grrrrrrr (A low rumbling growl!)

Socci Fri 04-Feb-05 00:38:53

Message withdrawn

Levanna Fri 04-Feb-05 00:46:31

I'd love to Socci, thing is, she has a lot of say regarding who has a place there (or not!). Maybe I'll bypass her and speak to the head?
DD1 didn't take to her though; she made the lady 'dinner' then held out her hand with the 'food' on it and the lady just took her hand and held it. DD1: "You squashed your dinner I made you!" DD1 ignored her from that point on! Hard to deal with someone with so little imagination.

Socci Fri 04-Feb-05 00:52:43

Message withdrawn

frogs Fri 04-Feb-05 16:21:44

Check what the admissions criteria for the school are. If the school is a community one (ie. normal state school run by local authority, not voluntary-aided etc.) then the admissions criteria will be laid down by the LEA and will almost certainly include:
1. Special educational needs
2. Attendance of siblings at the school
3. Distance of child's home from the school
probably but not necessarily in that order.

I find it hard to imagine that social criteria play any part; I expect it was just an ignorant prejudiced comment by an individual school worker. Doesn't bode well, though

Ellbell Fri 04-Feb-05 20:32:06

My dd has just started in reception, so we've just gone through this.

In our area the criteria are much the same as in Frog's...
1. SEN which can best be met by this particular school (this will, afaik, refer to only a small number of children)
2. Siblings at the school
3. Living in the catchment area. (You do need to check your catchment area, though, because sometimes the 'borders' of the catchment area are odd, and even though you live very close you may not be in the catchment area for that particular school - this happened to us in our previous house, but we moved from the SE to the N when dd was 3, so avoided the problem!)

School can only take kids from outside the catchment area once they have offered places to all those from within the catchment area who want them. They may well TRY to help people who live outside the catchment area (e.g. my childminder also looks after a little girl whose parents live in a different town altogether, but who'd like to send her to the same school my dd goes to, so as not to have to change childminder when she reaches school age and the school has basically said that they will try to help, but it's a case of 'wait and see'.

In our area we also had to put down a 'reserve' choice, in case we didn't get dd into the 1st choice school. It's best to do this, because otherwise the LEA will just slot your child in wherever there's a gap!

As for the ignorant woman who came round to see you... just ignore her. You are right to be cross, but it does seem to have been a stupid comment by a stupid person, and I'd leave it at that.

(BTW, I am also conscious of being 'judged' sometimes for not having a local accent! But I talk how I talk, and can't do anything about it. My dds are already starting to develop 'northern' vowels, though! Cute!)

morningpaper Fri 04-Feb-05 20:36:34

> Does DD1 have any particular right to attend
> her local school over children from other areas?

It depends on the school's admission criteria, as other posters have said. The answer for my local primary would be 'no'.

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