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Deciding on secondary school,what would you do

(13 Posts)
Philly Tue 08-Feb-05 15:12:19

DS1 has just passed the exam for the local independent school which he is in the junior school for ,it is quite academic and has a strong work ethic although I would not call it a sausage factory as some very academic schools are.Although it is independent the fees are not as high as most independent schools and it has a fairly meritocratic intake.On the whole we are happy with it although I do have a few concerns that ds lacks confidence and the highly competitive environment does not always bring out the best in him.
However 6 months ago I started a new job in the neighbouring market town for a charity which also owns an independent school,coincidently where dh went.I subsequently found out that if we send ds here ,a more classic country uindependent school,we would get a huge discount off the fees.I do think its a good school,they really want ds and it is very good in terms of value added,lots of music and drama and does well academically despite taking a broader ability range BUT I have a gut feeling he would be better staying with his friends and I like the work ethic and atmosphere.
I suppose my dilemma is that the fees are a bit of a struggle sometimes and the help would be good especially as we have two other children and I keep thinking that I am silly not moving him as the differences are marginal .Also moving him would tie me to the job which I love but is that sensible when I've only been there 6 months.
Confused,any thoughts helpful!

littlemissbossy Tue 08-Feb-05 15:18:11

but would the discounted fees continue if you left the job you're doing?
where would your ds be happiest? how does he feel about the prospect about moving away from his friends?

Philly Tue 08-Feb-05 15:47:16

The discounted fees would only continue as log as I work there ,he is open too the idea of moving in theory but inpractice he has been there since he was 4 and I think it would be hard especially as he would be moving to one of teh schools main rivals ,only 10 miles away,where would he be happiest,the million dollar question?!

pinotgrigio Tue 08-Feb-05 16:05:47

I would go with your gut feeling. Reading between the lines it seems like you prefer the more academic one but are wondering if you could justify moving him to the other because of the reduced fees.

As a child I was shifted between schools at 10 and 13 and it did make life difficult trying to fit in with groups that had already been formed.

If however, the reduction in fees is significant enough to really benefit the whole family, then I would weigh that up too.

Barbaloot Tue 08-Feb-05 22:18:56

Usually at these sorts of schools there is a big turn around of children at 11, with around 50% new intake so there will be plenty of mixing of peer groups whichever you choose. The less selective one might be the better choice if there's a possibility your other children might not make the cut.
Do you live in Suffolk perchance?

Philly Wed 09-Feb-05 08:13:45

I do Barbaloot!Actually our second son has some speccial needs so is already at a different school,St Joes and teh youngest is a lot younger and will probably go where i work just as it's more convennient but we haven't decided yet he has another 18 months before he starts school.His year has done well and aprt fronm those who end up at the grammar they are all going up to the seniors.

Barbaloot Wed 09-Feb-05 17:26:00

Then you are choosing between the same schools as us (small world). DS is at the other school from yours, in the same year and very happy. He's also quite open to the idea of changing and will if he gets a scholarship at one & not the other or if we decide we like it better when we have our 'proper' tour after half term. At the moment though, staying where he is is looking like the preferred option as he's rather musical and I think academically he'll do fine at either. It's a good bunch of kids there, though I think we may loose a fair few of the girls to the local girls' schools this year. If I were you, I'd be unable to resist the discount and would try and move both sons there. Good luck whatever you decide.

Philly Wed 09-Feb-05 22:39:14

There is no possibility that ds2 would cope at either school so he has to stay where he is at the moment.Are you up for the scholarships at our current school?Like you we have a really nice year group and I would as well as him be very sorry to move,dh seems pretty set on leaving him where he is as he definately prefers the atmosphere and thinks that the advantagesof going up with a group are very strong.
Out of interest is the scholarship possibilty only reason why you are thinking of a move?I notice from another thread that you have a daughter who has dyspraxia,this is rather like ds2 ,how does she cope in the same school,I would be very interested as I had dismissed the idea for him.Like you say,small world!

Barbaloot Thu 10-Feb-05 13:05:08

Looked at some of your old threads too and see that your ds2 is very settled, so you'd be crazy to move him (if it ain't broke, don't fix it). However I have found our school has been very supportive of my dd. Initially, (and this was well before we had a clue what was different about her) they were very happy (indeed recommended) to start her in the year below her correct one (August birthday) which has transpired to be an extremely good decision. Until this year she was in a very small class (10/11), but now they have condensed her year to 2 classes from 3, which has taken it up to 17. She gets pulled out for 1-1 work twice a week. Her dyslexia/dyspraxia may not be very severe in the overall scheme of things, but she does suffer with self esteem issues and they are always finding ways to boost her confidence. She is rather in the shadow of her brother which is the main reason we may move him anyway. Against that: they do get on well; I like them to have shared school experiences; and of course, the convenience of having them at the same place (how do you manage?). DS was shortlisted for the scholarship interviews, but he felt he didn't do as well as he was able in the science questions at least. If he picks up an award at either place, he will 'go where he's wanted'; the pros and cons of the two schools seem to roughly balance out for us and I haven't a clue what would be best longer term.

Barbaloot Thu 10-Feb-05 13:12:01

I tried to CAT you but couldn't. If you want any more info, try CATing me. I do have rather active Spam filters at the moment, but I'll try & remember to sift it carefully before deleting.

Philly Thu 10-Feb-05 15:16:04

Actually the two different schools issue is not as much of an issue as you think it would be.So far I have not had any clashes of dates for important things (I think most of the schools around here do co-ordinate a bit)and the travelling is not so bad as ds2 finishes 10 minutes before ds1,of course next year the differential will be longer.Also there is a bus between the two schools which I may use at some point in the future.We would not have chosen to have had them in different schools but actually it has worked certainly to the second childs advantage in that when he is at school he is his own man and not some one else's brother,this is probably worse for us as he is a middle one.

Philly Sun 20-Mar-05 10:17:42

Thought I'd revive this and say thankyou to everyone for their responses.We decided in the end to leave ds1 where he is ,he really wanted to stay and I just have this gut feeling that it is the right place.
Barbaloot did you reacha similar decision?
Of course as one thing has settled another falls apart ,we have just heard that ds2 is losing his teacher and the classes will be amalgamated leaving him in a class of 23 ,there seem to be a lot of changes with the head of juniors also going so may have to think about whether there re alternatives for him if the worst came to the worst!

barbaloot Sun 20-Mar-05 20:14:29

Yes we are staying put too. Difficult choice - DS did like the head at your place and was quite keen to go.. until he had the tour of his own senior school and his friends and the music there swung him round.
Bad news about your ds2's class. What year is he in? I don't know any other local options for boys. Best of luck

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