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So, how far would you go to get your dc a place at the school of your choice?

(29 Posts)
frankbestfriend Wed 17-Jun-09 15:50:34

My 8yo dd attends a local primary school, and all in all I have been very happy with her progress there, and with the support they have provided. She has lots of friends, is fairly popular and outgoing, and has made strides academically since she started ks2.

Our local comprehensive is OK, not brilliant but adequate, and has fairly high truancy rates which do concern me.

However, 4 miles away we have a comprehensive which has been named as one of the best in the country, rated outstanding in all areas, fantastic facilities, and a headmaster who has been knighted for his services to education.
This comprehensive has formed a trust with the local primary schools in the area, and one consequence of this is that all the primary schools that form this trust become feeder schools, with priority for places at the comprehensive.

I now have the opportunity to move dd to one of these feeder schools, which would almost guarantee her a place at this comp.
However she is settled at her current school, and I would really rather not disrupt her primary education.

So wwyd? Move her now, and lose the worry about where she will go at 11? Or keep her where she is, and possibly have to go through an appeals procedure in 3 years, with no guarantee of success?

titchy Wed 17-Jun-09 16:03:20

I'd probably move her, but not until the admissions criteria for the super duper secondary has been published for her year of entry! They do settle quite quickly at this age.

We have the same issue - our primary feeds into one of the best comprehensives in the region, BUT you also have to live within a 2 km radius, and the criteria changes each year so even those parents to do movve run the risk of not actually getting a place.

frankbestfriend Wed 17-Jun-09 16:10:06

The criteria is as follows

Priority 1-special needs
2-siblings
3-feeder schools
4-other pupils in the area
5-other pupils outside the area(ie my dd)

This year, after priorities 1-3 were placed, there were only 10 places left for numbers 4 and 5, and approximately 140 applications.

frankbestfriend Wed 17-Jun-09 16:11:16

Also, the criteria is not changing in the forseeable future.

frankbestfriend Wed 17-Jun-09 16:12:56

Ooops, also meant to say that places in the feeder schools are being taken up very quickly, so waiting could be a gamble.
It's really a case of now or never, iyswim.

frogs Wed 17-Jun-09 16:16:19

If I liked the feeder school, it was logistically possible to get her there and I was happy with the possible knock-on effects on any other dc, then I'd probably go for it, tbh. But obviously you can only make that decision based on the relative merits of the schools involved.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Wed 17-Jun-09 16:17:39

How well do you think your daughter would cope with the social aspects of moving school? Would she make new friends reasonably easily? Would she be able to stay in touch with her current friends (through Brownies or whatever)? If it wasn't for the feeder issue, would you be happy with the new school?

If the answer to all these questions is positive and you don't think the move would have any other disastrous effect on your family, I think I'd probably go for it. But, as titchy says, it's a gamble if there's any chance that the criteria might change.

LynetteScavo Wed 17-Jun-09 16:22:04

I would leave her where she is, and then move house to guarentee a place at your preferred comp.

But I'm barmey.

Maybe discuss it with your daughter and see how she feels about moving.I'm moving my 6 year old in september from a school he's very happy at, and he doesn't seem at all bothered.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Wed 17-Jun-09 16:26:02

Good point about asking your dd what she feels. I moved my dd between schools, but probably wouldn't have done if she had been strongly against it.

frankbestfriend Wed 17-Jun-09 17:30:00

Moving is not an option, Lynette.
Children from feeder schools have priority regardless of where you live.
Had a chat with her tonight and she seems happy with the plan. The feeder school is also outstanding, and yes, she can stay in touch with her friends. There are also a few children there she already knows, which hopefully will make the transition easier.

LynetteScavo Wed 17-Jun-09 17:36:43

Then moving her seems like the best thing to do. smile

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Wed 17-Jun-09 18:04:44

No-brainer - move her... she can still her old friends but will addtionally have new ones, and those new ones will be with her thru secondary also... Go, go, go!!

titchy Wed 17-Jun-09 18:29:43

If the criteria is likely to stay the same then yes I'd agree move her. But do watch ou that the school over the next couple of years doesn't start to slip compared to the one she'd go to now.

NorthernLurker Wed 17-Jun-09 18:33:28

As things stand yes you should move her.

UnquietDad Wed 17-Jun-09 18:34:04

Oh, this is just a geographical question. I thought it was going to be another of those "pretend to be religious, use gran's address or lie about where you live" threads.

Metella Wed 17-Jun-09 18:54:22

From what you say, you should move her now.

senua Wed 17-Jun-09 19:31:26

How will she get to and from the preferred comp, four miles away? Is there decent public transport whose timetable dovetails with the school day (whether that be normal chucking out time or after extra-curricular activities)?

frankbestfriend Wed 17-Jun-09 21:37:56

See what I did there, UQD?
Pulling in the punters with the thread titlegrin

Would you feel less cheated if I told you I also offered to sell aforementioned Gran in return for a place?wink

Senua, the transport links are great, buses every 15 minutes.
Dd has clarinet lessons at her current school, which aren't on offer at the new one, but that is the only drawback I can find at the moment. I will look into getting her a private tutor.

Thanks for your input, everyone. I know it seems like a no brainer, just needed to get a different perspective. We are visiting the new school on Wednesday, hopefully dd can make a smooth transitionsmile

UnquietDad Thu 18-Jun-09 10:02:29

Of course, now that I've said that, there is one of the above type threads this morning!

mrsshackleton Thu 18-Jun-09 15:31:03

Move her

I moved schools loads when I was a kid, you get over it quickly and learn to be adaptable and make new friends. Valuable skills. Good luck

TwoSunnyDays Thu 18-Jun-09 16:16:35

I would move her as well.

faraday Mon 22-Jun-09 20:11:32

I moved mine! 3 weeks ago!

DS1 (Y5) moved at half term to a feeder for the secondary that we favour. The house move will get him the place, not the feeder status (that's lower in the pecking order!) BUT we felt it was important to get DS a few friends lined up prior to Big School. ALL the kids there come from one of 6 feeder schools (or preps). The house move was only a couple of miles. Things were a bit more complicated for us in that for rental and immigration reasons, DS1 didn't live in his previous school's catchment (2.5 mile drive!) anyway. We lived 1 mile from the nearest secondary but that ISN'T the one 90% of his junior schoolmates would be attending! And I wasn't that taken with the catchmented secondary for his old school so we said sod it. We rent, let's get some advantage out of this, let's move a couple of miles and effectively 'buy' ourselves the opportunity for DS to attend one of the best comps in the county.

Now, 3 weeks in, it's fair to say the honeymoon is over- DS is managing admirably but of course has now lost the 'new boy' cachet and it trying to muddle in with kids who've known each other for 6 years. The new school is educationally very similar to the old but I AM feeling guilty that I dragged DS1 away from his mates etc etc BUT I am very aware that a) he still sees his old mates at least twice a week and b) the reality is he was heading in a different direction to these other kids anyway.

It is my belief and hope that we have done the right thing!

newgirl Mon 22-Jun-09 20:15:44

are feeder schools normal? i dont think we have them in our area in herts?

in your situation it sounds sensible

faraday Wed 24-Jun-09 15:55:55

Can vary from school to school within an authority, I believe!

The advantages of a feeder is that the primaries and secondary can work together to a greater extent so make the transition more seamless; the DCs will definitely know a good %age of the DCs at the secondary and it can provide a possible 'way in' if you can't live in catchment for the desired secondary.

frankbestfriend Wed 24-Jun-09 16:09:22

I have been for a meeting with the Head of the new school this morning, and everything is in place for the move. However dd's current school is dragging it's feet on the transfer form, so I have no confirmation of a place. 4 other children were looking round the school at the same time, so I am now obviously worried that dd's place will be taken before I can manage to extract the paperwork from our current Head.

newgirl, no, feeder schools are not 'normal', this one has formed a trust with local primaries and opted out of the LEA's control.

The school was amazing, music, drama and language teachers from the high school visit to take lessons, and the children have lots of opportunities to visit the high school for lessons and to use the facilities. These are the main advantages of the trust.

How long can the Head reasonably take to complete the paperwork? I am concerned she is delaying on purpose, as she was a little put out about the move. Can I ask her to hurry up? Or do I have to accept she is a busy woman and risk losing dd's place?

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