Primary school appeal

(21 Posts)
Talster Sun 29-Nov-15 23:40:48

We are moving to Bonaly this week from Hertfordshire. Our house overlooks the headmasters office at our catchment school. However I have 2 boys, one going into P6, the other P3. Even with catchment and a sibling, my youngest is 4th on the waiting list. We started an appeal last week. I'm keen to know of anyone in a similar situation that's gone through an appeal and to know how successful or unsuccessful it was. We don't want to start my son in P6 untill we have a decision on our appeal but we have no idea how long it will take. We plan to put him in private at S1 either George Watsons or Heriots. Reading on here many seem to do that at P7 instead of S1. Is there still a large intake at S1 and has anyone experienced this, now worried about him being too late at S1 to fit in. A bit of a messy message but currently feeling rather frantic 😞. Any advice would really be appreciated, thanks X

catdil Mon 30-Nov-15 14:51:41

My husband works at s private school. Its main intakes are now p4 and p6. He says kids definitely benefit from at least one year in private primary before starting s1 and the difference for those starting in s1 can be quite marked. Obviously depends on kid. He has worked at a couple of private schools and found this the case at both. They just can use p7 to get used to how the school operates and integrate!

catdil Mon 30-Nov-15 14:53:40

I would also add my son joined in p6 and went from being top off his class in state to joe-slightly- below average at new private. He is in p7 and finding his feet socially and catching up daily now!

Talster Mon 30-Nov-15 17:49:17

Thanks catdil, that's really useful. So ideally we should put them into private now but I don't think we can do that financially, though I'm definitely concerned about going in later. My eldest has ASD so we need to avoid as many transitions as possible and it takes him longer than most to feel as though he fits in. I think we will have to sit tight and see what happens with the appeal then go from there. Thanks again xx

Athensofthenorth Mon 30-Nov-15 18:07:43

Sorry to perhaps add to your woes but GWC and Heriot will no doubt have a current waiting list for P6 and P7.

The upper primary assessments for entry at GWC for 2016/2017 are this Saturday. I think Heriots was this past weekend.

Both Heriot and GWC do a large intake in S1 though quite a large percentage are not successful in obtaining a place.

Colinton primary is near you as is Oxgangs perhaps if they have spaces it will give you some time to look at other options?

Talster Mon 30-Nov-15 18:27:31

Thanks Athensofthenorth and don't worry, it all seems quite gloomy right now. However it's reassuring to know there's still a large intake at S1. Oxgangs may have a space, I've been waiting for them to get back to me. I'm out off Colinton because of the movement of children, we love near a bad now and it can be quite unsettling formthrnin forces children. We also stand a chance of getting a P3 space in Juniper Green if we move into catchment. Only renting for 6 months whilst house hunting so that could be an option. With Currie as the high we could possibly stay in a state school then if needed. Huge decisions at an emotional time, feeling very drained, grhhh.

GrooveeCar Tue 01-Dec-15 23:12:43

Bonaly tends to be a school where the classes get smaller as they get older.
My dd's classmate moved to Bonaly and couldn't get a place and had to travel by bus every day to their school. His parents got fed up and moved back to our area and he got offered a place for P2.

One of my nephews is in P5 and Watsons don't have a place for him despite him having siblings in the school.

There seems to have been a baby boom around 2006 onwards and lots of schools not having places.

Noofly Thu 03-Dec-15 21:56:09

DS joined Watson's in P7 (and DD sits the exam on Saturday!). He definitely benefitted from having a year at the junior school before moving up, but there is a large intake at S1 and according to DS who is now in S2, you'd never know who joined when, so I wouldn't worry about P7 vs S1 entry.

Talster Fri 04-Dec-15 23:31:32

Thanks all for your advice, great to hear different opinions. Still no news on the appeal and we are here now, it's driving the kids mad as they see everyone going to school, hear the bell throughout the day etc and we've had a letter from the school saying that legally we should be educating our boys, however there is no space. No joy contacting the council either, they just never return our calls. It's really depressing, new to the city, trying to settle, the boys just need a routine and to make some friends, never thought it would be this tricky. Anyway, keeping positive for them and phoning around all the schools looking for places. If anyone has appealed, I'd love to know how it went. Thanks.

Athensofthenorth Sat 05-Dec-15 01:07:23

Hi OP, sorry to hear things are stressful at the moment

As far as I'm aware the Council only has an obligation to provide catchment places in P1 and S1. Out of these years it is up to the parent to contact schools directly to seek out places. So, as such appeals outwith these years come to nothing as they are not legally obliged to offer as space in the catchment.

As frustrating as it is, you may have to find a school outwith your area for the next year or so and look to purchase a property in catchment for the senior school years.

Talster Sat 05-Dec-15 14:14:09

Thanks for your honestly. Not good news but we are starting to get a more realistic picture. I just wish someone from the council would confirm this so we know where we stand and can move in, this limbo stage is awful. Monday will consist of phoning all the schools we can find I think! Now looking as far out as Currie, also wondering about ESMS. Location would be a nightmare for the next few months but we could move to that area next year. I've read mixed opinions regarding the split campus, does anyone have experience of ESMS?

3nationedinburgh Mon 07-Dec-15 09:16:05

There is a private bus that runs through Colinton in the mornings for ESMS directly and there are numerous local children who use the service. In the evenings there are lots of after school clubs and activities so not sure what the arrangements are but I'm sure there is an option.

3nationedinburgh Mon 07-Dec-15 09:20:31

However, most of the locals from Bonaly/Colinton would go to either Watsons or Heriots which are easily accessed by direct local bus from the village (number 45 ) or number 10 which goes pretty close to either

Talster Mon 07-Dec-15 09:57:01

Thanks @3nationedinburgh, I agree that Heriots or Watsons would be the obvious choice and with being new to the area we need the boys to establish friendships locally. We will still look at these for S1 but for now my eldest just wants to go local so will start at Bonlay ASAP. We are looking at Oxgangs, Colinton and Pentlands for my youngest and he can choose whether or not to move when a space becomes available at Bonaly. This way they should end up at the same school eventually!

TheApprentice Mon 07-Dec-15 10:24:02

hi. My boys just started at ESMS in P4 and P3 this August. Took them a while to settle but they are loving it now! (and we live a lot further out than you). If I was you I would contact the school about possible places. They don't do the assessments for younger kids (up to P5) in the same way as some other private schools - that is they don't have a set date and they often don't say yes or no straight away but put you on a waiting list or ask you to work on a particular area and then re assess them. (my older son was weak on spelling). I think it might be different for P6 upwards, with a set assessment date but your best bet is to call them and talk it though.

catdil Tue 08-Dec-15 23:01:23

When they hit p4 they would all be in the same campus (boys school) so it would be painful until then with your younger ones at Mary erskine campus.
It's a great school and I think boys in particular benefit from it!

badguider Tue 29-Dec-15 20:00:18

Kids in bonaly go to lots of schools so I wouldn't worry too much about local friends. I ran guides there for a bit and we had girls at heriots, watsons, st George's, Mary erskine and Firrhill as well as bonaly primary. For local friends id try a sports club or Cubs.

Groovee Tue 29-Dec-15 20:02:33

Is there any news on getting your DC into school?

Talster Wed 30-Dec-15 00:51:52

My youngest is at Oxgangs now and eldest at Bonaly. Oxgangs is a good school but traffic is awful with Firhill and Braidburn on the same road and my 9 year old with autism has to be home alone for half an hour before and after school, which I'm really not comfortable with.

My youngest is mostly happy but will move when a place comes up locally. His epilepsy has been out of control lately, most likely due to stress. It's so tedious battling against all the cars coming to Bonaly school to get out of our road each morning and drive to another school!

We had our appeal last week and failed, despite what was referred to as great evidence, including support form our neurologist and epilepsy Scotland, though I understand it's hard to overturn an appeal without going legal.

Will definitely look into cubs etc for making friends, thanks @badguider, also searching for a good local riding school and play centres. Our first choice will be Watsons at S1 as we've heard they have great provision for ASD there.

On a positive note my eldest is super settled at Bonaly already, though he sees everything I do as his classroom overlooks our house! We love the area and can't wait to be properly settled and involved in the community! A rough start but we are making the most of it.

Groovee Wed 30-Dec-15 08:51:03

There is a disabled riding school in Balerno or my friend's Dd rides at Braid Hills. My niece was at Lasswade but my sister was annoyed at time wasting and my niece only getting half her lesson time etc.

Talster Wed 30-Dec-15 10:30:58

Great thanks, the Braid Hills must be Tower Farm, I'll give them a call. Will also speak to Balerno too, thank you! X

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