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School choice. What would you do?

(4 Posts)
NowUseeMe Sun 24-Jul-16 16:48:47

This may be a bit of a long winded one so I apologise in advance. I have three children, dd 13, dd 10 and ds 5. So, my older two children went to our local primary school. When it came to applying for secondary school for our eldest we desperately wanted her to go to the C of E school in the next town that was three miles away (so not too far). As it turned out our dd didn't get a place at the school despite being baptised locally and living within the parish. She failed to get a place because the primary school she was at was a community school so not a feeder to the secondary.

She wanted to go to this school but was just as happy with the second choice school, a community school, five minutes walk away that was the feeder school to the primary she was at.

At the time I wasn't impressed with the second choice school that dd ultimately ended up going to but it was the only reasonable second choice as all the other schools were too far away and not very good.

Prior to us finding out which secondary school dd1 had been allocated we had been having problems with dd2 at the primary school. She had experienced bullying whilst in year 2 and it continued into year 3. We had spoke with teachers and the head countless times yet nothing was done about it. I even tried to approach the mother of the child who was bullying my dd but she refused to accept there was a problem and so it continued. So a few months went by and in that time we found out that dd1 hadn't got a place at our first choice school. Both me and my dh had enough of seeing dd2 coming home in tears almost every day due to the boy who was bullying her so we decided that because our dd1 was moving to secondary (and to get her away from this boy) that it would be best to move her to another school. We researched this in depth and ultimately we decided on a school a few miles away that was brilliant, in every possible way, and just so happened it was a feeder to the secondary we initially wanted dd1 go to. Previously this school wasn't named as a feeder school so we had no idea but it had a long consultation period and was eventually named as one of the feeder schools.

Dd1 started secondary and is doing really well, although I still have my reservations about the school, but she's happy and achieving which is all I can ask for. Now dd2 is about to start in year 6 and come September we have to apply for secondary school for her. Since she started at the primary school (2 years ago) she was adamant she wanted to go to the C of E secondary which i was happy with as I originally wanted my eldest and her to attend the school but I realised she was only young and things could change by the time we came to applying.

At present like I said dd2 is due to go into year 6 and my youngest is going into year 1 in September. Dd2 is now undecided (although I realise ultimately it's mine and dh's decision) which secondary school she should go to. If she goes to the C of E school she will move up with all of her friends but she's worried that with most of them living in the next town (quite close to the secondary) she won't get to see them much outside of school. However there is another school in our town (less than half a mile away) that is also a feeder to the C of E secondary so she will meet other kids at the school that live close to our house so making friends locally shouldn't be a problem.

If she/we decide on dd1's school so a few minutes walk away she will be more local, obviously, and the majority of the kids that will go to the school will live locally like us However the C of E school, in mine and dh's opinion will meet her needs more than dd1's school. It does better academically and seems to have a staff that are committed and really care about the children attending and strive to help them full fill their potential.

So I am torn. If dd2 goes to the C of E school she wouldn't struggle to get there as I drop her younger brother off at school every morning and we drive past the secondary school on the way and if she had after school clubs then she could easily catch the bus home as there is a regular bus service that would drop her literally outside of our house. I suppose I'm just wondering about the friendship thing really and the fact that it's inevitable that the boy who was bullying her will move up to the local secondary school.
In a sense she'd have more opportunity to meet local friends if she went to dd1's school but then dd1 has made friends with kids who live a bit further afield and it hasn't been a problem. Like I said there will be local kids who go to the C of E school as one of our local primaries is a feeder. I know we have a while yet to decide but it's playing on my mind as I don't want to make the mistake of sending her to the wrong school. So i suppose what I'm wondering is what you would do faced with our options.

eastmidswarwicknightnanny Sun 24-Jul-16 19:10:13

From reading this I think you have already made the decision smile but are feeling a tad guilty for no reason that dd1 hasn't got to go to this preferred secondary.

Enjoyingthepeace Mon 25-Jul-16 12:22:57

I'm sorry that was so long winded I really lost track of it all

Frazzledmum123 Tue 26-Jul-16 10:08:28

so dd2 goes to the feeder school now which I assume must be reasonably close to the c of e school in which case surely the friends she had now don't live as close? Does it cause her problems now with meeting up or is it just because she will want to be more independent at secondary school? Could she not ride a bike to meet up with them?

I get yours and her worry but one of my best friends from secondary school lived in a village about 3 miles away and it never stopped us. I think as long as you are prepared to play taxi driver for nights out etc then the friends issue shouldn't be an issue. Far more important that the school she goes to is the best one for her.

I agree I think part of your worry probably boils down to feeling bad for dd1 but that can't be helped now and she sounds happy anyway

Good luck, school choices are a bloody nightmare aren't they!!

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