Picking high school(15 Posts)
New to the UK system & have a question. Do parents pick the school or does the child?
The parent/a complete the high school application form.
What school preferences are put on the form depends on the family, some parents choose, sometimes it's a joint parent/ child decision and sometimes the child chooses.
But ultimately the parent must complete the form.
Do the children get a big say usually? (Can you tell this is my first time doing this!)
Given thw chance, children will choose based on friendships. Many of the primary school friendships will dissolve or change. The parents should be heavily involved in the decision making based on educational, social, practical and gut feel reasons.
If you posted this in education you would have more response.
I've had a few go through high school. My 1st I let her choose because I didn't know any better. She picked it based on really silly stuff and lasted around 6 months before she was having issues and needed moving to another
The others got to say why they preferred x school but ultimately I made the choice of school to put down on the form as I had a better understanding of the system and how knew what would suit my child in the long run.
Children often think no more than a school term ahead. They make choices on whether their friends are going to a school despite those friends not giving a jot about which school my child would be looking at.
Listen to the reasons your child wants to go to x school then do your own research. Does it offer the support your child needs? Clubs and sports they like? Easy to get to? Academic subjects your child is good at or has an interest in. Once you have done your research and considered your childs reasons then you as the parent completes the application online and put your choices in order of preference based on your research.
I would say that as a parent I would reserve a right of veto. If there were two similar schools which I felt had a similar list of pros and cons then I would let my dc decide between those two schools which went first and which went second. If there was a school I didn't want them to go to then I would discuss it and outline my reasons but ultimately I am the parent and I would take that decision. If there was one school which would be harder to get into at a later stage then I might say 'let's try school X and if it doesn't work then we will reassess in a year'.
So far, after some negotiations we have always agreed on the order of school applications before submission deadline.
It can be hard for a child to see the full picture. They might like school Z which has a great lacrosse team but while it is easy to get to when being driven to an open day, the reality of that school by public transport taking 90mins each way in the middle of January might be very different. Whereas school Y might not offer lacrosse but it is a ten minute walk and they do hockey which might be just as fun. With two similar schools I do encourage them to think of the distance. An hour extra travel time means they need to work on their homework later. Friendships often don't survive the transition so don't rely on that.
We've discussed the pros and cons of each school with DS and listened to his views but ultimately it's our choice as parents.
Luckily DS is super sensible and realised himself after looking at all schools that the best option for him is the stricter, academic (and a bit 'pushy' ) school with the better exam results (he wants to go to uni to be a scientist and gets cross about kids chatting or misbehaving in class, he's a bit of a geek!).
Most of his friends are going elsewhere but he'll be with 2 other boys from his current class and is confident he'll make new mates.
Which home nation of the UK, OP? There are some pretty big differences between the systems.
It's entirely up to you how much say you give your child in the matter, and it probably depends greatly on how much difference there is between the available schools, how strong your own opinion is, and how likely your child is to get into the schools in question.
So for example if you have 3 local schools which are all pretty similarly good and a similar distance from your house, you might let your child have free choice which order to put them on the application form
But if there are important differences that you feel strongly about, I'd explain your reasons to your child and make the choice yourself unless the child is really really desperate not to go to one of them for some good reason.
I took my son to the open days of 2 local secondary schools. One seemed much more the fit to my DS...I did have meetings with both Senco's ..My son was aware that if I didn't get the answers I needed he would not get the choice of his chosen school. You fill out the forms but a happy transition is important to me. Also do remember that all the stats while they may help they don't necessarily reflect how your child will do in school.
Some people let their children choose. Either their children must be much more mature and discerning than mine, or their parents are less picky. No way would I have let my children choose their secondary.
You may want to listen to their views, but 10yos in my opinion are not mature enough to make well balanced decisions on their next 5 years of schooling.
We are in England to answer a question and thanks for the replies. Very helpful. I’ve said she can have input but is to young to make such a big decision on her own.
she can have input but is to young to make such a big decision on her own
This is exactly the right attitude I think. There may well be classmates whose parents don't care enough to think about it and who let the child choose but a responsible parent would not leave these decisions to a 10 year old.
The other important thing is to make sure your child knows that when you complete the form you aren't making a decision, you are expressing a preference. The local authority doesn't have any obligation to give you any of the choices on your form if they are all oversubscribed. Unless you know that all yoir nearby schools are undersubscribed, it's better not to use language about "choosing" and "decisions" because a 10yo may not appreciate the complexity and could end up more distressed if they don't get a place as the "first choice" school if they feel this was a decision that they were supposed to be involved in. Better to emphasise that a lot of the results are down to luck as much as anything, and that whichever school she ends up at will have good points and bad points.
Just like she has input on what goes on the form but the ultimate decision should be yours, that form is merely your family input into the ultimate decision making process which is controlled by the admissions authorities.
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