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Dilemma about primary school selection - what would you do???

(9 Posts)
Tryharder Mon 03-Nov-08 22:42:46

Am in the process of filling out the form for DS1's admission to primary school next year.

The school down the road is very good, it's about 15 minutes walk away, most if not all of his friends from playgroup will be going there so he will know other children when he starts. So it's all good, but... the secondary school into which pupils from this primary school generally go on to is the worst in our area and has failed ofsted inspections and generally has a very, very negative reputation.

So, I have also applied for my son to go to the catholic school in a neighbouring town which he has a fair to reasonable chance of getting into I would say. This school is also very, very good and most importantly, it attaches to the catholic secondary school which is easily the best in the area. BUT, it would impossible for us to walk there - and even though its only about 3 miles away, the drive in rush hour traffic to the school would be pretty horrendous plus my son wouldnt know anyone at the school when he started.

I know I'm being an arse worrying about secondary education for a 4 year old so slap me if you want. Obviously the catholic school is popular so we might not get in in any case, but in the event that we get offered, would you go there or would you send your child to the more local school (where i am pretty much guaranteed a place as my son goes to the nursery attached to it and we live nearby)

BoffinMum Mon 03-Nov-08 22:45:51

How about sending your DS to the local school for a bit and reviewing the situation later on - the secondary might improve, if not you can always move DS for the juniors of the RC school, for example, or something like that? Best of both worlds.

ZoeC Mon 03-Nov-08 22:46:45

If it was me, I would use the local school. At 4, to be with friends and somewhere he knows will help him settle I would think, and since it is a good school anyway I would start there and worry about secondary later.

It might be possible later on to move schools in a later year if it would really help his chances of getting into the secondary school, or by then the other schools might have changed for the better. It can and does happen that a failing school turns around and becomes far better, in the same way that a good school can slip over a few years.

ZoeC Mon 03-Nov-08 22:47:07

(cross posts with BoffinMum grin )

HuwEdwards Mon 03-Nov-08 22:47:30

Tryharder, I think a lot can change in the time your DS is in primary.

1)The tables could turn on the success of the schools,
2) the rules could change or the boundaries which can place you in or out of catchment can too.
3) You may be in a position to choose to supplement your son's education to get him into another school or even private (if that's your thing)

In your shoes I would go with the local primary. He will have friends locally and you won't have the undoubted frustration of school run by car.

CarGirl Mon 03-Nov-08 22:48:18

ARe you catholic?

Tryharder Mon 03-Nov-08 22:57:57

Nope, am not catholic - DS1 is another religion and we are trying on the basis of that (plus my neighbour is a teacher there wink)

* joking about the neighbour thing - well, she is a teacher there but i honestly, hand on heart have not mentioned it to her.

CarGirl Mon 03-Nov-08 22:59:50

I think look at whether he is likely to get into the secondary if he hasn't gone to the primary. Schools can change a lot in 7 years tbh

lingle Tue 04-Nov-08 10:34:14

I'd go local. I sympathise, as I also like to strategise far ahead, but I agree with all the other posters. You can't play your hand at this stage.

Even full schools have places from time to time so you can go on the waiting list for the catholic school from Year 3 onwards if you want.

Going to a Catholic school will also change your child's life forever- for better or worse, who knows, but it's no small thing (I am non-catholic and was sent to one. It was ok for me - terrible for my brother).

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