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Would you/Have you moved to an area that would give all the family a better standard of living but doesn't have good schools???

(31 Posts)
Wills Mon 09-May-05 13:35:25

DH and I have had a really tough year and we've spent a lot of time sitting back thinking about the quality of our lives. We've decided that we want to move to a bigger house but by the sea (currently live just outside London). This will enable me to downgrade my job thereby spending far more time with both our girls (something I desperate to do) and my husband to get out of the city (something he is desperate to do). BUT any area with good schools and/or easy commute into London would mean small house and both of us have had enough of feeling like we're living on top of each other. We're after a ramshackled old house with plenty of area for the kids to run around and spread out. But this would be at the expense of the quality of their schools. Is it worth it?

ja9 Mon 09-May-05 13:38:23

Good question!?

Gwenick Mon 09-May-05 13:39:21

I'd say it was - (probably controversial). But if they're relatively bright kids, and you're the sort of parents that will support them with their school work (which it sounds like you are) then being at an 'average' school, instead of a 'good' or 'very good' school shouldn't really make a difference.........just look at the kids that come out of the roughest schools in the country - with good grades!

Fio2 Mon 09-May-05 13:39:26

wills, where are you moving to? I live by the sea although we have increased our mortgage <ouch> but I think once you are settled it is worth it. Very different way of life though, takes some getting used to

Potty1 Mon 09-May-05 13:41:57

That's a tough one. In what way do you feel the schools are lacking? And how old are your children?

I think whilst the children are young, you being at home more will maybe compensate for the lower standard of the school. You could even involve yourself in school to try to raise standards in some way. When they get to secondary though I think it would be a different matter as they become less influenced by you as a parent and more by what's going on around them.

batters Mon 09-May-05 13:52:03

No. My opinion is that a good standard of living has to include a really good education.

I understand completely what people are saying about parental support being really important etc but I personally wouldn't want to take the chance. Just my opinion, though.

Tinker Mon 09-May-05 13:55:29

What's "wrong" with the schools that you might have to consider? How have you found that out? What would differ greatly from schools available atm? Just so we can compare.

roisin Mon 09-May-05 13:56:47

I wouldn't want my children to go to a 'bad' primary school, and there are enough of them about. But that isn't to say I think it's always worth paying the premium to live near an 'excellent' school with a glittering reputation.

Potty1 Mon 09-May-05 14:05:45

Also its so important not to judge the schools just from the league tables. My dd's primary is pretty high up in the tables for our LEA. But TBH if she wasn't in the last months of Yr6 I'd be looking elsewhere because there are loads of other issues which the tables just don't tell you about.

Waswondering Mon 09-May-05 14:12:37

We've just bought a house which we think is really great in every way except that it isn't in a great catchment for either primary or secondary. We will apply for ds (who isn't 2 yet) to maybe go to a different primary, and when we get to secondary level (which is 10 years away and a lot can happen in that time) we'll make a decision then about whether to move or apply to another school or go private. But we loved the house, and its proximity to other amenities and people we know won over any concerns re schooling as we feel there are always options there.

Caligula Mon 09-May-05 14:48:11

No because for me my children having a good education is part of my quality of life/ standard of living. I don't really care about academic standards (I feel I'm capable of introducing them to culture/ literacy etc. if their schools don't) but I do care about behaviour standards - in the real world though, the two do tend to go together. However, is there any reason to believe the standard of schools outside London are worse? Which area were you thinking of?

stitch Mon 09-May-05 14:55:52

no
we moved here precisely because the schools are better. if we had continued to stay where we were, id have insisted he went to private school. and with three kids wouldnt have been able to afford it.

elliott Mon 09-May-05 15:05:41

well it all depends what you mean by a good school, and what your other criteria are. I've read a few of your posts and I think working fewer hours (both you and dh) can only be a good thing for you and your family. I'm sure there must be somewhere in the country where you can live, work and have good schooling. what are the areas you have thought about? what is it that has led you to believe that its either a big house or a good school?

jenkel Mon 09-May-05 15:28:28

What do you class as a good school?. We live in a village and a few years ago the village infant school failed the ofsted report. Things have since then improved and my daughter who is 3 will go to that school. I am more than happy for her to go, a school with a good ofsted report could get complacent and let it slip wheras things can only get better at this school and lots of people are watching and pressurising the school to do better. I personally think to much emphasis is placed on 'good schools' and I think that your children will benefit so much more from having relaxed parents who can spend more time with them.

Hulababy Mon 09-May-05 15:32:09

I think it really does depend on the school and what is wrong with it.

But, on the whole, I wouldn't move to an area with a less than desirable school. That is me being honest. I really wouldn't. Education and the school is part of good quality living for me.

I have worked in a very good school, and also a not good school. The differences are massive.

lunavix Mon 09-May-05 15:42:31

My idea is I'm not too bothered about league tables - I'd like a well rounded school as opposed to one that leans heavily on academia.

However, I think visits are what come in handy. I wouldn't send ds to a 'rough' school, or one that had a bad reputation.

clary Mon 09-May-05 16:00:42

find myself agreeing with jenkell and gwenick.
What is so wrogn with the schools in the area you are talking about?
As others say, league tables and ofsteds can be misleading and show onlyy one side of a school.

ssd Mon 09-May-05 16:28:03

This is an interesting question. I think we have to know what's wrong with the schools in the area you're thinking of moving to. If they are very rough then no I wouldn't move, but if they are friendly and you could get involved with the PTA etc. then I'd go!

cupcakes Mon 09-May-05 16:44:51

I would be in favour of the move. When I put ds down for the school where we live (rural-ish market town) a lot of parents suggested I should try and get him in at another village school which was doing a lot better. Now that he has started I am very relieved to say that it has completely turned around, they have a new head and have had a brilliant Ofsted. This change has only happened in the past couple of years.
We really enjoy our quality of life here - ds and dd see so much more of dh for instance. The school turned out really well for us but even if it was mediocre I still think that the balance of happy parents who interact with his education would outweigh it.
Unless of course the schools in question really were dreadful...

Wills Mon 09-May-05 16:45:30

I think I have to shame facedly admit that I've only read league tables and listened to a friend that lives there. League table wise I would agree that its not wise to simply rely on these results. I also agree that I need to do far more research. I do however put a reasonable amount of weight on our friends decision with their daughter They have decided to send her to a local school as her mum hates private schools with a passion. But she will have additional tuition from the start. I personally absolutely hate the idea of this but am frightened that they feel this is the only way to compensate. Both dh and I agree that they are far more results focused than we plan to be. The most important thing for me about my childrens's education is that they enjoy it. As long as the love of learning and the joy of discovery is installed in my kids then after that I'm not worried about results as I feel that they will naturally move on to do the best they can etc. At the moment my eldest dd is only 5 and she's positively hungry to learn. She's just starting to read and we have to stop everywhere whilst she's attempts to read signs. I would hate for this to be lost by moving to a "bad" school but at the same time feel that learning is not reserved to simply school times and this is where I end up going round in circles. Everything I've ever read says that children with supportive parents do far better. With more time free and a better lifestyle we (dh and I) would have far more time and energy to plough into our children - but will this be enough to make up for any loss in the standard of the school? At the same time I could stay where we are and they could still do badly and I don't want to be one of those parents that looks back with resentment at lost opportunities.

cupcakes Mon 09-May-05 16:52:01

I think you would be right to move - it sounds like that's where your heart lies.
Good schools aren't the be all and end all in a child's life.

Wills Mon 09-May-05 16:54:01

Forgot to say. Thinking of moving to Hayling Island or the Witterings sort of area. Considered Brighton but house prices aren't really different to where we are now and we'd like a big garden.

motherinferior Mon 09-May-05 17:05:34

We did, four years ago - out of a one bedroom flat into a house with a room for one (now two) babies, and another where I can work. Our local school was pretty rough then; it's improved a lot now. It's still not wildly desirable although it's doing pretty well (especially its results) and I have been feeling rather unhappy that DD1 is going there in Sept.

But, ahem, we're staying here.

Fio2 Mon 09-May-05 17:45:12

I actually think being happy constitutes for alot more than education. me and my sister went to a 'ffailing' village school and a below average comprehensive and we both excelled. I really think if a child is intelligent and happy they will do well. Life is about more than being in a catchment area. Sign of the times when a good school dictates your life do ykwim? We actually have very good schools where I live on the kent coast and cheap houses!

jenkel Mon 09-May-05 18:37:04

Also wanted to add, its the crowd that they get involved with that has just as much an effect as the school they go to and you have no control with the types of kids they mix with.

The failed ofsted report for the village school states how happy and well behaved the children are and what a nice community spirt the school had. However, I believe it failed as they had a temp head of school and lots of changes of staff. The head has now been there a while and looks like they have a more permanent staff situation, so thats why I'm happy to send my girls there.

However, if the children were badly behaved and it looked rough thats a whole new different ball game.

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