Primary school pickle for DD(5 Posts)
Just thinking ahead, really, as DD isn't due to start primary school yet. Will try to keep it short.
Our older child, DS, initially attended the local state primary. It was the closest one to us and he had attended the school's nursery previously and we were very happy with it. However, it transpired in his reception year that he had quite serious SN and needed a statement. I wasn't happy at all with the way the school treated my DS. It's a long and sorry story, but basically, I feel they failed DS and acted in a very shoddy way on a lot of counts.
Subsequently, in Year 1 (after a long fight with the LEA) he got a place at another school (same borough, but miles away).
Now I am faced with a bit of a dilemma re my younger child, DD. I don't want her to go to our local school. I don't like the way they dealt with DS, I despise the Head and I don't feel my child would be safe there (may sound dramatic, but I'm serious).
However, she won't get a place at the school DS attends (despite the sibling rule, we are just too far out of the catchment area now and even if she did, which is highly unlikely, she wouldn't qualify for a place on the LEA school bus, so we would have to frry her back and forth, which isn't realistic seeing as we both work).
The other 'local' schools are all over-subscribed and out of catchment.
What should we do?
Is there a possibility that the school has changed (maybe even in light of your DS's case)? Would you have another look with an open mind? (can understand if you feel your DS was treated badly you may not even want to consider this).
Otherwise you seem to be in the position that you won't send your child to your local school and she won't get into any other.
Which leaves your options as:
2. Home Ed
3. Pay for private
Which are all fairly drastic but I guess you feel strongly enough for something drastic.
It might be worth speaking to the LEA and seeing if this woild qualify as special circumstances as your relationship with the school has broken down. No idea but might be worth a try.
The first thing to do is check the admission criteria for the school your son attends. If they have a defined catchment area (as opposed to simply using distance as a tie breaker) and prioritise children within catchment over siblings from outside catchment you are right that your daughter is unlikely to get a place there. However, many state schools don't have a defined catchment area but do prioritise siblings. Even those that do have a defined catchment area often prioritise out of catchment siblings over non-siblings within the catchment area. In either of these cases you would have a good chance of getting your daubhter into your son's school.
You should also check with the LA what the position would be regarding transport. Whilst they would not be required by law to provide transport when it is your choice that your daughter goes to a school some distance away, they are presumably already taking your son to and from school so they may be willing to take your daughter as well, especially if it doesn't add to their costs.
If that doesn't work you should still apply for all the acceptable schools. You never know - you might be lucky and get a place at one of them. If your local school is oversubscribed and you don't name it as one of your choices, the chances are you won't be offered a place there. However, if the normal admissions process doesn't come up with an acceptable offer I would have to agree with redskyatnight regarding your options.
I think call someone at the LEA to discuss, then at least you know what your choices are?
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