My daughter is due to start school in a couple of years so I've started looking at a few of the state schools in the area. According to the league tables, our local state school did not have enough pupils to register for KS2 results (there were less than ten in the class). Although I love the idea of DD being in a small group (people pay thousands for classes this small!) I worry this may be the sort of school that could close down. What do others think? Cheers
Are you in a rural area? Its completely normal for small rural schools to have fewer than 100 pupils and to be financially viable but as LetThereBeCake says they will teach in composite classes.
You have to take each school on its own merits but I wouldn't be put off by small numbers alone. Just because the sats results aren't published doesn't mean they aren't taken and the school may well be able to give you information on results.
I'd say the key question to ask is whether there are 10 in the CLASS or 10 in the YEAR GROUP.
It is a very different experience being taught in a single year group class of 10, to being taught in a class of 30 covering Reception to Year 2.
Different schools organise it in different ways. It is very unlikely for a state school to have a class of 10 on a permanent basis and remain finacially viable. However, many schools in rural areas have PANs of less than 30 and so combine year groups in a vast array of different ways. If looking at aschool with mixed age classes, I would ask a) How is the Foundation Stage delivered (as doing so in a composite class with Years 1 and 2 can dilute the 'hands on' nature of Reception)? b) Do the class mixings cross key Stages (e.g. are Years 2 and 3 mixed)? and c) How do you ensure continued progress for very bright children in their secoind year in a composite class?
I went to see it and it was terrible! Okay maybe slight exaggeration, the Head was terrible! He just seemed so...downtrodden. He was yawning constantly throughout the tour and didn't offer any information to me (it was quite uncomfortable, I kept trying to make conversation only to receive one word answers). The only time I did get a response from him was when I asked about the bullying policy. He said "kids have bullying in their vocabulary nowadays. They all go home and moan to their parents. Its all moaning. I had one boy who was very immature. He stripped off to his pants in PE and laughed. He's not immature any more" Excuse me but WTF?????
The grounds were lovely and kids seemed friendly (although bored).
Not saying in any way this reflects all small schools - I had the romantic idea of DD being in a teeny class in a lovely little village school. Goes to show how important a Head can be...
Anyway, thanks again for all your ideas. On to the next school tour!