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Heartbreak of my sons first day at school

(48 Posts)
Julesbrown Thu 01-Sep-11 11:51:34

My little boy is due to start school on Monday and I'm absolutely heartbroken. He failed to get in to any of our 3 choices of schools and were bascally told you can have 1 of another 3 schools - which are horrendous! We've had no option but to accept one of them (that is not suitable). This milestone in my little boys life has been destroyed because of Bradford Council. The 1st day at school is supposed to be an exciting and enjoyable day and my little boy doesn't want to go - because none of his friends are going and I don't want him to go because the school has such a bad reputation. When visiting the school a boy around 7 or 8 told his friends to go smack that boy in the purple top (my son). Fantastic! He's not started yet and he was being bullied! I have left it until last minute to buy his school uniform in the hope he received a place at another school to find that the school have failed to give me a list of the school uniform in the pack (the pack I had to ask for because they forgot to give my son one at an appointment they failed to tell me had been changed and I was late to because of this) so I haven't a clue what he needs. I've had to buy what I think and hope it is right. I'm absolutely dreading monday. I just feel everything is against us sad

lovecheese Thu 01-Sep-11 12:00:42

Bless you sad Is it an option to Home ed until a place - hopefully - comes up at one of your preferred schools?

Lucy88 Thu 01-Sep-11 12:01:15

What an awful situation - my heart goes out to you.

I am sure that you have everything that he needs. Generally on their first day, they just need the rightcoour trousers, top and black shoes. I would ask his teacher at the end of school if there is anything else he needs in terms of pe kit etc, whcih he won't need on his first day.

No matter how good the school is - you will find nasty kids unfortunately. If you have any long term worries, I would speak to the head. I don't think they would calss one stupid comment from a child at this stage as bullying.

As much as this might be difficult for you, on Monday, you need to put a big smile on your face, be really positive and tell your son what a fantastic time he is going to have at school. Please don't let him hear any negative comments from you, as this will impact on your son and he wil take long er to settle.

My son didn't want to go to school (despite is being the best school in the area) as non of his friends were going. It was difficult for the first week and we had plenty of tears from him and holding onto me. I had to stay strong and svae my tears for when I was out of school. I got his teacher on side and she gently, but firmly took him into the class and I walked away. He is going into year 2 next week and loves school and has a huge set of really good friends.

Good luck for Monday. x

IndigoBell Thu 01-Sep-11 12:01:25

Why don't you home educate him then?

School isn't compulsory......

Julesbrown Thu 01-Sep-11 12:08:30

If I home ed him it means I have to give up work and giving up a good job to go one benefits is not an option.

SoupDragon Thu 01-Sep-11 12:10:54

Ensure he is on the waiting ist for your preferred schools.

samex2 Thu 01-Sep-11 12:11:15

When is his birthday? Is holding off school until January intake an option these days? By then maybe with people not taking up places or change in circumstances you may be able to see if there is place in another school. Having said all that, what seems like a bad school can turn out to be the better option. Looking from the outside we can often judge schools to be bad when actually it is all gossip. I speak from my own personal experience. Don't give up hope look into it now.

BoisJacques Thu 01-Sep-11 12:12:48

Home school. Is he 4/5? I am not trying to point fingers, but, if so, surely his fears are coming from you? Can you make it seem fantastic? I wouldn't always judge schools straight off. I removed DS from a very sought after school and placed him in one that the year before was in special measures. The two schools could not even compare! He will make friends... there may be 29 other mums thinking the very same as you right now.

Julesbrown Thu 01-Sep-11 12:18:49

I know people who have removed their children from the school given because it is so bad. He went to school nursery for our 1st choice of schools and wants to stay there which is understandable. We've taken him around the new school and tried to be really positive about it but he keeps saying he doesn't want to go. Things like this don't usually bother him. He is on the waiting list for 4 schools and I asked for a 5th one too but was told no I couldn't do this and shouldn't have been allowed to be put on the 4th school waiting list but 'because they felt sorry for me' they let me go on it! I despise Bradford Education Dept

stickwithit Thu 01-Sep-11 12:19:04

Poor you. I think Lucy88's words are very wise.

If home schooling or delayed entry is not an option for you, you can only do your level best to make the best of this difficult situation.

If your son senses your negativity it will make things harder for him. I am not suggesting that your feelings are not totally justified BTW.

I hope that your son settles well, makes new friends and that the unkind comment on his trial day was a one-off rather than an indication of the attitude of the majority of pupils.

MoreCrackThanHarlem Thu 01-Sep-11 12:20:45

Try and stay positive in front of your son. You sound very upset, this will be increasing his anxiety.

I work in an inner city primary where many children live with poverty and deprivation, but I think it is an amazing school and would be happy for my daughter to attend. I mention this because I speak to lots of parents who avoid schools based on the area they are in, rather than looking at the education and care they provide.

Out of interest, why do you blame the council?
Were your preferred schools closer to you, geographically?

Julesbrown Thu 01-Sep-11 12:24:20

2 of my chosen schools are less than a mile away, 1 is just over a mile. They offered me one that is 2.5 miles away but I refused it. The one we've had to accept is just over a mile and a half away and 2 buses away (my disabled mum collects him for me and uses public transport). It's in the middle of a very high crime rate area which is not ideal when having to walk through the estate on winter evenings and like Ive previously mentioned I know 3 people who have pulled their children out of the school in the last 18 months. I'm just gutted

MoreCrackThanHarlem Thu 01-Sep-11 12:32:04

So you applied for your nearest schools but have been allocated one further away?
If you haven't been given a place at your closest primary (as the crow flies), you may have grounds for appeal, did you go through that process?

Lucy88 Thu 01-Sep-11 12:32:10

My sons school is bang in the middle of a very rough estate where crime is seen to be high, but I have never had any problems. It is light when we go to school and still light when I pick him up at 3.15, so I am sure that there won't be any problems.

Please, please give it a chance - you may be really surprised and after a couple of days when your sone comes home sying he has made some good friends, I am sure it won't seem as bad.

IndigoBell Thu 01-Sep-11 12:35:31

If you can't HE, and you can't keep him in nursery, and your Mum can't look after him.....

Then you haven't actually got any choice.

Start him at school, and keep him on the waiting list for all those other schools.

If there actually are problems after he's started take them up with the teacher.

Julesbrown Thu 01-Sep-11 12:35:38

I hope so Lucy. Yeah we appealled and failed them all. I have proven families have given false addresses which have prevented my son in getting a place yet Bradford Council don't give a stuff about it and have let it continue on.

MoreCrackThanHarlem Thu 01-Sep-11 12:36:08

I know it's hard, but try not to judge the school by the area. Inner city primaries are often fantastic, with good pastoral care and lots of educational opportunities, school trips etc.

Not always, but often.

MoreCrackThanHarlem Thu 01-Sep-11 12:37:58

How did you find evidence of that?
Did you apply for your nearest school?

porcupine11 Thu 01-Sep-11 12:37:59

And remember the children in his actual class will be 4/5 tots, not the 7/8 year olds who were mean when you looked around

Julesbrown Thu 01-Sep-11 12:41:57

I've given concrete evidence of the fraudulent addresses being given. Mothers happily bragging about it in the school nursery playground. I've provided the info and yet they aren't interested. Bradford Council don't check your information correctly. As long as you use the same address on your application form to what you gave the school they don't check. I have a petition ongoing at the mo to change the application / allocation process

acatcalledbob Thu 01-Sep-11 12:44:34

It sounds really tough but you need to be as positive as you possibly can. Your DS is picking up most of this fear and negativity from you and although he's still little, there's a lot to be said for giving things your best shot rather than walking away. Let him try and see for yourself how he gets on. He hasn't even seen his teacher or classmates yet...... And try not to write off the whole school for some admin errors.

Best of luck to you both for his first day - it's up to you to make the build up to the first day at school exciting and fun, not the school.

If it's a disaster and he doesn't settle after a couple of weeks, start speaking to his teacher, then after that take it a step further.

MumblingRagDoll Thu 01-Sep-11 12:49:12

Poor you. It is stressful enough without this.

I an only gree with acatcalledbob in that your attiude will make a world f dfference.

You should not worry about his friends being elsewhere...he is tiny....most kids don'teven have friends until they begn school....he will make more friends.

At this age most of the kids will be lovely...if its a bad area then there may be some horrors..but most will be great kids like you get anywhere.

Be posiitive for your son....keep in close contact with he school...join the PTA and try your best to see the good side of things.

MoreCrackThanHarlem Thu 01-Sep-11 12:50:05

What changes would you like to see being made to the admissions criteria? I am interested as my daughter's school partnership trust are currently reviewing their admissions criteria.
Sorry to ask again, but is it your nearest school, and if not, did you apply for that one?

I think you need to try and make a fresh start with this school. Put to one side all the negative reports you have heard and judge it only on your son's experiences once he starts.

MumblingRagDoll Thu 01-Sep-11 12:50:45

It has taken me a 3 year wait to get the school of my choice. DD is due to begin on Tuesday and she is 7.... COULD stress about her fitting in etc but Im not going to...you stick in there on those lists...think about moving and look on the bright side.

Julesbrown Thu 01-Sep-11 12:53:09

I'm wanting it to become compulsory for 2 forms of proof of address to be provided when the application is completed (Council tax = driving licence, tax credits form, etc) At the mo nothing is required although Bradford Council won't openly tell parents this.

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