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Move for state school or stay and pay?

(52 Posts)
downpipe Wed 07-Sep-11 14:57:08

DS1 starts school in 2 years.I live in a lovely house in a deprived area where the local schools are not great(70% free school meals,Ofsteds not good).The schools I would choose are in a different area 2miles away where I go to playgroups and have friends with children the same age.We won't get in from here.We can move house to something a bit smaller in the better area and would almost certainly get into the school I like or we could just about afford private school fees and stay where we are.But is private primary school worth the money when the state primary school of my choice is outstanding?Would the school local to me now actually be that bad and does it matter when you are 4 or 5?Should I move?Should I pay? Or should I just take a risk with the school on my doorstep and save money?Anyone been in this position and what are your views?

cornsylk Wed 07-Sep-11 15:03:31

Go and visit the schools first and see what they are like for yourself.

downpipe Wed 07-Sep-11 15:17:02

I have done that already, the school in the better area is much nicer and the Ofsted is better than my 2 local schools.I have looked round the private schools too.I think that the better state school seems just as good, and in some respects, better, than the private schools but wonder whether it is worth going through the expense and upheaval of moving house just to try and get in to a different state school

Runoutofideas Wed 07-Sep-11 15:25:44

No doubt I'll get eaten alive for suggesting this, but it is probably what I would do in your situation..... Rent your house out for year and rent a house next door to your chosen school until dc has a place..... Not strictly ethical but in most LAs not breaking any rules either. Plenty of children at my dds school have done this - not us though I hasten to add!

downpipe Wed 07-Sep-11 15:32:14

It has crossed my mind but I would want to move properly as would like to be able to walk to school and for my sons to have local friends, or is that aspect of school life not that important?They would not get that if we go privately either

IndigoBell Wed 07-Sep-11 15:34:08

It's expensive to move - but probably cheaper than paying private school fees.

After all paying off your mortgage is like savings for your retirement. Whereas school fees you never get back.

Even if you increase your mortgage by £100k to buy a house closer to the school it's probably cheaper than school fees......

Runoutofideas Wed 07-Sep-11 15:36:51

If you would prefer to live in the other area anyway then yes I think it probably is worth moving properly, even if the house isn't so nice. I do think being part of the local community is important and it is nice to be able to wander round to each other's houses after school. What would the impact of a move be on your secondary school provision - I know it seems a way off right now but honestly as soon as they start primary, the discussions about secondaries begin - or they do round here anyway! Would it not be worth trying your local primary for a while and see how you go? Your dc may love it there and flourish, meaning no need to either move or pay!

downpipe Wed 07-Sep-11 15:42:55

runoutofideas trying the local primary is an option but I am put off by the mums I see going there to pick up, terrible language, smoking etc.I don't really know how much children are influenced by the others in their class at this age and how much of it comes from what you do at home.Secondary school is pro ably going to be private anyway

rocketty Wed 07-Sep-11 16:15:26

I'd move, because then you can look at the catchment of good secondary schools too, if necessary.

mummytime Wed 07-Sep-11 17:01:02

I would definitely look carefully at secondaries before moving. Private secondaries tend to cost more, and can be quite selective. My preference would be to move close to an outstanding comprehensive that I could get my child into.

colditz Wed 07-Sep-11 17:03:23

What's the problem with the free school meals? Is this a red flag I should know about?

NormaSnorks Wed 07-Sep-11 17:05:43

Move, and target excellent state primary and secondary....

We did private prep and DS has just gone to grammar school with all the kids from the local state primary - I feel a bit hmm about all the money we spent on school fees that could have gone on holidays/pension etc.

School fees also tend to rise higher than inflation, so it's a slippery slope....

IndigoBell Wed 07-Sep-11 17:09:03

Colditz - you only get free school meals if you're very poor. For some people that's a red flag, for some people it isn't.........

seeker Wed 07-Sep-11 17:10:04

Free school meals are an accurate indicator of social deprivation. However, I would be amazed if the school under consideration actually has 70% of children on free school meals- the national average is about 20% IIRC.

downpipe Wed 07-Sep-11 17:14:38

colditz the free school meals thing is an indicator of deprivation in the area.I know I sound like a snob even commenting about this but I live in a deprived area of a city, there are very few professional parents in the area where I live,many families are in social housing, and I would worry about my sons ,when older, getting in with the wrong crowd.

CaptainNancy Wed 07-Sep-11 17:15:13

Whether you pay via fees or through your mortgage, you will still be paying for it...

Telegraph said today catchment of a decent school puts average of £77k on a house price...

colditz Wed 07-Sep-11 17:15:33

But why would being poor be a red flag?

colditz Wed 07-Sep-11 17:16:53

But Downpipe, people from social housing are no more likely to be 'the wrong crowd' than anyone else. Are you genuinely frightened of poor people's children?

IndigoBell Wed 07-Sep-11 17:18:02

I don't exactly know.

Maybe because there's a correlation between being poor and getting low academic results?

Maybe because people are snobby?

Maybe because there's a concern that they come from unemployed households and won't have the aspirations to get a job?

CaptainNancy Wed 07-Sep-11 17:19:32

colditz- sadly poverty is very closely correlated with poor performance academically. Of course that does not automatically mean children from impoverished backgrounds will not do well in school, but it is still the biggest factor in a child's background affecting performance.

colditz Wed 07-Sep-11 17:20:24

but the correlation between poverty and low academic results is mostly that people who have low academic results don't earn very much. If anything, being poor would inspire you to work harder, for fear of getting even poorer.

genuine question - is this a prevalent attitude? That one must separate one's children from the poor people?

colditz Wed 07-Sep-11 17:22:35

but I don't understand why another child's academic performance wuld impact upon your own child's academic performance.

That's like saying "I don't let my child talk to thick people because they might catch Thick." Or "I don't let my child talk to children who have special needs because they might catch Special Needs"

A low IQ isn't catching, and neither is poverty. Avoidance of the poor makes no sense unless you think they are worse people.

IndigoBell Wed 07-Sep-11 17:28:21

colditz - You are quite right.

I don't know how prevalent the attitude is. The main thing is a school with high FSM will probably also have bad SAT results which will put some people off.

If a school has high FSM and good SAT results, then it's a fantastic school and you should bust a gut to get your child there smile

I think people don't trust a teacher to differentiate and are scared that the high ability table won't be good enough for their PFB?

Or that there won't be other bright kids for their PFB to be friends with?

I don't know. My current school has average FSM, and it's a far, far better school than my last one which had 1% FSM.

SheldonsBazinga Wed 07-Sep-11 17:28:39

I'm not sure I understand the reference to social housing either.

You live in the deprived area too, OP and are presumably doing well if you are able to consider private education as a realistic option. Why do you discount the possibilty that there are others out there in a similar situation?

cece Wed 07-Sep-11 17:30:52

I agree move and get in catchment of good secondary and an OK to excellent primary.

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